Orion and I went to the apple store at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum last weekend. It was a little bit disappointing. The season is at least two weeks behind and there wasn’t as much variety in apples available as I’m used to. I know I’ll hit a few more orchard based apple houses in October as I drive back and forth to all the events I’m attending. Still, I found what I needed. I even found a treasure, hawthorn jam, before we were on our way.
Driving home on the freeway I noticed something along the side of the road. A wild turkey! It was all by itself blithely pecking along the edges of the roadway. Seeing the turkey, so out-of-place and yet so comfortably at home shifted my mood entirely. I was delighted.
Thinking about the turkey made me realize how often the Universe sends something my way that makes me change the way I’m looking at the world. Sometimes it’s a bounty, like finding money on the sidewalk. Sometimes it’s running into an old friend by accident. Sometimes it’s a bit of whimsy, even something I’ve seen many times before but just never noticed. Sometimes it’s something like the turkey, so incongruous that I am struck with delight.
Taking on the shadow doesn’t mean giving up or shutting down. There are lights in the world to guide my way. There is always a hand offering hope in the darkness. Remembering to be grateful for the challenges as well as the gifts helps to make me more aware, more open to the hand of hope when it appears.
My blogging friend Kathy at Lake Superior Spirit occasionally delights us with whimsical photography. She’s been taking photos of things like Santas and Snowmen. She says I could do it to. All it takes is finding something colorful or that will stand out against the white at going for it. So I indulged myself in a day of whimsy.
Whimsy is important for spiritual work. It’s so easy to get to taking ourselves too seriously. The silly and absurd help snap us out of that in the most gentle and joyful way.
I found it really interesting to note that most of the things in my house that are colorful are textiles, which I hesitate to drag out into the snow. I also noticed that my fall back for almost anything is my kitchen.
There is something magical about the whimsical. It not only kicks us out of our seriousness, but also opens us up to the possible.
If Kathy’s Santas and Snowmen can march through the north woods, If a pink hippopotamus can frolic in a frozen pond, then what other magical sights await us?
When you take a close look at the prayer on my prayer beads you’ll see that one of the repeating lines is I find joy and awe in the world around me. Followed on the next bead by I am amazed.
I need the reminder to look for the amazing, the wondrous and the whimsical. When I do look I find it all around me.