Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Go With The Flow April 14, 2014

There was a warmth in the air that found its way to my heart the other day. After what has been one of the historically worst winters ever in Wisconsin, it was 70 degrees. The grass was dried out from months of being blanketed with snow. But the air was warm and all was well with the world.

That was three days ago. Today it is 25 degrees and snowing. It was like night and day. In addition to wreaking havoc on the sinuses of my beloved people, the severe change in temperature is playing games with our hearts around here. Cold and wet

As I fought the urge to stay outside a little longer regardless of the cold, it occurred to me. It’s not really a surprise. It’s part of the reality of living where I live. It’s nothing new. Sure, this winter was exceptionally challenging. But we don’t live in a part of the world where there are hurricanes or tornadoes or earthquakes or tsunamis.

We live in a part of the world with four distinct seasons that bring with them their own sources of joy. From the ground up, that is what I forced myself to remember as I made my way back into the warmth of my forever home. If it wasn’t this it would be something else.

And what is the use complaining about it then? Ultimately it is one of those things we can’t control. And that’s okay.

“Complaining is a dangerous business,” suggests theologian Joyce Meyer. “It can damage or even destroy your relationship with God, your relationship with other people, and even with your relationship with yourself.”

I don’t know about you, but I think I would go crazy if I tried to control everything anyway. Instead I go with the flow and find peace in the renewal of spring. It’s coming. Until then I have the warmth of positivity to keep me warm.

 

Little Mr. Sunshine March 17, 2013

Me and My ShadowI don’t care what the 30-degree Wisconsin weather says. The birds in the big spruce tree outside the bedroom window are singing beautifully, I spotted a few rabbit footprints in the remaining snow and I even had a run-in with some of my chipmunk and squirrel “friends.” Spring is in the air today. And this afternoon I spent some alone time in the backyard soaking up the sun and getting lost in my thoughts.

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you,” great American poet and transcendental thinker Walt Whitman suggests. “The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”

Simply put, I cannot wait for spring and summer and the various adventures they bring. So I keep my face forward while the shadow of the frigid temperature mocks me. I worry for all of those in regions like mine who suffer from some degree of seasonal affective disorder, as this has been a brutal winter filled with more than its fair share of dreary days and snow storms. I love my snow blanket of diamonds as much as the next dog, but enough is enough. So I say to my shadow to be silent. Spring and summer, like most happy things, are a state of mind. Spring is coming, this much is for sure.

“There’s two kinds of people in this world, there’s winners and there’s losers,” says Greg Kinnear’s character Richard in Little Miss Sunshine. ” Okay, you know what the difference is? Winners don’t give up.” Richard and his family didn’t give up on Little Miss Sunshine, and I am not giving up on spring. The great Punxsutawney Phil did not lie to us when he refused to listen to his shadow on Groundhog day a month and a half ago. And if he did, I will find my own sunshine in days like today.

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity,” English poet, politician and playwright Joseph Addison suggests. “These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”

Albeit brisk, Mr. Whitman himself would have something important to say about today. Yes, it might be a brisk 30 degrees outside, but the sun is shining and spring is definitely in the air. So today I aspire to bring sunshine into anyone’s dreary day. Simplicity is beautiful in moments like these.