As a child, we would hold the yellow head of a young dandelion under our chins to see if there was a reflection – the verdict being that if it reflected a golden hue, you liked butter. Butter! Who knew?! As the weeks wore on, the yellow flowers turned into seed heads which we would carefully pick then blow, giggling excitedly as the white puffs dispersed in the breeze. (We didn't realize that our actions were helping to propagate the pesky weed…) I remember commenting once to my partners-in-crime that the dandelion flower looked like it was really tiny little arrows. The boys just laughed at my observation, then punched me playfully in the arm. Boys.
For the next 20+ years, I seldom noticed the details of the world around me, focusing instead on the larger picture. The 80's were self-obsessed, big-hair years, I'll admit that. The 90's brought change and several events opened my eyes and mind… The demise of my relationship with JB (I had become a person who I didn't like to be around), a life-affirming trip to San Francisco (is it possible to have a religious experience while touring Alcatraz or experiencing the surf pounding the shore at a deserted beach?) and a realization that every breath that I take is a gift not to be taken lightly (double pneumonia can be a bitch). My heart, eyes and mind were further opened on September 11, 2001 when life as I knew it ceased to exist and the innocence that so many people clung to evaporated along with the dust of the collapsing World Trade Center towers.
I believe in synchronicity. The title of this post is directly inspired by today's post by one of my favorite bloggers, Lorianne.
I am not a Buddhist, although I deeply appreciate the principles of this religion. The fact is that I feel more Buddhist than Catholic. But I've failed miserably at my exploration of the Buddhist path. I'm not too great of a Catholic, either, having fallen away from the church half a lifetime ago. Wanting to be and being are very different beasts.
But every day that I spend observing, appreciating and capturing the beauty and mystery of the world around me is another step closer to enlightenment. I think that's a step in the right direction.