Monday, May 11, 2015

Bloom When

It is mid-May, which in Colorado this year means flowers, sunshine...and snow. Yesterday, we had about four inches coating the landscape.

I looked into my backyard when it hit to at least enjoy the flora for a moment before it froze. Only one brave blossom had opened. It was a beautiful dark purple, with large leaves laced out wide. The others sat curled into buds, unwilling to risk opening.

The open flower fell to the ground when the snow came. But every single one of the other plants turned yellow without ever showing their faces.

It made me think about life. So often we want to wait until its safe to risk pursuing what we really want. When I get married....when the kids are older....when I've saved more...when I'm retired...when the economy turns around...when I can talk someone into going with me...when I lose weight...when I get better at it...

And in the meantime, we wait. Just, wait.

The problem is, we only get to live each day once, and not one person really knows what the next day will bring. When I think bravely, I'd rather bloom blue and early and leave a trace of color in the world than fade to yellow without ever having seen the sun. Because the snow will come for all of us, whether we open ourselves to this life or not.

I'm thankful for this one small reminder to live, and for
all the opportunities I've had to experience wonderful moments in this life. Blossom moments. For playing with kids in Cambodia, for eating amazing pizza in Vatican City, for sleeping late on a rainy Saturday, for snuggling kittens in my lap. I'm thankful for the wonder of watching whales leap from the ocean, waterfalls sail off cliffs, Christmas trees hovering over piles of bright presents. For the chance to be totally and utterly honest with friends over coffee, to laugh like a crazy person over old memories, to pursue dreams I can't make happen on my own, and to pursue those I can. For moments of success, yes. But also for moments of failure, because it means at least I tried. For roller coasters, for songs that make my heart expand beyond my chest, for painting classes, and for a delicious bite of chocolate. For all the moments that remind me to be open, to embrace the warmth of the sun, and to bloom not just where I'm planted, but when.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

(Sniff, Sniff)...Do You Smell That?

I'm not all about ragging on oneself, particularly publicly. But the truth is, I don't have a perfect body.
No, this is not my nose. While it probably works better
I can't say I'd trade.

I've come to accept this.

One particularly im
perfect part nose. It just doesn't work that well. This can be a good thing, like when I'm working with children and those around me start making the grotesque "I'm smelling a loaded diaper" face, because the person who smells it first has to take care of it. So, I change very few diapers.

But it also means I can miss out on some wonderful scents, or at least it takes them a long time to get to me. So when coffee is brewing, cookies are baking, or a Christmas tree is freshly cut, everyone around gets this blissful "I'm smelling my childhood" face, and I have to pretend until my lazy nose finally decides to perk up and sniff already.

If anything, this makes me appreciate those wonderful scents more. And one of my favorites: fresh bedsheets. I enjoy sleeping, although its another thing I'm not particularly good at, but still. There's something so great about lying down in cool sheets and poking your feet into the corners of the bed, then balling up a pillow and closing your eyes.

And then, you inhale, and you get that unique aroma of soap and Spring Breeze, or whatever scent your detergent is. It makes me anticipate dreaming of meadows, (I never actually have, but it's a nice thought as you drift off) and it makes something that is pleasant anyways feel special.

I've read a few historical of late and always amid the romance and fancy dress balls I'm thinking about how they didn't have Degree or Mitchum, didn't bathe all that often, and didn't have spearmint gum. I'd probably do better than most in that environment giving my lack of olfactory acuity, but I'm glad I will never find out. I don't even want to imagine the days before they had soaps with artificial meadow smells. I would miss that.

So, today I'm thankful for good smells, all of them, and particularly the aroma of fresh sheets. I'm thankful for the chemists in some lab who mixed ingredients until they came up with Meadow, and for my own washer and dryer, so I can enjoy that scent as often as I'm willing to do laundry. And yeah, I'm thankful for my mediocre nose because even I do get those whiffs of wonderful now and then.