I am an optimist. I believe that we are inherently good, and that love will win. I believe that most people want to help, and that McDonald’s didn’t intend to gradually kill us with their french fries.
But I’m not particularly peaceful on a day-to-day basis. Someone told me once that I vibrate at a higher energy than the rest of the world. If that excuses my berating some innocent, slow soul in traffic, then I’m all for it.
I start the day with prayer and a sigh. I thank God for the beauty around me. I smile at the rabbit in my yard. I get in the car a calm, happy human being.
Then some asshat cuts in front of me in traffic. Or I try to answer my phone and drop it between my door and my seat. Or my Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino Light is overfilled and lava-like chocolate oozes out and stains my blouse.
These are things that send me over the edge. And that frustrates me, because while I want to be like Gandhi, I behave more like Roseanne Barr.
Every weekend my husband and I sit on our deck and watch the birds. . .
That’s right, we have become that old couple with khaki shorts and bird binoculars. In fairness, we live in the country and have a tremendous variety to observe. Red-headed woodpeckers, gold finches, hummingbirds, blue jays, cardinals, king fishers, chick-a-dee’s (asleep yet?) swarm our backyard and soothe my tired soul.
Note that my soul is not tired from helping those in dire situations. It is not tired from dealing with illness. My soul is tired because I woke up and realized we were out of bacon. And my coffee is back in the house and I’m already on the deck.
That kind of pathetic tired.
So, I focus on the birds . . .
In the midst of their wonderful songs and child-like chases through the trees, a large racoon ambles into the yard. We’ve seen her with her two cubs, so I let her eat as much bird food as she wants. Today, she is alone, which means she’s snuck out for a snack the way I used to when my kids were little.
Every Saturday morning I would leave my family and go to the Pancake House in Roanoke, Virginia. I would order pancakes with a side of bacon and a coke. When the pancakes arrived on the green cafeteria plate, I would pour excessive syrup all over my breakfast and pull out a romance novel. The waitress knew that she was not to speak to me.
It was decadent.
So, I stand slowly to see the mama racoon. She looks directly at me, with a message that would go something like “I have finally gotten away from my kids. If you bother me, I will kill you.” I wave at her and sit back down. She resumes eating.
Perhaps being motivated isn’t the same as not being irritated .. .
As I view the fluttering wings of my beautiful bird friends, I get quiet. I realize that just because I’m easily irritated doesn’t mean that I’m unmotivated. Just because I’ve been known to throw a cucumber across the kitchen because it slipped into the trash as I peeled it doesn’t mean I’m not an optimist.
I’m just vibrating at a really high level.
I sit quietly on my deck and watch two mourning doves sitting beside a bluejay who is sitting near the raccoon. I take in the peace of the moment, and decide that nature understands the importance of meditative silence.
Then the doves start fighting and the bluejay pecks at the raccoon.
And so it goes.