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Life's a Weed...Make a Wish

"Next time slow down!" he yelled at me through the passenger window of his Smart car.  "Really??!" I returned.  This was accompanied with an age old hand gesture not befitting a 50 year-old mother of six and self proclaimed Peace pursuer.  I mean come on - the man obviously had mid-sized suv envy!  With his tiny car sandwiched in between two 4x4's we neither one could see each other.  He was the one who nearly hit me.  He was the one holding on to all that rage.  He was obviously over reacting.  I had been the good citizen driver.  I simply shook off the fact that he nearly backed into me and continued towards a parking spot nearby.   He was the one who sat and waited for us to get out of our car so he could yell at us...this was all his fault.  

Your with me here right? None of this was my fault.

In retrospect I'm not so sure my kids would agree.  My 14 year-old son was mortified to have been in close proximity to such a public display by his mother. His mother.  That was of course was until he realized he could replay the comedic details at my expense for many years to come.  He knew this because his siblings replay similar hand gesture events from my bad-mom-days of their youth - "the little darlings." (That was actually a shout out to my brother. His affectionate term for my kids when questioning my need for six of them.) I can only hope that the humor comes from their understanding that it is out of step with my normal daily inter-personal communication skill set.  However, this has always been quite a private affair - never before had my bad-mom ways become so public.

Who was that woman disguised as me in the parking lot? 

How did I get here? Where was Peace to be found in this life moment?

I put a good deal of effort into looking for a way to find Peace in the brief moments and small nuances of my everyday life.  Quite frankly, this past week I haven't noticed Peace in the routine of my everyday.   As I mentally reviewed the days I could actually see myself avoiding eye contact with the very Peace I was now so desperate for. I had consistently tossed Peace aside all week.  I had no time for such nonsense. I had been so sure that what I needed was to feel justified for each argument I engaged in, each slight I was sure of, each ounce of under appreciated indifference, and every drop of negative energy I was allowing into my daily cup.  It's no wonder then that my arm was flaying about that day in the parking lot- I was trying to keep from drowning in the overflow. 

I am responsible for what I fill the cup with from which I drink in life.

Our personal reservoirs are filled with each days actions, reactions, and interactions.  It is from this well we draw our emotional, spiritual and on many days even physical strength.  It is where we can find a reserve of Peace on the very worst days.  Or not.   I best be honest here - flipping somebody off is a pretty good indicator that I needed to check my tank.

I knew from experience the concept of three good things would be a good place for me to start re-filling.  At dinner that night I had to admit my recent short comings and asked for everyone's good things from the day also sharing my own.  We had a good laugh at my expense as Matthew shared our parking lot experience.  Then my husband suggested we take a walk together.  For all of the day's struggles the evening was perfect.  The sun was setting, the company was great, and I was hopeful that with my blinders off I wouldn't have too work to hard to find Peace along the roadside that evening. 

As we were walking my grand daughter plucked a dandelion wish ball from the path and she resolutely announced, "I wish for nothing!" Then with great joy she blew her wishes into the evening breeze. 

Watching those tiny "wish- for- nothings" drift to where they would find root and give life to new sunny yellow beauties for future wish makers, we were all caught up in the profound wisdom in her words. 

My grand daughter loves picking dandelions and presenting them as a precious gift to those she loves most.  This she does in the footsteps of generations of children before her.  To her it is a sunny yellow beauty with which we have been blessed in abundance.  A weed?  Certainly not!

When do dandelions become noxious weeds rather than the beautiful flowers we so loving shared? Isn't their annoying resilience actually just evidence of their deep roots and ability to against all odds reach upwards through the rain to bask in the summer sunshine?  Too often during the day I wish for "something" rather than simply taking in what is right within my reach and "wish for nothing" instead.

It's easy to let the labor of our everyday become a noxious weed.  When in reality that labor is life itself.  It is our perception of life's foliage that determines which bouquet we will hold - childish weeds of no value or glorious yellow future wish makers.

By now I was falling behind on our walk that evening.  I took a deep breath.  I needed to breathe in deep this moment and fill my cup with something better.  The various conversations about nothing, the random bursts of laughter, the cottonwood floating in the breeze all added to the beauty of my grand daughter's "wishes".  In the distance I could see her running ahead on the sidewalk.  For an instant I thought she was going to step out into the street and I nearly yelled for her to stop.  Suddenly she plopped herself down, crossed her legs, and taking a deep breath raised her arms above her head and gently brought them down in front of her into a Dhyana Yoga pose. 

It would have been so easy to have rejected an evening walk that day. To think I might have missed it all a few hours ago -   the value in wishing for nothing, fuel for the soul hand gestures, and Peace at the curbs edge.

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