Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Car wash

Splash - plink

"Ha! Car wash!"

Looking up from reading the morning paper, I notice that Ezra smiles widely in his joy.  His fingers, which recently were running a frost-blue car over the table, now flail open as if trying to use The Force in order to direct an object back to him.  That object is his car, now front fender down in his water glass, which of course is full of water.

Ezra wears his newspaper hat, painted blue.
My two-year-old son is full of funny puns these days.  He'll laugh, saying "I tooted."  Or, chuckle when he sees Daddy make a fish face with his pursed lips puckering hollows into his cheeks. Or, pull out laughing peals more quickly than painted strokes on canvas. And the result is as Van Gogh's sunflowers, whose vibrant yellows contrast upon themselves a sense of happiness, even if the world dances to darker notes.

Friend, do you feel the wash of laughter lighten your soul each day?  Let it ring out today and, for even just a moment, lift off the burdens that weigh upon your heart.  If you need inspiration, just think of Ezra's car wash and picture his smiling face.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spiraling possibility

Acorns Joey gathered on a recent nature walk.
The smooth, brown sheen of acorns glistens underfoot as much as those nuts crunch with each step. My four-year-old delights in gathering acorns in their great variety: some as colossal as a baby's tender foot, some dappled more yellow than Autumn's hue, some capped for an outing; others sleekly shaven, others blacker than India ink, others as petite as a newborn's smallest nail.  Joey bags them for further study at home, Ezra decapitates the ones still headed, Daddy minds them not until he steps on one, but Mommy rubs a thumb across the silken skin and admires the beauty that spirals from possibility.

Friend, we all feel the singularity that life brings to each one of us.  On a crowded subway car, bumping close to other travelers, we are as alone as the monk nestled in a crag on Meteora's lofty stones.  It is easy to feel isolated, uncared for, forgotten.  As time whirls by, we're left so caught up in our own place that we often forget that the faces we see have names, stories, worth.

A single, meadow-rooted tree, captured as the car quickens by, holds beauty.
Perhaps today, friend, you will take the time to really look at those around you - look for a name, a story, someone's worth you did not see before.  Maybe there's a long-ago friend that needs reminding that you care.  Maybe someone you see everyday needs the tender touch you've forgotten to give.  Maybe, friend, you can admire the beauty that spirals from possibility.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Singin' in the Sunshine

Ezra portrays his rendition of Gene Kelly's famous Singin' in the Rain dance scene admirably.  But, instead of raindrops pouring down, sunshine drips and pools.  My little toddler tips and taps and sings, "La, la, la..." with great heart.  All the while, a smile spreads like the spinning of an umbrella's arc when Gene has it in hand.

Just last night, a long-felt fever still radiated from Ezra's skin.  He was lounging around on his favorite, comfort pillows in a pose that oozed "I'm not feeling well." But, today, he is spry, even if a rough bark betrays his verge near croup.  And, how like Gene when he originally danced through the deluge!

Friend, do you wish for such gusto amid the torrents of life?  Even when we're ill or lonely, crestfallen or overwhelmed, friend, we can still start the slow steps of a happy dance.  We can still attempt to share joy with someone else.

A more positive demeanor does wonders for the world at large, too.  Just think of Ezra merrily prancing among halos of sunlight and let the smile seep through your burdens, today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flipping pages

Flipping pages, both boys intently stare at or randomly jabber about the pages in two different books.  Ezra's bare toes pop out from under the book's open yawn and barely peek over the couch's cushion; blue slippers encase Joey's feet and hang on for dear life as he taps the bookcase and jiggles in tune to his spirit's whirlwind beat.

Ezra changes from a book about a bear hunt to a slender dinosaur reference.

"Ezra, I will read it to you," Joey says as he puts down his hardback, which guides the reader through Roman numerals utilizing painted pigs - as many as duo milia (MM).  Just picking out words, such as color, Ezra, mommy, and paint, Joey would have a hard time telling Ezra much more than the letters on the page, but his desire is admirable.

Running about the room, Ezra ends the chase by throwing the book behind the couch.  Joey's prompt smack of Ezra's noggin sends him to his room, crying and screaming.

Life is filled with such adorable moments - ones you want to press into a book and savor on a rainy day; with such beauty and kindness.  But, as quickly as one flips a page, the moment clouds into such chaos and woe.  Only, then, to return to sweet smiles, remorseful kisses, and eager enjoyment of the day's delights.

Friend, is your day like this?  Sometimes, you feel no matter which way you turn the pages of a book, you cannot make sense of what you see there.  Other times, reading is smooth and delightful - you are eager to get to the next page.

Today, I'm hoping more for the latter for Joey & Ezra, for me, and especially for you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Palsy-walsy Spirits

"No, no, no, fly!" Ezra says while dramatically waving his chubby little hand in the air.

A fruit fly or two circle his head while eager to dive into his snack.  Whether Ezra eats french vanilla yogurt with homemade granola or chocolate ABC cookies or sweet grapes, it matters not to the pomace fly.  He is content to sip the flavorful waft above the food as much as dining on the flesh itself.

As a result, we wave our hands or swatters exuberantly.  We pour little viles full of vinegar and ensnare the opening with perforated plastic wrap ready to trap the poor small flies.  Even bagging fresh fruit, slipping ripened tomatoes into the refrigerator, or covering the compost container seem to be futile efforts.

This time of year often brings visitors from the family Drosophilidae.  They are thick as dew upon over-ripe tomatoes, dangling on the garden vines near the house.  And despite the friendliness suggested in their family, it is not so.  For, they are more nuisances than loving guests.

So, too, the ghosts bundled away in baggage we lug with us year after year.  So, too, one unkind or insincere comment out of a million salutations.  So, too, pains long ago felt, but fresh as new wounds.  So, too...

Could you add to this list of nuisances that plague your current experiences, friend?  Do you, too, brandish a hand flagrantly?  Are false friends hovering in the background, waiting to prey upon your faults or mistakes?

Fear not and let your smoldering cease to consume yourself.  Let the smoke die down for you, surround yourself with more favorable advocates, and enjoy the fruits of life before they fade away.