Yesterday was gloomy: full of self doubt and confusion. It happens, I know. But in those moments it is hard to think about anything else. And then all other things tumble and you start to go from "I have a hard test tomorrow" to "I can't cook anything right" and then to blaming someone you love "Why do you never do this or this or this?" When really none of that is true.
Honing in on a positive emotion at those times is something I am working on. I have to look around and remember how I make meaning and why.
I went to a reading by author George Venn from his latest memoir, and in his essay "The Red Weasel Dream" he described my dream house:
"White one story bungalow.. [with] dazzling flower beds, curbed green lawn.. an ordered oasis... a mini plantation mansion"
That is a group of so many things that make me happy all in one: a home, flowers, an ordered oasis.
I started to think about the home I grew up in that we refer to as "the red roofed house." It was a haven of colors. The front covered in flower beds with tulips, bleeding hearts, daisies, and more. A yard so green the size of a football field. The snowball bush that served as so much entertainment when those white flowers would come and we could scatter them about the lawn in pretend weddings. Those cottonwoods so big that when you slept on the tramp under the stars you realized how small you really were, yet how empowering mother nature can make you feel.
Sometimes I wonder why we ever left that house. And then I knew as soon as I wondered. I needed those opportunities and experiences that a new school brought. Moving from that house gave us the freedom to move again, and luckily it brought us to the other side of the state where I met my sweetheart and life forever changed for the better. We trade these precious material things and safe havens for experience that ultimately shapes us into who we are. It is trying and it is humbling.
I hope that next time on a rainy day you will find that colorful place, whatever it may be.