Day 366: Growing

It’s NYE. My mom wanted to plant a Magnolia tree in her front yard. Something to grow into a comforting space. She imagines a bench under it with a children’s reading library stand to borrow books from on the curb. Bennett helped her break ground. There is wonder in picturing something new, something good to come.

Goodnight 2020. You’ve taught us much. You’ve showed me wonder under dire circumstances. You’ve reminded me the power of thought and perspective. And how, like the body, the mind needs exercise too. Thank you for the hundreds of wonders you’ve shared with me. Blessings and abundant wonders in 2021.

Day 6: A Canceled Flight, A New Perspective

When our plane touched down in Oklahoma, I was sleeping. Like one of those tilt-your-head-back and catch the flies kind of sleeps. Reader: I never sleep in public places (and half the time I have trouble sleeping in bed). So you can bet I was some kind of exhausted.

Our flight the night before had been canceled due to mechanical errors, so American rebooked us for the next morning. At first I was annoyed (it was so AMERICAN of them….they do this to us a lot). But then I was relieved. One more day at home in California. One more day with family.

That night (the extra one) I went with my mom and dad to my dad’s work party. Since he retired from being a Principal, he became a banquet bartender at a fancy hotel. The hotel was throwing their annual holiday party. Last year I was able to go too — so it felt special to be able to go again.

During the loud ’00s dance music, and while my dad played Blackjack with fake money, my mom and I walked the property. We found a jacuzzi and slipped off our shoes, and shared a few moments together while looking at the stars. It was one of those picturesque scenes out of the movies — a mother and daughter connecting. With three other siblings, a husband, a dad, and a son, it’s rare for my mom and I to be able to just sit uninterrupted. And it was lovely. (It was also fun seeing my dad mingle with his hotel co-workers….he loves a good time.)

(As I write this my mom is FaceTime-ing me. She must know I’m writing about her!)

On our drive home to our little town of Stillwater, OK, from the airport, it felt good to be back. That’s a mini-miracle all on its own. Because to be honest, living here can sometimes feel….different. So the shift in perspective was a welcomed one.

And to really grasp today’s wonder, when I came home, our friends who were watching our cat and plants left us donuts. AND (the best yet) one of my orchids (one that I wasn’t sure about) sprouted a new branch. A teeny branch, which will grow into a full stem, sprouting new buds, to finally BLOOM. Orchids are my soul flowers. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about them this year.

Day 5: The Wonder of Tiny Seeds

“Come outside. I have to show you this,” my mom said.

I followed her outside to a little area of dirt next to the sidewalk I hardly ever notice. The patch is shaded and nothing grows there.

“Look closely,” she said.

I bent down and noticed between the coiled hose, a tiny sprout of something green.

“Back in October, after we carved pumpkins, I carried the seeds to the trash. One must have fallen off the plate, and now it has grown here.”

I looked closer, in awe, as there it was: the pumpkin seed still attached to the top of the sprout.

“Isn’t that amazing?”

In life, sometimes we plant seeds, and other times, something grows despite supposedly being “trash.”

Maybe the new year can bring a re-imagining about how we see failures in our own lives. If we open our eyes and look for the unexpected of what was once discarded, we might just find a gift.

Tiny pumpkin
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