A cool thing happens when you change how you look at something.  You see it differently. Imagine that. Sometimes you see something in a new light when you least expect it and it allows you to appreciate so many other things. That was today for me on a walk in the sun with my pup. A walk I do everyday, sometimes twice but somehow today was different.

I live in a suburban land of little houses made of ticky tacky, though my house doesn’t exactly fit it. I mean, it is my house after all. I couldn’t be normal if I tried.

This neighborhood, though it is mine, is weird to me. It is part of  a world where dandelions are deemed dangerous. Too many weeds in your yard and the Khaki Ninjas or a Karen will come to you and tell you to fix it. Luckily, there are no official ninjas in my neighborhood as we don’t have an HOA to reckon with but everywhere around me does. My neighbors hate dandelions because they have to. I don’t. I can see some things differently.

I see people in the neighborhood on trash day driving around picking up the large items someone no longer wants. I see a bit of hope from them knowing that maybe they can fix it. I so get that. Monkey makes me remember hanging the soda cans from game night on the chain link fence for the homeless guy when we lived in ABQ decades ago.  I can see that one man’s trash is treasure and all that.

I think about the guy across the street who lives in his RV because he’s fallen on rough times. The pile of stuff he is amassing because I imagine he doesn’t quite know what else to do. I also know someone will be calling the “authorities” on him when there really isn’t anywhere for him to go. In fact a ninja Karen did while I was writing this…

I understand that I am not that far off from being in his shoes, especially when I consider the times we are all living in. There are a ton of us facing economic, social and emotional devastation from the enemy we can’t see. Some folks have lost everything in a few short months. These months haven’t  really felt short at all, thanks.

I suppose one of my bright moments in these uncertain times is that they are forcing me to look at things a bit differently. I have to, for my survival.  I am teaching my normally pandemic prepared brain full of anxiety to be…optimistic. It is giving me a headache… or maybe it’s actually because my ponytail is too tight?

Optimism can come when we look at things differently. Start small.

When I look at dandelions the first thing I see is yellow. Bright, happy yellow. The second thing I see is usually a bee hanging out on or near one. That is a good thing. Though I’ve been stung so many times I sometimes resent those little buggers, especially the one who was fighting the wizard mantis all those years ago…

But, I know we need them, bees are essential employees.

I then, through what I have been trained to do, see a weed.

Today on my regular walk with my pup, I saw differently. Today I got to see instead of a weed, a wish. 

Those wishes don’t just sprout right away though, they come toward the end. Their windswept wishes come at a time when the dandelion has bloomed, fed the bees and knows their time is done. Full circle. Kinda morbid..don’t go there right now monkey.

Today I saw a field of dandelions. The dreaded destructors of suburban lawns normally decimated by weed killers and ripped from the ground have managed to thrive in a space not to far from home. I took a moment and truly appreciated the color, and anticipated what was coming, a field of dreams. I have shifted my mindset at least for today, because today I chose to see wishes on the way.

Today I know it is going to take some time before I get to make one, and I can be patient.

I may not be able to do just about anything that I want right now. Nobody can. I am not clamoring for the nail or hair salon. I am not anticipating a return to “normal”. I am not clamoring to go shopping for anything I once thought I needed.

I am waiting to see the world full of wishes.

I remember that I am blessed. I remember that I am not the guy on hard times across the street. I remember that there is plenty of food in my house even if it isn’t the food I want right now. I am reminded that it is ok to be sad. I know I am not alone.  Even more so, I am grateful that I am so very lucky when so many of us aren’t.

If I was a dandelion I think I’d be in the field of a bee tender, lucky and bright and quietly helping. Look for the helpers.

So what can I do to force my optimism, to enjoy the field I am in? Today I am patient, I am kind. I am those things to myself as well as all those around me. I remember that sometimes a weed is really a wish in waiting, you just have to give it time.

Today I take a deep breath and smile. The wishes are coming.

 

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Learning to live unafraid.

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