|Flora - Evelyn de Morgan|
Oil on canvas, 1894
"Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun."
- Kahlil Gibran
I've spent the better part of a week in Las Vegas, and boy-oh-boy, does this advice resonate with me today.
A flower doesn't really care what's going on around it, does it? It simply turns toward the sun instinctively, day after day.
I did much the same thing for the last week or so. As if some sort of blossom in search of the sun, I turned toward the warmth of family, the comfort of the earth, the cool and refreshing water of rivers and pools, and the bright rays of sunshine across the Nevada desert floor.
I didn't feel the need to address any grievances, fix anyone's problems, or prioritize any chores. In fact, like the flower who doesn't care who or what else is around it, I only felt the need to nourish myself. Is that a bad thing? Please say it's not.
I've missed my blog (and keeping up with others' blogs) terribly, but in quest for the sun I felt I needed a little break from it all, and also from all the "shoulds" and "musts" and "needs" of everyday life. I think it was the right thing to do, but of course, now I feel slightly off kilter, and it will take some time to get back into a routine.
I spent cherished time with my son, The Coach, and his lovely wife, The Fashionista. [I call my sweet daughter-in-law The Fashionista not because she's a diva of any sort, but because 1) she earned her university degree in Fashion Design, and 2) no matter where she's going or what she's doing, she looks as cute as a button and perfectly put together. Have you ever known anyone who looked equally fabulous whether they were attending a business meeting, a baseball game, or a gala ball? That's my daughter-in-law.]
Anyway, we had a wonderful time with them, as always, and The Fashionista went to a great deal of trouble (though she didn't act like it) to create a fabulous spa atmosphere in her bathroom...just for me. She provided me with bath salts, with body creams, with oils, and loofas and skin cleansers and perfumes and....I can't even list all of the wonderful treasures she set out for me, the 'extreme bath' lover. Honestly, I wanted to fall sound asleep in that tub after the long and arduous day of travel preceeding it. It was as if she knew what I needed and was there to provide it for me. How sweet is that?
We spent the first night with The Happy Couple in their condominium, and then spent the last four nights at a hotel called Vdara in Las Vegas, and it was just lovely. Okay, it was more than lovely. It was pretty darned fabulous.
With The Happy Couple, we explored great food and drink, went hiking, sightseeing, and shopping, and we basked in healthy doses of the life-giving rays of the sun. I will, I'm sure, share those adventures with you in more detail sometime soon.
Best of all, we had the opportunity to watch our son in action as he coached his high school baseball team in their last game of the season. [The Coach is not the Head Coach, but he coaches first base and outfielders.] His team was victorious, edging out the competition with a score of 11 to 10. No doubt, the victory was a result of excellent coaching.
It was such a gift to be able to see him in his element, happy and excited to be doing the work that he's doing. He was clearly meant to coach and mentor young people, and he obviously loves it.
Do you know what I love the most about watching him? He's the best kind of authority figure. He's exacting, but encouraging. He's enthusiastic, but never shouts. He sees the learning opportunity in each moment, and is keenly aware of his responsibility. If a player makes a mistake, he's not the type of coach to get into his face and yell. He allows the student (they all are students, after all) to keep his dignity, gives him a moment or two to process what happened, and then puts a hand on his shoulder to talk to him. He ends with a playful pat on the backside or a tap of the player's baseball cap, and that's it. Lesson learned. I think he's got the right stuff, but I may be biased.
So that's how my week went. Instead of looking back or being concerned about circumstances surrounding me, I turned my face toward the sun. I found it in my sweet and generous daughter-in-law. I found it in my strong and capable son. I found it in stunning hikes on the desert floor with the cool red earth beneath my feet, in the sight of the uniquely beautiful desert flowers at every turn, in cool, trickling water falls, and in the heat of the life-giving sun on my face.
And now, it's good to be back home...and very good to be back with a Smiling Heart.
Today I hope you can turn away from your troubles and face the sun...whatever that may be in your life.
"Something lighthearted and warm, please," she said to the music conductor.
"Sounds like you need Paul McCartney," he responded matter-of-factly.
And so she did.
Here's the lighthearted, warm Beatle singing "Good Day Sunshine" from his "The Space Within Us" dvd. I'll bet you end up humming this one all day...Enjoy!