Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

No Place I’d Rather Be January 23, 2015

I don’t have this problem very often. While not always the most succinctly, I can usually find a way to describe most things. Yet today I struggle. Because where I come from there are no right words to describe this sound.

It was different than it was in those first few months when dear baby Carter would cry. Though it had a way of tearing at mom’s heart, we all came to understand it was simply his only means of communication then. Over time, he has developed a myriad of other ways to tell us all what’s going on in that curious little mind of his. So now when the crying happens, we know it’s really something bad. Wiles and Carter

Especially when it’s more than your ordinary run-of-the-mill sleepy or hungry cry that does occasionally still happen. This was in a realm all its own. It was piercing. His little face was turning purple. And nothing (and I mean nothing) seemed to help. Except being in the arms of my dear forever mom, but even then the screaming continued.

Until it happened. Mom thought to cue up a familiar song on the music player and when those thoughtful notes entered the room I could almost see Carter’s body relax. He was still pretty upset about who knows what (mom thinks it was gas or something), but the crying was noticeably mitigated when the music started.

“Someday I wish I upon a star, wake up where the clouds are far behind me…where trouble melts like lemon drops high above the chimney top that’s where you’ll find me,” sings Hawaiian musician Isreal Kamakawiwo’Ole in a way only he could. “Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. And the dreams that you dare to…really do come true.”

It’s our song, mom whispered into Carter’s ear as he snuggled his bright red, tear-soaked face into her chest. And I know it’s going to sound crazy, but I knew in that moment something it is hard to put into words. A mother’s love. From the ground up, it’s about as unconditional as it gets.

I knew it when the crying first started. I knew it even as the crying ramped back up a bit as mom fiddled with the gadget to get the song to play again. I knew it when it quieted down. And when he snuggled his mommy. There is no place either of them would rather be.

 

I Stand For The Cure June 8, 2013

Novelty is such a funny concept to me. I like when things are new, different, and exciting. I love exploring new places, led by my nose more than my eyes. Everything is so fresh and appealing when you experience something for the first time. Novelty, like variety, is a spice of life.

But so is familiarity. Sure, it’s not the cayenne pepper that is novelty, but familiarity has an inherent comfort like nutmeg or cinnamon. Sometimes I breathe in the familiar smell of my forever home (which often smells like nutmeg and cinnamon because of scented candles) and I am overcome with the most powerful sense of fulfillment and peace. This is when I tend to audibly grunt sigh (neither a grunt or a sigh, but a combination of the two) for all around me to hear.

All of this came to mind for me today while mom readied some delicious-smelling people food in the kitchen. As usual, she was listening to music and dancing around the room while she worked, and while so much about this image was familiar something was different. I can’t quite put my paw on it, but there is something about what I was watching that was novel somehow, even though I’ve seen it a million times.

In my reflective moment I found myself paying attention to details I otherwise overlook, like the words to the song playing in the background. I’d heard Chris Martin from Coldplay sing of Clocks so many times, but for some reason it was like I was hearing the line for the first time: “Am I part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?”

As a general believer in seeing the best in the supporting people, places and things that make up the cast of characters in my doggie life, I try to be part of my own personal cure. In a world sick with negativity, I seek joy in the oddest places and don’t give up until I find and exploit the happiness out of a situation. That is the cure I fight for on a daily basis. What’s yours? Is there something familiar in your life that might need to be cured with a dash of novelty?

Seeking the Cure

It was a such an unexpected blessing for me to be caught up in the novelty of this familiar moment. Everything about it was the same except my perspective. That’s why novelty is such a funny concept to me. While I love when things are new and exciting, I find comfort in the familiar. Yet, when I pay close enough attention to the familiar, perspective offers novelty a second chance. And, if my life is any indication, everything deserves a second chance.