Lost on Purpose

I like when the paved road becomes a dirt road. I like it even more when the dirt road becomes a trail. My favorite is when the trail becomes a slim clearing and then … that slim clearing disappears.

… which to some is the end of the road…

BUT … to others it is just the beginning.

I like exposed ground beneath my feet; moist dirt, bumpy pebbles, protruding roots. I like the raw, untethered land, unbroken ground, unhappening potential.

Find me on the less-beaten trail.
Find me off the trail.
Find me creating my own trail –
and there walking – long.

Getting lost on purpose is under-rated.

After all, who wants to only ever go where others have gone before?

Ponder that.

There is a time to follow –
and there is a time to stop following –
and lead.

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Green Again

For weeks this field has lived with its mouth wide open; gulping down mounds of snow that compiled during the blizzard. At last it soaks up the last layer of moisture and a full beard of green re-emerges.

Sometimes it takes time, but green always re-emerges.

The sunbeams dance off this plot of land to showcase its’ transition. It has become a field again, freshly liberated from the persona of being a stretch of winter on display.

Winter doesn’t last forever.

The soil is saturated. You can all but hear the buzz of new things racing to the surface. Sprouts will explode up out of the soil soon, and litter the land with new life.

Winter saturates the ground.

But the air is still cold. The sky will still swell at times with white flakes, the wet land will still become ice overnight. The ground presents itself ready, but the air needs more time.

Premature change ends in freezing.

The fading of winter is a process. But my heart is encouraged because the least I know is that something is changing. I am seeing green again. I have drunk to capacity of winter. The last layer of it is being soaked up.

Green again.

The Boy with the Bubbles

I was taking a walk recently and saw a boy standing in his driveway blowing bubbles. He had brown knickers on and a shaggy blue shirt. He looked to be about six years old. His hair was dark and his eyes intent. Bubbles.

My sidewalk steps neared his bubble terrain and I noticed a faint sound of speaking coming from his mouth. His sense of personal space, some imaginary drama, was apparent and I obliged to cross the street and walk on the other side.

It was a kind gesture on my part, but not entirely sincere. I was actually quite curious what he was experiencing and feared that my nearness would squash it. I slowed down and leaned into his mumblings as I passed by. To my surprise, I found that he was talking to each and every bubble until it popped, and then he would start again.

Blow the bubble.
Forge a connection.
Let the bubble pop.
Start over.

I marveled.

Have I ever seen someone so successfully living in the present? I mean, why forge a connection with a bubble that is going to pop? And why not blow your brains blowing a thousand bubbles all at once?

Living in the present – on display.

I have been very busy the last few months. Racing, chasing, pushing, striving, diving, cartwheeling – to get stuff done.

This season, however, I want to stop and take a lesson from the boy with the bubbles. I am challenging myself to be present; forge a connection with whatever, whomever, is in front of me.

This is a my season’s greeting: The boy with the bubbles invites you to step out of the raw current of stress and engage in the moments of your life.

Friends, let’s not let “busy” rob our joy or validate our excuses for misery. Let’s determine to enjoy ourselves – one fleeting bubble at a time.

Purple Peppers

I met a man last week who grows purple peppers. His stand was located at the back corner of our local market. I was exiting when his sign caught my eye, “Homegrown Purple Peppers!” My posture perked up and I thought to myself, “I am about to see what I have never seen before!”

My eyes perused the scene for purple and then suddenly I realized that my excitement had drawn the eyes of another to me. Then we met. The farmer behind that stand and me. Simple eye contact was enough to know that we both value an invitation out of the ordinary; an invitation people were likely walking passed all day long.

This weathered man with his wrinkles, bright eyes and queer sign motioned me to his stand and I humbly obliged. He then pulled a basket out from under the table and said to me, “These are my darkest purple peppers, and these are for you.”

I stared wide-eyed for a moment and then unashamedly made some loud and happy noise. Twisting those purple peppers in the air, I adored them like diamonds and then plopped them into my bag with a broad smile and satisfied sigh.

The man chuckled. Our eyes met again – as we realized that we had both just made a new friend.

Two grins. Departure.

When I got into my car afterwards my first thought was, “That interaction could not have happened online.” Odd thought? Perhaps … but its something I’ve been thinking about.

I heard about a man recently who was very lonely. As a result he decided that he was going to start choosing human interaction whenever it was his choice. This meant going into the bank teller instead of using the drive through ATM, shopping in person instead of online, stopping at the cash toll booth to look the person in the eye and say “hi,” … and so on.

In his own account, his feelings of isolation and loneliness began to dissipate. The interactions were not deep, meaningful, or profound. They were just interactions.

Face to face interactions with people breed something in our lives that cannot be fabricated any other way.

Food for thought.
Purple food – for thought.

🙂

Tension

“All music is made from tension.”

In the tension of my own life, I dare myself to stop and listen.

Stop talking.
Stop panicking.
Stop making noise.
Stop trying to fix it.
Stop demanding to understand it.
Stop working to maneuver over it, under it, around it – anything but – through it.

There is this temptation to just cut the chord and be done with it, unknowingly cutting its ability to sing. Instead, I hold myself still and choose to listen. I find that I’m not very good at listening; most often consumed by my own anxious noise. Yet in the practice of listening I begin to hear tones around me that offer to lead me out; tones that are swelling to imminent release.

Tension and release make music.
The only way to get release – is to let go.
Working, striving, pushing, pressing – only creates more – tension.

So what if I let go? Dared to ride the tension into its release instead of wishing it away?

Friends, let’s let go.
Let’s learn to listen.
To just let it happen.
To let life shake free of a stack of events
– and become to us a song.

Alive in the tension.
Alive in the release.

Alive to the music of our lives.