Cheetos and M&Ms

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Oh, I love me some Cheetos (the puffy kind, don’t be fooled by the crunch) and M&Ms together with an ice-cold bottle of Pepsi.  Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.  I mean this is a GREAT combination!

I’m a late night snacker.  There, I’ve said it.  I fall asleep in my chair for an hour or two, and automatically wake up reaching for my little blue vintage snack bowl of Cheetos and M&Ms.

As I examine the idea of my 100 Days to Peace, Health and Happiness, it occurs to me that the “happiness” part has Cheetos, M&Ms and Pepsi in it.  So, I know those are gonna hang around throughout my entire life, or until some doctor tells me I have diabetes or something horrendous like that.

I think it’s important, very important, to think about the words of the 100 day challenge.  Peace.  Health.  Happiness.  All three need time, energy, and even maybe some painful reconciling.  All these things are the balance in our lives, and how to achieve that as we begin this journey.  We can’t take away the balls we’ve been juggling, but we can decide which ones we want to juggle and their impact on these three words.  Spending time with my husband, twinsie, Eugene the dawgie, these things bring health and happiness.  When it’s just me and Eugene on the path at dawn, the birds heralding the dappled sunrise on our shoulders.  The deer and her doe standing in the mist as Earth meets Dawn, oh my gosh, that is peace.

About 20 years ago we had a cold, cold, cold winter, and one of my kids had left a book over at my twinsie’s and I was in my jammies running over to her house across the river to retrieve it before school.  You an imagine my joy (insert sarcasm here).  For some reason my anger made me hyper alert, and I began watching people in their cars driving to work.  They were hunched down, in dark coats and hats — some were peering through a clear patch in iced windshields they didn’t have the energy to clear all the way off.  It was a sad black and white silent film playing out in front of me without any organ music.

As I approached the bridge to cross the river, I saw a man about 30 in a gray suit alongside the river with a bread bag in his hands, and a blue tie blowing behind him in the cold morning wind.  Gathered at his feet was a crowd of geese and ducks all weaving long necks, hopping and flapping wings, to catch the next piece of bread.  I could hear the racket they were making through my closed windows.  That whole scene gave me a completely different view of winter, but what really made my day, was the beautiful smile on that man’s face.  I will never forget that smile and that blue tie, and that crowd of feathered friends caroling him for that bread.  It was magic.

That was peace and happiness to that man, who knew what made him pick up that loaf of bread off the counter that morning, or stop at The Goose (a family owned business in town) to buy it, but whatever compelled him to ditch the gray of winter and bring bright blue and white teeth and a cacophony of sound changed my heart that day, and for every winter since.

I began experiencing winter on the river, and it is indeed black and white, but with splashes of gray from the Blue Heron, and yellow mittens, and green jackets, and orange doggie vests and the most beautiful music inside my head.  One single person and a gaggle of geese changed my life forever in a matter of 30 seconds.

Who knows what I’ll see today, maybe Twinsie and Eugene and I inspired someone as we walked along the river in the spring sun?  Who knows? Inspiration goes both ways.  I will try to look for it, and offer it. Because I really don’t know how it will change my life or that of another.

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