Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wednesday Wish (105); Live With Imagination

body painting art by johannes stotter

What’s the difference between life and imagination?

Where you decide to put your heart.

*          *          *

I imagined he was smiling at me, with kindness, with love.
And so he was.

I imagined it was a sunny day even when the blues grew darker, and darker still. For her eyes set sparkles free, inviting me to catch them like shooting stars. And his, still more. And hers, more still. And suddenly, the blue day became light. Because my imagination told me so.

I dreamed things would work out.
So they had no choice
But to do as I imagined they would.

“Miss Brynne?”
“Yes, little one?”
“Are you a kid or a grown up?”
“Hmm, let me see,” I said, tapping my chin. “Today, I am a kid.
“Just as I thought,” she said, as she ran off to play.

I drove everywhere that day.
Up the streets.
Down the avenues.
Seattle saw me and my car all over the place.
And everywhere I went, people honked and waved.
This is the friendliest city I have ever met!
And I have travelled many places.
But did you see the Tupperware you left upon your car's roof all day?
said the cynic with a knowing furrow upon his face.
Why no, I said, with a dreamy smile.
Ahh, yes. Now I understand.
Seattle must’ve been happy to see I was eating so well.

I used to be afraid to fly
Because in a past life I died in a plane crash.
You did?
Uh huh.
So what changed?
I listened to my fear,
Let it teach me why it was there.
And when I did,
I grew compassion
For myself.
And that fear?
It went away.

*          *          *

What’s the difference between life and imagination?

Just your heart.
just Your heart.
just your Heart.

My Wish this week is that you put your Heart where it wants to be. 
In a world you Wish yourself to be … in a world that awaits … in a world that already is … just an imagination’s jump away.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wednesday Wish (104); Pass It On

photo by abf via

When he saw my car, he didn’t know I was having an eventful morning, that I had already iced two cakes and still, my daughter wouldn’t eat her breakfast because, among other things, there was a white mink in the mousetrap. He didn’t know I was hosting three authors for dessert and that after dropping my daughter off at school I was headed to pick up one of those authors at the airport. And he certainly didn’t know that when we finally got into the car and out the driveway that my neighbor was having a crisis of her own, the whole series of events making us terribly late.

Even though I had never met my neighbor, I stopped to ask if she needed help dragging her huge bag of garbage to the end of the road.
“No, no,” she said, almost breathless. “But there is something else you can help me with. Could you call a locksmith? I’m locked out.”
            “A locksmith?” I had no idea where a locksmith might be in my new little New England town and the thought of leaving her outside in her bathrobe, boots and parka in sub zero snowy weather left me almost speechless. “Sure. I’ll find you a locksmith. But are you sure I can’t do anything else for you? What if you wait in my house to stay warm?”
            “No, no. I’m fine,” her face looking half frozen. “Just a locksmith.”
            “You sure? Just a locksmith?”
            “I’m sure. Just a locksmith,” her teeth now chattering as her flannel nightgown fluttered in the breeze.

So I drove off blinking hard, wondering if I was really living my day, not just making it all up.

He didn’t know any of this as I sped by. And how could he—an innocent police officer enjoying his uneventful morning until mine collided to contradict his.

As soon as I saw his lights, I pulled off to the side of the road, grateful that I had already made the appropriate calls for my neighbor.

            “Hello, Officer. I’m so sorry. You wouldn’t believe my morning ...”
            “I’m sure I wouldn’t.” He was formal and well spoken, a true police officer with confidence and command. And he didn’t seem to budge under my gentle emotional distress. “Do you know you were going 40 in a 25?”
            I gulped. I didn’t. But I wasn’t about to argue. Instead, I apologized and begged for a warning, telling him at a pace equivalent to speed dial how new I was to the community and hoping the story of my white mink, or my neighbor freezing outside in distress, or the icing of my two cakes or even my trip to the airport after dropping my daughter off at school … some of it, any of it, might help. And I swear that when I did, his eyebrows rose.
I gave him my insurance and registration cards, and waited. And waited. And waited. And soon, just as I was sure my daughter would miss her entire morning at school and I would miss picking Charles up on time, he got out of his car and headed for mine.
            “Please watch your speed in town, Ms. Betz. And tell your daughter’s teacher I made you late.”
            “Oh thank you, Officer, thank you so much. As for telling the teacher, though, no way! I can’t tell her that,” I said with an overflowing smile. “I have to preserve my upstanding reputation and a run-in with the law would never do.”
            He handed me my paperwork.
            “You know … Paul,” I found his name tag, “I want you to know that I write about the little things that make life magic and your gift of kindness today won’t end with me. I’ll be passing it on. Promise.”
            “Wait, wait,” he said, giving me a double take, “you write about the little things that make life magic?”
            “Uh huh,” my eyes now sparkling.
            “You really do?” he asked again.
            I nodded. Like a golden retriever. “I do!”
            “Well, isn’t that amazing,” he said shaking his head with a smile.
“It is?” I asked.
“It is! Because guess what? I do, too! Now if that isn’t a beautiful gift from the universe, I don’t know what is!”

            And right then and there, we both started to laugh. I shed my stress, he shed his title and for a few beautiful moments, Officer Paul and I were just souls on a journey sopping up our serendipitous connection.

            “I’m probably going to have to write about this.” I yelled out to him as he made his way back to his car.
            “I was about to say the same thing to you, too, Brynne,” he yelled back with a big delightful grin.

And then we laughed some more. In our own cars. Mine with a new peace, crawling the speed limit back to my neighbor, to insist on warming her up. His driving off with a lighter feel … yep, that magical feel the universe shares every time you heed its call. And I think it’s safe to assume that we both drove away happy, happy that we had made a new friend.

*          *          *

Pass it on. Pass on the kindness in your heart even when it isn’t appropriate or the rules say otherwise. Do it because it is right in your heart, right in your soul, right in that place that believes in magic and the goodness of people. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wednesday Wish (103); Protect Your Magic

photo by zev at fiddleoak.com
“Did you remember the cupcakes?” said my best friend Jenny, twirling her braids and chewing her day old gum.
          “Yep,” I said, proud of myself for not accidentally-on-purpose forgetting and then gobbling them up like a belly-happy beast.
          “And what’d ye tell your mom?”
          “That we were looking for four leaf clovers. Same as I always do. What’d ye tell yours?” I kinda knew, but it was what we always asked each other. As if to be sure neither one of us had been forced to reveal even a smidgen of our secret.
          “Nothing much. Going outside to play. She isn’t like your mom. She’d probably make me stay inside if I told her we were hunting for—“
          “Shhh—someone might hear you!” One could never be too safe.
          “Thanks, that was close. Good thing your brother wasn’t around. He’d probably have me in a head lock by now. ‘Say it! Say it, Jenny, or I’ll rip it off….’” Jenny rubbed her neck, her eyebrows peaked over her bright brown eyes. “He’s a bully, that brother of yours.”
          “I know. Come on, though. Twilight is comin’ fast and you know we only have a little bit of time before dinner.”
          “Our dinner or theirs?”
          I giggled, “Ours, silly. Fairies don’t eat like us. They just nibble on forest treats all day long. And anyway, I’m sure they’ve been watching us for the past few minutes. Bet you my favorite purple pen that their stomachs are grumbling right about now. Once a fairy gets a whiff of these cupcakes, they won’t be able to focus on anything else.”
          “Ya,” said Jenny with a grin, “I bet you’re right. I know I can’t.”
          I giggled right back, “I love you, Jenny. And I love trying to find our real kin together. Not another person in the world I’d wanna do it with.” I reached for her hand and squeezed it good 'en hard.
          “You mean you wouldn’t wanna meet your first fairy holdin’ hands with Jon Foster instead?”
          I made a barfing noise and within seconds we were a  mess on the forest floor, me throwing leaves and Jenny huckin’ acorns, the two of us bursting at the seams.

*          *          *

My Wish for you this week? To protect your magic. You see, sometimes we come across a magic in our lives, either in our imagination or in our waking world, that changes everything—that lightens our heavy. For some of us it’s an afternoon of fairy hunting with a wide-eyed imaginative little friend but it can also be as simple as an idea for a book, or a painting, or a new business. For others it might be a belly-flutter when someone walks by, or a lovely heart-pounding when a certain reminder happens upon our path. No matter what it is though, we must always—always—remember one important thing. We must protect those magics in our lives. We must keep them growing and even thriving. Like a fairy in the wood or a whisper in the breeze, magic can be elusive and if it is not treated with the utmost care, it can slip through our fingers, leaving us once again with a heavy load upon our backs. So this week, protect your magic. Give the magic in your life room to flourish. And share with others only when you no longer need to defend what you know to be true.