Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Key to the Future May 24, 2014

It’s Memorial Day weekend around here. Which means a few things for me. First (and foremost) it means we pause to recognize the heroes who have put their own lives aside to serve and protect the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis. Selfishly, I think my most favorite thing about these freedoms might be the extra day away from work my beloved forever people get to observe the holiday.

Because this means my people are home together for three whole days. This has always been a luxury due to the necessity of that stuff called money and its direct relationship to that place called work. Sure, mom has been home a little more frequently than before because of her new job, but my favorite is the time when we are all together. Like the family we are.In the yard

Being part of this family for almost four years now, I’ve come to expect certain things on this weekend. Tradition. From the ground up, it took over my day today. My people spent the day planting as they always do around this same Saturday every year. And so my backyard paradise has been restored. There are flowers and bird feeders and a garden and the whole bit of it makes my people so happy. Therefore I am happy.

As I found myself a place in the shade to observe the action this afternoon, it occurred to me how blessed I am to have such a home with a yard and all that space to run through and enjoy. More than that, I thought of this being the third time I’ve observed this day. As I thought back through the todays past my heart filled with more joy.

That’s the thing about memories. While (yes) they are capable of doing some very bad things to joy sometimes, they become better with age.

“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future,” suggested Dutch thinker Corrie Ten Boom. I feel these words came to life for me today as I watched Memorial Day tradition unfold around me. So, as I usually do, I embraced the past right along with the present on my journey to the future.

 

Like A Heartbeat May 17, 2014

I think there is a distinct difference between a habit and repetition. At least from what I observe in human behavior. From what I can tell, a habit occurs mindlessly, like when I scratch that same spot by my collar on my neck seventeen times a day. This is different from when I spin in circles trying to find the absolute perfect spot on the bed or the couch or the floor or my dog bed. It is different from repetition, which (at least in my humble doggie opinion) occurs as the result of a conscious effort of some sort. Writer's Block?

I got to thinking about this today as my people worked in the yard. It’s the same work they always do this time of year, with the flowers and the hanging baskets and the mulch and the bird seed. It’s all too familiar, being the third time I’ve witnessed it all. It seems like a lot of work to me from my given spot of relaxation at the moment. Yet it seems to bring them joy and happiness. So my heart sings, no matter how tired it gets watching them work so tirelessly.

It made me think a little about this struggle I’m having with the blog. I’ve been at a crossroads lately trying to figure out whether my doggie opinion on things is still relevant and interesting. It certainly is in my humble mind. But it’s hard to tell sometimes.

I guess this is true for anyone at some point in life. Anyone can start to question why they are doing something – is it a habit or mindful repetition? And is either one so bad? This is a living part of my struggle as I was starting to worry I was repeating myself. But today, as I watched my beloved forever people plant the same flowers in the same place they have for the last three summers, I realized something.

A little repetition isn’t so bad. It keeps us steady. It reminds us where we came from and where we’re going. It’s like a heartbeat that keeps life’s beat in order. “Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind,” said Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. That is the least I could possibly hope for on this journey of blogging. So I chose to beat on. Not out of habit, but through embracing the repetition that makes life real.