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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Here's a great sign!

Driving home from work, I was preoccupied with my usual thoughts—how slow traffic was moving, when would the traffic light change, what was that song that was playing on the radio? Isolated in the vehicle, I am in my own little world.
As I turned onto Ten Mile, pinned on a light pole was a large cardboard sign. Written on its pink background were the words “You are beautiful.”
Usually in my travels, the signs are the mundane—speed limits and street names usually clutter the scenery.  Sometimes, an advertisement will break up the monotony.  After reading this sign, I noticed that I was smiling. My thoughts lightened in my mind as they drifted to how it was a sweet idea for someone to pin this simple but truthful saying.
 I also noticed that there was a website underneath the encouraging statement—so it was a clever advertisement after all!

Nevertheless, these kind words struck a chord with me. How many times do we hear, “You are not good enough “or “You are too fat”? Most of the time, we’re the ones saying these mean, hurtful things to ourselves. This sign was a nice reminder that we are all beautiful, even if it’s only a cardboard advertisement.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Roses: Not Just for Valentine’s day

For the longest time, I thought tending for roses was an extremely difficult hobby. After all, there are competitions for cultivating the most perfect flower. It wasn’t until I grew rose bushes of my own did I find that I could handle them and really enjoy the experience. Also, to me, the caring of these lovely flowers is a metaphor for life.
When we first moved into our house, our front planter section had gone many transformations.  Unfortunately, it became a bane for living flowers.  Pansies, lavenders and hyacinths shriveled up and died a few weeks after being transplanted.  Just when I thought of raising a nice batch of river rocks in the front planter, my husband suggested planting roses.  
At first, I was a bit hesitant, nothing seemed to flourish there. My husband assumed me that roses are hearty flowers. Then I remembered visiting the Julia Davis Rose Garden in Downtown Boise ID  and these roses seemed to thrive in the desert heat. Also, the song by Sting “Desert Rose”, played through my mind.  With all of this concrete evidence, I agreed to the purchase.
Once the two plants were in the ground, I started to learn about rose care.   I loved watching the transformation from the long, green stems to lovely buds of ruby red blossoms. One of the aspects I love is the pruning process.  Whenever these flowers have fulfilled their beautiful life span, their vibrant petals began to fall. At first, I thought this was a sad event, but actually, this end cycle brings on another beginning. I come along and cut off the withered sections, which stimulates the plant to grow more buds.  In a couple of weeks, the roses have begun their fragrant journey again.

As I participate in this clean up, I see parallels in my life. How many times have I been nervous about making a change? I became so accustom to the old routines that I didn’t realize that it was dead weight? By pruning away the bad habits, I am able to make room for new growth and in the process be more vibrant.