Where the Wildflowers Grow.

Mia had a cross country race on Saturday. Before every race, we walk the course. I walked alongside her and the other parents with their children in her age group.

There was a part of the track that was covered with shade from the hillside and trees, bushes and plants. It felt like a tunnel through the wild. But at one point, in the dark, the sun found a way in. Mia pointed to its rays of light like lazer beams through the holes in the leaves. She stopped to comment on beauty of it. And I shared in her sentiments.

This is how I feel right now. I feel like I’m trekking through the wilderness covered in shade. The terrain is rough, rocky and “unpredictable” (the word Mia used to describe the race that day). But here I am, walking along with one of the loves of my life, on a beautiful path;  and although it’s dark, the light never fails to show up and be known.

I acknowledge this part of the journey. I no longer wish to fight it or swat it away like the annoying fly that likes me. I will walk through it knowing I am loved, I am not alone, and the light will always find a way in. I walk forward knowing I will walk out into an open field under the sun where the dragonflies swarm and the wildflowers grow.

 

“You belong among the wildflowers. You belong somewhere you feel free.”  

~ Tom Petty ~

 

Painting with Punctuation.

I am a creature who thrives on creation. I need to change my setting, create new art and grow things. I have a craving for white walls, green plants, semi-colons and music: a few things I realized I needed in order to grow and feel alive.

The walls in my living room are an extremely light blue-gray. But they are not light enough. I want blinding-bright-light. The whitest-white that screams – clean! The perfect backdrop for a vibrant green. Green plants which provide clean air and bloom with life. I want my home to feel awake and alive. But clean. I need cleanliness and order. Life can be so messy, especially with three children. However, more plants means more dirt. I want more cleanliness and more dirt? What a contradiction!

It was just last night, I vacuumed a pile of dirt in the hallway. I carried the succulent in my hands and I bumped into Mia, or she bumped into me, either way – the plant toppled over and dropped to the floor.

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Recently, I took the children to the nursery and bought succulents (four small and one medium sized), an Aloe plant (which I guess is a succulent too), and a plant with blue flowers that supposedly attracts butterflies. We welcomed these plants into our home along with the herbs growing in mason jars on windowsills. There are a few spots in our home blessed with direct sunlight: the windowsills in the living room and the small balcony hidden behind lengthy blinds and a rusty colored couch. Yesterday, I put our plants with flowers on the balcony – which is more like a ledge – to bask in the sun. I think about putting more plants on the ledge, but worry the squirrels will knock them over. The squirrels are everywhere: along the walls, on the patios and in the trees. They have us surrounded. There are limits to what I can achieve with plants. Maybe what I’m really after is a blank canvas and something to paint with.
I guess I could paint with punctuation, instead of plants. And the squirrels wouldn’t eat my words. My words struggle to capture another tail: the elusive semi-colon. The act of dotting a comma is foreign to me. It seems sinful, yet sophisticated. Semi-colons have an arrogance about them. They’ve taunted me with their knowledge; the many things I do not know or have forgotten; I’ve been afraid to misuse them; I don’t want to abuse them. And I don’t want to appear as though I know what I’m doing; I don’t. But, I long for the confidence and the day I’ll use all of the available tools to get there.

Music is another tool I need to create but often forget about. I’ve been thinking up a plan to get music streaming through every room of our two-bedroom condo. But I have yet to follow through.

Last Sunday morning, I longed for a peaceful beginning: music, coffee and quiet children. I walked over to the Block Rocker, a large speaker near the fireplace, and sat on top of a stack of boxes beside it. The box I sat on, a black round hat box with a white floral pattern, was full of cords used to connect, energize and amplify sounds and images. Abe stood nearby, at the coffee table, very close to the speaker. I switched the block on and connected my phone via bluetooth. I pushed play and “Love Me Do” burst through with voracious volume. Abe jumped in fright and screamed with fear. His little arms reached out for me. I turned the volume down, grabbed Abe and put him in my lap. Our weight broke through the hat box. I laughed, stood up and held Abe in my arms. The music played at a comforting volume as I soothed Abe with a waltz around the living room. I heard a violin playing in the background. The instrument came to life as Alana wove the bow along the strings in her bedroom.

Two rooms filled with music. It was not a peaceful beginning, or day for that matter, but music played and my craving settled for just a moment. I’m working to satisfy the rest. The walls are not white – not yet – but they will be. But I hear music playing, I see greens growing and I am painting with punctuation.