Life has been challenging lately, hasn't it?
It seems there is no normal left. If media of all kinds can be believed, the world has become one filled with fear, division and hatred.
And yet . . . If I step outside that bubble that we all seem to live in, the one comprised of hours scrolling through social media and meal times accompanied by morning, noon and night mainstream news . . . if I step back into real life, the world I see is something else altogether.
The people on my block, my neighbours, come from all walks of life. On one side of me is a family who emigrated from Nigeria, Dad's self-employed, mom was a nurse, the boys are in high school, and their oldest daughter is in university, studying nursing, following in her mom's footsteps. On the other side is a family with two boys, grown now, who, when they were all young, introduced my boys to the joy of computer gaming and who's mom Andrea, grows plants from seed every year, creating a beautiful garden for the neighbourhood to enjoy.
There are seniors and single moms, families with small children and families with teenagers. Many ethnicities are represented in my neighbourhood, The Philippino ladies who run the 7-11 down the street know my kids (especially the girls) by name and will ask about them on the odd occasion I drop into the store. Walking my pup Milo the other day, a man biking by took the time to smile, wave and say "hello" to us and the man waiting at the bus stop across the street.
Is life perfect? Of course not. Life never is.
But. When I take the time to look. When I stop looking to see what is wrong with the world and start to pay attention to what is right . . . when I choose to live a life of hope, a life of beauty and kindness, I step back into the world we are meant to live in.
I was rather grumpy this morning. This spring and summer have been quite rainy and blustery. For a long time, I focused on the upside to all the rain, my garden plants have never been as big and lush as they have this year.
In the last few weeks, it seems as though it's been raining off and on non-stop. Many of my beautiful flowers have been dragging on the ground, held down by all that water's weight.
Waking up to strong winds switched me from a 'glass half full' attitude to one of 'glass half empty.' Or, in this case, just empty.
So, I set myself a challenge. Find the beauty in a windswept, chilly garden.
This video is the result.
May you all find beauty, joy or kindness today, whatever your circumstance.