I cannot shake the image from my mind. A doll, strapped into a high chair. At the other end of the table a younger woman with her husband, a 10-year-old boy sitting far away but obviously part of the group, and an older woman with a faraway look in her eyes, lost in some inner world. The doll, I realize, is hers. The face of the doll is disturbing, with pen marks and the leftover tracks of colored markers strewn across it. I’m captivated yet repelled, and I’m trying like the dickens to craft a story in my head that makes sense. Maybe even one that’s heartwarming. But I can’t. In the end, I realize this: I’m grateful that this family is willing to include this Chucky-esque doll — so obviously important to the older woman — in their dinner out in public. That inner world may be alien to others, but it’s rich and real to her.
Let’s talk Quantum Flirts. I’m prepping for a weekend women’s retreat focusing on relationships, and one exercise will deal with quantum flirts — short-lived, transient flashes that catch our attention as we go about our daily lives. Quantum flirts are nothing more than the universe winking at us, but we have a tendency to barely notice them and pretty quickly forget them. If we take the time to unfold their possible meaning in light of any issue we’re chewing on at the time, quantum flirts have the potential to impart great wisdom, mind-changing “aha’s,” and shifts in perception.
A few days ago I stepped outside at the very cusp of dawn only to notice a garden spider hanging motionless in its glorious web by the gate. But the light was weak, my phone was by my bed, and when I made it back out that afternoon, all traces were gone, courtesy of Wes, who had mowed just 15 minutes before. Last night I stopped by our new house, reached to lift the garage door, and encountered a Granddaddy Long Legs, the favorite spider dancer of children everywhere. But I was in a hurry, and when I left, he was nowhere to be found.
So, tonight, while browsing sheds at Lowe’s, we encountered another fuzzy fellow. I can take a hint, even if the universe must wink at me several times. I’m grateful for its perseverance and willingness to put spiders in my path until I stop to unfold those eight-legged, multiple-eyed quantum flirts.
And what I get is this: A brilliant reminder to live authentically and to be true to my purpose — which so long ago bubbled up during my coach training. Over the past several weeks, the world has been flirting that mission back toward me, for I have let it lie fallow for a while. I’m grateful for that message. It calls me back to authenticity.
I am a storyteller, weaving light into life and meaning from chaos.
Even today, that knowledge activates goosebumps and perhaps the prickle of tears, both of which signal the presence of truth.
I feel a bit like Arachne, the Greek weaver who was turned into a spider by the goddess Athena so she might weave for all time. What a blessing! What a curse! Yet, I reaffirm that purpose, thanks to the arachnids that have crossed my path lately — weaving wondrous webs to glisten in the morning light, skittering daintily across garage doors, and barring my way into a shed.
I’ll keep weaving whatever I’m weaving into a tapestry that forms not only my life but my purpose … and adding threads both seen and unseen from others’ lives, too.
So, we visit the new home site tonight, and the one thing I notice is this little stubborn patch of grass in a sea of red clay — baked red clay, by the way, because there’s been no real rain for a while.
And I’m grateful for not only the tenacity of this scrubby, weedy grass, but also for its resilience and perseverance. There’s a life lesson in its will to grow and thrive, to put down roots where life is sometimes inhospitable, to seek nurturing from any willing source, however small or stingy, and to thrive without rancor for its situation in life.
Death Valley, California. Inhospitable. Barren. Hot. Dry. Monochrome.
Maybe at first sight, but soon you realize there is beauty there, tucked into crevices, in patches of green where the underground river nears the surface, in the subtle shading of rocks crumbling into sand, under an impossibly blue sky, in the brilliance of a wildflower, in the paintbox of oxidizing mica in the rocks of Artist’s Drive.
Grateful for the opportunity to fine tune my eyes to see beauty in a place where beauty, on the surface, appears scarce. Oh, but it’s there. And when your eyes adjust enough to notice, you discover it’s everywhere around you.
Our local McDonald’s is engulfed in renovation; there are trucks and porta potties, workers in neon, scaffolding soaring high toward the roof, plastic and, yes, a sign that says, “Drive Through Open.” So we drove through, dodging workers and barricades. No menu in the drivethrough, just a lonely speaker attached to a cord that wound its way back inside the building. The window? Still there, but an employee dodging flakes of drywall as workers sanded above ferried our money to the window. The drink delivery? The same, except an employee carefully covered and brought our order from the window to our car. I’m struck by the dedication of these employees and this location to serving its clientele. Grateful for the small town where we will move in a month or two. I like their attitude.