Thursday, 22 May 2014

It's All in How You Look at It

I recently visited my mother at her cottage/summer home.  It is one among many, located in a conservation area where she owns the building but the land is leased.  Tenants in the park must vacate for three winter months of each year to maintain the status of the property as a recreational home; something to do with taxes, I'm not sure.  

So she and her partner spend April to November there, and then make their way to Panama City Beach wait out the cold Ontario winters in the cold northern Florida winters.  I keep telling her she should go further south to ensure she gets more warm weather, but she and her partner have established a core group of friends in their complex who arrive there every year.

It is the same at the cottage.  Most evenings and weekends, the garage door is up at my mom's and the neon "OPEN" sign is lit up, inviting neighbors to wander down for a beer or cigar and a chat. Her partner can be seen most sunny days, riding his new lawn tractor along the expansive lawns from the back of the cottages toward the steep drop to the lake.  

While I was there, we took my dog Sadie and the foster dog "Doggy" (don't ask, I didn't name him)....for a dirt path walk down the way.  "Doggy" slipped his collar a few doors down and I frantically chased him through cars, boats and finally into the backyard of a very cute cottage.  

The couple in the back were in their 60's--he cutting wood for some project and she pulling dandelions by hand from the lawn.  Theirs was one of the cottages with an exceptionally deep lot and the lake was much further away from their back deck than at my mom's; maybe 35-40 meters deep?

They were friendly and we chatted for a minute.  I introduced myself, apologized for the dog, and wrangled his collar back on.  My mom cam around the corner and we all spend a few moments in friendly conversation before heading back out front to continue our walk.

On the way back to her place, my mom commented:

Their cottage is like out of a magazine!  Inside it is gorgeous with everything just so!  But really, I can't believe she is out there trying to get rid of the dandelions!  Their lawn is huge---it's futile!  And no one else is doing it, so once everyone else's go to seed, they will just blow over to their lawn and grow again!

Well, I thought, if their cottage is that picture perfect there mustn't be much else to do but try to get the lawn that way too.  Damn weeds!  I had been on mine already, and my lawn looked a bit like I was trying to install a mini golf course with all the holes left from the dandelion puller thingy.

You know, my mom continued, my neighbor loves this time of year. She says dandelions are her favorite flower.

I wondered if that was true; if anyone could love these insidious yellow demons!  

Or maybe, instead of lamenting a lawn full of weeds, she had instead embraced their beauty?  I mean, when you see one or two amid a sheet of green, they stand out and you see them as a flaw (certainly commercials make you feel like you really are not a man if you have patchy grass, weeds, grubs---just ask that Scott guy).  

But a field of bright, soft yellow faces tilted upward, is actually pretty beautiful.   I guess it is all about how you look at things right?  Discord is created when you fight against what 'is".  So why fight the dandelions in an environment where it is not possible to do so. Embracing what is will bring peace and allow you to devote your energy toward thing that are actually in your control to change.

Flip the script in your head.  

A Work in Progress......

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