A Peek Outside

I like my cave.

My cave is warm and filled with coffee and the occasional chocolate.

No one lives here but me. I am enough.

I create things of beauty and light and wonder.

I don’t wonder if I am good enough or original enough or artsy enough.

My creations make me happy.

But then, I peek outside, and see All The Others do All The Things, Things that are BIGGER and BETTER than I can ever make them, and I feel so small. And my creations are nothing but misshapen lumps in my hands. I let them go and they drop with a thud.

I shuffle back into my cave.

My cave that is no longer warm but cold and I huddle in a corner.

But now instead of just me, a great many Others fills my cave.

They crowd me.

I am lonely.

But then.

Then.

My creations peek into my cave. They call to me.

I resist. I remember the small feelings, and how they can hurt.

One by one, my creations return to me. I refuse to see them. But they refuse to go until they are seen.

And little by little, I see them.

And I see they are not misshapen lumps after all. They are just different from All the Others’ Things.

And even so, their form is not the point, not the goal in itself. Creating them is.

I am happy when I create them, and in that moment, the creation is a thing of beauty and light and wonder.

I remember this truth, and I crowd out All the Other voices.

And I see that All the Other voices is just my own insecure voice echoing around my cave.

And when I stop speaking my insecurities, they disappear and I am just me again.

In my warm cave filled with coffee and the occasional chocolate.

And I see that I am enough.

That Moment

Today is officially spring.

And, to mark the occasion, the magnolia tree outside my living room’s picture window burst into color, seemingly over night. The change in view was so dramatic, I blinked at the tree for a few moments, wondering where it came from (admittedly, I hadn’t had my coffee yet, so my brain was still asleep).

View from inside my living room. Looking out my picture window is better than TV, especially in the height of summer with all the woodland critters out and about.

Of course, the tree didn’t exactly bloom over night. For months, it was there, all awkward and spindly, slowly waking up after winter, grumbling and stretching and feeling for the sunshine in all the gray.* 

A lot of unseen processes skittered about beneath the surface, preparing the tree to flower at just the right time. Despite the unusually warm winter. Despite the other flowers that bloomed prematurely in February. Despite all other reason for it to bloom earlier because conditions seemed right, it waited to bloom when it was ready.

When that moment arrived, it was startling. It was as if before that moment, I only saw the idea of the tree. A shadow of its true tree self. And, though it took its time to show me what it really is, it’s still beautiful in its own right, and just as beautiful as the other trees that bloomed before it.

Magnolia tree blossom. I had to take the picture quickly because the birds and squirrels were angry that I disrupted their hang out.

*Note: this may not be scientifically accurate.

Thoughts on a Quiet Morning

I haven’t had a quiet morning like this one in some time. Gonna be honest, I’m enjoying this moment, as I am savoring my morning coffee, which is perfectly smooth today, if I do say so myself.

Outside my window, it’s misty and gray. My dear husband is depressed looking at it. He says it’s dying outside, and his poor woodland friends are slowly starving to death. (Which is kinda funny if you knew how much he feeds them all. The squirrels are as big as cats. Heck, maybe they ate the cats.) To me, it looks romantic out there. Like, the setting of a gothic romance, kind of romantic. Like, Heathcliff on the moors, romantic (here in Indiana, our “moors” are just flooded harvested fields, but, whatever.)

I say my observation out loud, and Hubs turns and looks at me, and wonders if I’m broken. (You see, I don’t normally use the word “romantic” in conversation, preferring the comfort of explosions to anything warm and fuzzy.) So, the hubs takes my temperature, and concocts various household remedies to stave off what just might be the flu or a brain aneurysm. I just laugh and sigh.

Hubs means well. He just doesn’t quite understand that during this time of year, I need to believe in the magic of the everyday. With the crazy that’s in my face (almost literally) every working day from Black Friday till December 26th (and sometimes beyond) I need to believe in these little bits of magic. Like the magic of watching the world outside slowly wind down and go to sleep. I like seeing the water droplets clinging to the naked branches outside, and can’t wait for that moment when I wake to see that those droplets are frozen in place. It’s like seeing a moment preserved.

In these moments, I feel a little like Mulder in X-Files: “I want to believe.” I want to believe in the beauty of the everyday. I want to believe that most people want to be generous and kind. I want to believe that there are still noble and virtuous people in this world that are worth fighting for. I want to believe that there are others out there who can enjoy the magic of contentment and satisfaction outside of material things. I want to believe.

So, here I am, looking outside, thankful for this time of rest and quiet that are essential for those times when growth and strength are required, and am enchanted that nature instinctively “gets this.” It also reminds me to stay curious, because there’s always more going on behind the scenes, more beneath the surface. There may be other things that motivate the craziness I’ve seen, more things that I have a right to know or understand, and upon which I should tread lightly.

For now, I have my smooth, black coffee, my view of a magical world, and the promise of a day that just might surprise and delight me. And, if not, I can always watch a heart-warming holiday movie. Like, Die Hard.

Just Finish

I love that moment when the end is in sight. It gives me that second wind that I didn’t know I had. It’s that feeling of sprinting the last 100 yards of a run and believing that I’m almost flying; of pushing that one last set of weights and knowing “I got this;” of seeing the culmination of my many well-laid plans come together, more or less, and knowing that whatever the result, I know that I did my best. Self-doubt has already been burned away, completely destroyed in the face of seeing the end. And, at that moment, there is no next time yet, so I don’t need to reflect on my performance, nor strategize how to run faster, push harder, and, overall, be better.

That moment is all about feeling unstoppable, and reveling in the knwledge that I’ve already won, I just need to finish.

Just. Finish. And then, celebrate your success, whatever it may be.

{Shinedown hasn’t made a music video of their studio recording of “Fly From the Inside,” but I enjoyed this youtube interpretation of that song.}

That Moment

I love that moment when my eyes open to a new day. My consciousness is still part of the unhindered world of dreams and imagination, and has not yet encountered the limiting beliefs of the outside world’s version of “reality,” which is just a lump sum of different kinds of excuses.

While in bed, before my feet touch the floor, I am still part of the infinite. Until I make a choice, I am the potential of millions of possibilities that can happen throughout the day, a part of a million worlds. For every world that has me going with the tide, and mindlessly going through the motions of what looks like “life” thinking that “this is as good as it gets,” an alternate world exists where I accomplish the goals I set for myself, where I live my dreams simply because I have decided to make them real.

That’s the world I want to live in. That is my version of reality. I hope to live in that world every day, and I hope to see you there, too.