It’s What You See

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. Thoreau’s Journal, August 5, 1851

It’s Saturday! Go see something fabulous. Better yet, go somewhere ordinary and look for something extraordinary. That’s when the magic happens – when you look for the good and the special in the ordinary.

You may be surprised at what you will see!

Daffodils In Snow

We awoke to a light snowfall yesterday morning. It didn’t even last till lunch but it was a lovely sight all the same.

I’m not sure these pretty little daffodils were so pleased to be blanketed in snow but it made me smile to see how bravely they stood up to it.

Isn’t that how life goes? Everything seems sunny and happy and then something harsh comes along and kills the mood for a while. Luckily, those mood killers typically don’t last forever and the sun will eventually come back.

It’s Never Too Late

Van Gogh only painted for the last ten years is his life. He started at the age of 27 and painted over 2,000 pieces including some of the world’s great masterpieces

You know what that means?

It’s never too late to embrace your passion. We clearly can’t all be Van Gogh but we can start a new hobby, peruse a better career and get to work on what matters.

If not today, then when?

Letters From Barbara

Last year I struck up a pen pal relationship with a distant cousin. I actually wrote here about receiving that first letter as the joy of finding her letter had such a positive impact.

In an age when birthday greetings are sent on Facebook and mailboxes are stuffed with bills or junk mail, it was refreshing to receive fun mail.

Barbara and I shared book recommendations, stories about our lives and observations about the changing seasons. None of it important. In fact it was probably all trivial but it meant the world to me to communicate with a kindred spirit.

Her father was once a postmaster and she inherited from him a collection of stamps that she was using to send mail. Since they are decades old, it required a combination of stamps to equal modern postage rates and they weren’t the peel and stick kind either! Remember when we had to lick stamps? Man, they tasted bad.

So every envelope featured a variety of brightly colored little works of art that made receiving her correspondence an occasion. The fact these stamps were from her dad’s collection elevated her letters to the status of keepsake and I’m glad I kept them all.

She never mentioned this in our exchange and I didn’t ask because I figured she would volunteer the information if she wanted to discuss it – but she had cancer.

It was Melanoma that originated with a spot she had since childhood. It spread rapidly and treatments didn’t work.

In a long list of things I file under the heading Life Isn’t Fair, Barbara died on Sunday morning. She was just 68.

Its hard to believe that this creature who was full of curiosity and laughter, who naturally made everyone in the room feel important, and who had such an artful way with words is no longer with us.

In lieu of flowers, Barbara asked that people pay it forward by making a donation to a charity of their choice or by performing an act of kindness toward another. It’s a humble request from a good person.

So, if you’re reading this, I hope that you’ll take a moment to do something good for another. It needn’t be monetary or big. It can be anything that might brighten someone else’s day. Do it in her honor or in remembrance of another kind soul who has left your life.