Updated: Sep 10
A Red Poppy
"The Little Things"
I was so engrossed in my head the other day. Parking the car, my cell phone had turned off due to losing charge. The charger cord was not working. Distractions and unsettling topics swirling in my thoughts.
I spotted a group of older veterans sitting around a folding card table outside a pharmacy convenience store of which I was headed and immediately thought, “They will stop me as I go inside and ask for donations.” I didn’t want to be approached; I did not want to speak with anyone; I only wanted to purchase a new phone charger cord to return to my electronic way of life.
As I headed toward the store entrance, an older veteran approached me directly, wearing a military beret on his head, a scarf around his neck, and presented me a red poppy flower, one clearly lovingly handmade. I hesitated (really wanting to go inside the store), but I couldn’t avoid him without being impolite. He asked me to wear it proudly, and as I didn’t have money on me, I was not able to donate. However, his manner was almost courtly, and in a mere moment, my mind shifted into focus.
This…is life. This…is a reminder of our humanness, our spirit, our interaction with others. Not through electronics.
As I smiled and thanked him and entered the store, I hesitantly put the poppy on my dress and reflected. That small measurement of time, if it could even be called that; that instant, opened up a flood of other thoughts; the sacrifice of our veterans who served our countries though our lifetime and those of our parents, grandparents and beyond. Those who served in the war office, the battlefield, volunteering, doing their part to keep humanity continuing. Unbidden to my mind came a flash of Beauty and the Beast when the hag presents the prince with a flower and her kindness to be rejected. I almost did the same thing - I nearly put a cell phone charger cord as priority in front of sacrifice and kindness and a small request.
Slowing down is not easy. It is the hardest action to acknowledge and actually practice in an electronic world. However; we can rely on life as a training field; it never fails us should we stop and look around. Big or little curveballs directly our way, sometimes too quickly, and sometimes slow motion. I almost missed this lesson. Now, not only do I appreciate the little curveballs, but look forward to them to continue teaching. Slowing down; not missing the beauty around us.
I wore that red poppy with pride.
September 10, 2023
Cleo It was a simple moment at the pet store….choosing a feather Betta fish. Each like a flower; which one would resonate?
It took me back to the days when I had one in my office at work; nervous employees would sit across while being assisted and this tiny life brought a change to their demeanors. Calmness, ease, pause; taking a moment to breathe and play with the fish following their finger on the glass bowl. Taking delight when it would come to them swimming to the glass in curiosity. I didn’t quite know how it worked but it was humbling to see.
I chose a fish with Autumn colors – soft orange fins and a translucent blue rose body. The fin was full and attracted me. It meant something.
Bedrooms are a retreat, a refuge, your sacred space. All that means to refresh the soul. All in its place. I had reorganized mine the day before, taking joy in its simplicity and more space. Mine has old world European charm with white lace curtains of woodland animals, a charming cuckoo clock, an antique fireplace mantle, an oval mirror framed with wrought iron scrolls and roses. A trio of crystal singing bowls, Moroccan mosaic globes of softly lit blue and white. A good place – a good home for the fish.
Free of the confines of the container, it swam in the new bowl, expanding its tail and fins, literally dancing in the joy of more space. It caught my breath, memorizing moments of watching how the afternoon light reflected through the beauty of its colors, and his tail expanded fully. The freedom of feathering his tail with so much space was impactful.
One tiny life, so much beauty and you could feel its joy. So too with us.
Clearing our own space. Creating more space. Changing our environment even a little.
The potential is there - we can open our arms and dance to our joy as well.
August 22, 2023