Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
– by William Martin
Last Thursday was a warm, perfect kind of summer day and I was on my way to meet coworkers for lunch at an outdoor patio. We’ve all been busy or on vacation so this was a perfect way to unwind, reconnect and get ready for the fall work that will bombard us again for many months to come. I was looking forward to the afternoon – it was going to be fun and I was grinning like a kid getting ready for a beach trip. There was a nice breeze, the kind that you only get in the summer, billowing gently through the open windows in my car. I had my favourite music playing in the background and was waiting for the advanced light to turn green for me.
Then out of nowhere I sneezed, not once, but three times. Now I’m not a loud sneezer mind you, but I can surely be heard in another room, so I’m definitely not one of those “I’ll keep it a secret sneeze” people. I sometimes have a “pretend sneeze” where I think it’s coming, it changes its mind and then comes out like a whisper, but for the most part, they’re a big cachoou!!
“Bless you!” Surprised, I turned down my radio, searched around for the voice and looked over to the car on my right. The driver had his windows down, his head leaning out a bit and was calling over to me with a big smile on his face.
“Bless you!” he calls out again. I smiled and said “Thanks, that’s very kind of you.”
“Well, now you can pass it on, and maybe I’ll win the lottery, or we both will.” he laughed. “I don’t need much, I’m not greedy, just a bit to pay my bills or maybe take a trip somewhere. We’re here on vacation from Newfoundland, and we love it here in the summer. I don’t want anything really, I just wanted to bless you. I hope you have a good day!”
“You as well” I said, “And thank you again, no one has ever blessed me while sitting in my car at a stop light before. Have a wonderful holiday!”
My light finally turned green, and as I’m making my turn, I was able to hear him say “Now there’s a lovely lady.”
I could say something along the same line …”Now there’s a lovely gentleman!”
I know I’ve experience many random acts of kindness, but some are so subtle you don’t see or feel them. I absolutely loved this one – the man made my good day turn into a great day simply by doing something so unexpected and fun at the same time. I passed it on the same day, but I’m not telling how I did it.
I hope I’ve inspired you, now go be your own random act of kindness!
Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Let’s hope summer is soon here to stay as we’ve had no spring this year. The winter fell directly into the lap of a pretend summer and robbed us blindly of those precious spring days. I need each season to stay on my doorstep for awhile to enjoy it and then let it go slowly and happily to the next season. I love them all, so when I lose a season like this year, I’m not a happy camper.
So why so glum chum? I’m wishing for a summer to stay and relax with, garden with and complain about the hot weather with… bring it on! Then when I’m done with it, I’ll send it on its way and welcome the wonderful autumn, and dare I say it, magical winter. When I was younger summer meant watching cartoons all morning, hanging out with friends in the neighbourhood all day and going back home when the streetlights turned on. My summer wish list has changed somewhat as I’ve gotten older, but it still remains the magical and fun, almost lazy season and there’s nothing like it. Drinks on the deck, vacation plans, patio lanterns, music on the beach and the sound of flip-flops on bare feet. Pure bliss.
Summer will be here soon, of that I’m sure and I’ll welcome it with happy gleeful grins. Meanwhile take a deep breath, slowly exhale and let your memories wander!
do not wait for special occasions.
do not tuck your best away in the drawers, in the back of the closet, in your heart.
don’t wait for holidays or invitations.
declare that your today is the special occasion.
call instead of emailing. (it feels so good to connect.)
go for coffee.
renounce your glory days. you’ve told all of those stories more than twice.
wear perfume for yourself. toss your only-wear-around-the-house clothes and let your good clothes graduate to around-the-house status.
intend to feel good all of the time.
write your book.
make great sex a priority. (this alone will make you more creative and free. on your death bed, you will think about all the great sex you had this lifetime.)
burn your to-do list.
write poetry. One a day.
make a point to be as encouraging as possible, as much as possible, to everyone possible.
don’t look back.
if you feel like you’re always failing, consider that this is part of being an artist. let it be a divine inclination. keep going.
eat real food.
often refuse to be in the presence of people who make you feel repressed, anxious, or pull your frequency down.
do not entertain haters.
send light to the haters.
give it away. you probably don’t need it and someone else does.
turn off the tv.
let it be easy.
burn candles. during the day.
fall in love. with yourself. with the person you’re with. with the persons in your orbit.
because no one is perfect, but you can let the love be perfect for the both of you.
because everyone — everyone — is a doorway to God.
because you can get there from here.
because life is short.