Wednesday, October 5, 2011


     One of my favorite things to do is to collect small, pretty, growing things that catch my eye while I'm out on a walk. Grasses, wildflowers, weeds, berries... the selection changes with the seasons and my mood. Winter batches are some of the best. Once home, I arrange the day's collection in small vases and place them around the house. And these vases restore my soul every time I look at them. The colors and textures inspire me. They remind me that there's more to life than the petty frustrations of daily living in the modern world.
     Some of the arrangements last for a long time, and some of them appear wilted and sorrowful after only a day or two. But even as they wilt and change there is beauty in the color and the lines. I like the shapes and shadows, the dropping leaves and fading brightness. This simple practice brings me great joy.
     And much the way I collect these small branches and flowers, perhaps we all choose what we gather and bring home from our wanderings in the world. Perhaps we choose consciously, or perhaps, unconsciously. Do we bring home anger and violent thoughts and arrange them on our faces for the people we love to feast upon? Or do we bring home uplifting happenings and amusing tales from our day? What do we notice? What occupies our attention as we walk past?
     Let's bring awareness to the things we pick up, and to the things we carry into our homes when we return there from work, or from other adventures. Let's choose wisely. Let's be sure to gather and carry those things which inspire us to restoration and joy.

As I go through my day I gather positive experiences and pleasant interchanges to bring home to the people I love. I collect the things that restore my spirit and fill me with joy, and the rest, I pass by.