Friday, March 25, 2016

If You Look Carefully Enough

I wasted a bunch of my time this week, and I almost wasted some of yours' as well.  You see, all week I've been working on a piece that I was fired up about.  I was going to break character a little, write in a more urgent tone, be passionate, make a difference.  Something made me angry, hurt my feelings, gave me low self-esteem and, well, I wanted you to know it.  I wanted my blogger buddies to get excited about it, feel my pain, rally around my cause.

This morning I read it aloud as I often do in my quiet dining room, ready to make some final edits and 'wow' you and...

"Do you really want the boys to read this someday?"  Maybe the voice of reason or caution or God or that irritating other-one-me or just a whisper in the wind.  It got my attention.

"No," I said aloud to all of them - just to be sure.

I deleted it. 

Oh, I considered leaving it as a draft, the theme is solid and there is great emotion and such, but... no, if I want to approach it again I'll try a different angle.  As I looked it over it that last time, I noticed it was riddled with pop references and social media jabs and television references, dripping with political overtones and, well, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but, none of them will matter in a couple of decades, hell, even just a couple years, really.

What will matter is this aged shamrock that grows on the shelves in the dining-room.  It's a very dynamic plant, drooping dramatically when it needs water and opening and closing its little three leaf clusters with the sun.  Sporadically, and with little evidence of pattern, it blooms these little white bells.

Next to it, one shelf up a spider plants sits.  It, on a different but just as inconsistent rhythm, too, blooms on long tendrils that dance in the heat from the air-vent, nearly in the middle of the room sometimes.  It'll matter, too.

Can you see them there, hanging down on the right?  They make these pretty little white flowers with yellow stamens that eventually wither and produce another plant ready to carry on, elsewhere.

Not to be outdone our Easter Lily thing (I am not a botanist) has just today begun to unfurl it's flowers.  It should blossom by Sunday, showing off its timeliness, to its erratic friends.

All of this happening at eye level and under my very nose and I, well, I hammer away bitter and ugly words, divisive and mean-spirited words.  Even now, as I look around here I hang my head in shame.

How did I miss this?  How much more have I been missing?

I look outside and... words fail as I try to describe to you my own bewilderment in my own short sight.

Off in the distance, beyond the red shed and giving shadow to the boys' lean-to, a row of ornamental pears trees, saplings - sticks, really - thirteen years ago, towers in bloom above that corner of the yard.  I don't know if you can see it right.

I'll head out there so I can get a better picture.

Yes, thousands of these on three trees not sixty yards away and I am writing about how hurt I am.  What a stupid thing to do.

I remember something I've noticed over the years on the sunset side of the house.  I head over there, across the greening lawn, underneath the red buds of the maples, soon to transform into the helicopters that delight five and fifty-five year old boys and men.

The first spring we were in this house, the spring I planted the pear trees and screened the porch, the first year I had to mow the lawn a noticed a row of familiar looking long-leafed plants.  One butter yellow daffodil, the little ones I've heard called "paper" or "pin" daffodils, bloomed there by the air conditioner.

None have bloomed since, but, I tend them, fold down their leaves and string them up when they get tired and let them take another rest to try again the coming Spring.  Every fall I wonder if I should dig up the bulbs and replant them on the sunrise side of the house.  I never do, I like how hopeful and timeless they are, never getting the sun they need, but looking again each year.  It is a good story.

I stand up from the awkward position I'm in and saw this n the side of the neighbor's house.

I walk around the front of the house.  The dogwoods are waking up, the red "burning" bushes I trimmed way back and have been concerned about are showing some life, and...

A miniature lilac bush I, honestly, had little hope for when I planted it eight or ten years ago.  It's thrived to my surprise.  Here it is budding, if you look carefully you can see the structure of the blossoms yet to come.  I took a sniff of one and, yes, there was a hint of the perfume that will fill the garage in a few weeks, that will fill the dining-room when I cut some and put them in a Mason jar and that will fill me of memories a lilac tree just outside the windows of the house I grew up in.

 All this I missed because of my anger.

I know that the renewal of Spring, the "new life" theme, the awakenings message, is clich├ęd at best pedestrian at the worst.  I'm gonna stick with it today, though.  Being blind to this perennial beauty is more my sin this year.  I blame my anger, I blame the funk that winter puts me in, I blame everything but myself it seems...

... I just wasn't looking carefully enough.

From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ..."

"Man. I am awesome today."

I'll let time and tide determine who said that...

I understand that the final irony here is that this is, of course, Holy Week.  Perhaps, that is where my angst stems from.  I dunno.  It's funny, those words still echo, "Do you really want the boys to read this someday?" I am glad I heard it.  These words today, up above there

God's Peace this weekend, thanks for stopping by.


  1. I am a fan of posts written while angry or upset. Raw and authentic is meaningful and significant.

  2. I have have deleted some bitter posts myself. I have never regretted it.

  3. Hmm, I'll break the tie by voting for spring life instead of anger. I really like this one. Besides, I guess I just assume that all Americans are angry and upset these days....

  4. That lilac bush in the house where you grew up was a Mother's Day gift from ALL of my children and was deliberately planted under our bedroom window where i could smell it when it bloomed each year. I hated to leave it when we moved but it was too big to dig up. I am glad you went with spring blooms instead of discord.