Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Dreams Are Dreams September 13, 2013

Some things just aren’t meant to be. It would take a miracle (for example) for me to fly. Or ride a roller coaster. Or walk on the moon. Just because all of these things happen frequently in my daydreams doesn’t make them real.

But let’s say (just for a minute) things that happen in our dreams really do come true. I could finally catch those elusive squirrels that taunt me in the backyard. I could whine my doggie guts out on The Whizzer at Six Flags (yes, the starter coaster – don’t judge). And perhaps one day us dogs will walk on the moon. How amazing would all of this be? Snarky Sparky

I think there’s general misconception about these things in our society. We have our dreamers who think anything is possible, we have our realists who keep the dreamers grounded, and we have our pessimists who don’t bother thinking outside the box. I (obviously) fall into the first category, but I have characters in my life who I know have given up on their dreams. They may not say so, or even admit it to themselves, but they’ve stopped reaching for those goals. And it breaks my heart.

I’ve said it before, but it seems even more relevant now. The journey can be half as much (if not more) fun as the destination if we only let it be. It’s one thing to drive across America to get from A to B. It’s something totally different to stop and see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Kansas on your way to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. To take the scenic route through Minnesota instead of the highways. To hike through the mountains of Tennessee rather than drive. These are the moments that make a journey worth living.

There are two ways to look at things, and I think this dog Frankenstein is the perfect demonstration of both.

To our realists, it appears the prize is just out of reach. To our pessimists, the goal is simply unattainable. But to our optimists, our dreamers, it looks like he is (at the very least) having fun making his dreams come true no matter how stubborn and challenging they may be.

I think we can all take a lesson from Frankenstein. It’s one thing to respect that some things just aren’t meant to be. Let’s face it: the chances of me ever being able to fly, ride a roller coaster or walk on the moon are pretty slim. But dreams are dreams and I will still have fun trying.

 

Playing with Fire May 22, 2013

What is it about fire that is so tanlizingly mesmerizing? I find myself gazing at it, watching the flickers and sparks, and I can’t take my little doggie eyes off it. I’ve been staring at it all day, while falling in and out of sleep from its warmth. Maybe it’s the novelty of it, since we don’t have a fireplace at my forever home. I’m currently spending a couple of days with my grandma and my cousin Buddy at their place, as my parents have gone to a place called a spa and left me behind.

Catching FireAt first, I was kind of bummed to be left behind. This is the week we had all planned to pack up the car and head to a place called South Dakota. We were staying at pet-friendly places along the way, so I could tag along, and (like my people) I’d been looking forward to it for months. But I’ve heard my fair share of jibber jabber from my mom and dad about gas prices being at almost $4 a gallon (whatever that means), and I can’t help but deduce that is what nailed the coffin in our great American road trip. Instead, they settled for a quick mid-week getaway to a spa that’s a couple hours away. Mom calls it her “happy place” and I could tell how happy she was that she convinced dad to like it too.

The more time I’ve spent getting treats from grandma, playing chase with Buddy, and staring at this big beautiful fireplace, the less sad I am that I’m not cooped up in a car for all that time. Don’t get me wrong, car rides are among my most favorite things in the world, but a dog also needs to get outside and stretch his (or her) legs. The ride would have been about 27 hours round-trip, and that is a lot by anyone’s standards.

And now, as I stare at the sparks in the fire, my thoughts turn to how happy I am that they are happy, wherever they are. Which brings me full circle to my very reason for blogging in the first place.

“The spark divine dwells in thee: let it grow,” wrote great American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. When I started this blog, I set out to share 365 days of my unique perspective on joy from the ground up–my divine spark–with whomever wanted it. The response has been overwhelming. The friends and family I’ve made have been powerful additions to my life. For me, this blog is like those sparks I’ve been watching all day in the fire. They’ve caught fire in their own little doggie blog way, and I can only hope the fire of joy is burning in at least a few more hearts now than before I started this journey.