Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Living in the Moment May 1, 2013

I realized today I have done a fair share of blogging about the weather. I’m not even sure how riveting a dog’s thoughts on the weather are, but (spoiler alert!) I’m about to do it again.

It began with a special moment I had with my mom in the snow. Then there was more snow. And more cold. And rain, my goodness, have we had rain. While some of it has been positive, I will admit to complaining (in the best way I know how) in some of my commentary as well.Smelling the Roses It wasn’t that long ago I asked the world where art thou spring?

I finally have my answer. Spring is here. Well, actually summer is here early, and probably not for long. Today is the second day in a row of unseasonably warm weather. Given my outspoken longing for warmth throughout the majority of what technically should be considered spring in Wisconsin, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring attention to the beauty around me the last couple of days. All of the snow is melted and all of the rain has left behind it a sea of color. Trees and grass are so brilliantly green they are almost blinding. Magnolia trees (which usually bloom in this area right around Easter) are finally bearing their beautiful pink and white flowers and daffodils, lilies and tulips seemed to shoot out of the ground and flower overnight.

The world around me is a piece of art right now and I am soaking it all in. (Especially since the weather forecast for the next couple of days brings our temperatures back down into the 30s and 40s). The wait has proven worthwhile, but the resulting beauty has become a study of something I find all too frequently in our society.

How true it is that is can be so much easier to pine and long and lust after what we don’t have than it is to soak up what we do? “Forever is composed of nows,” as American poet Emily Dickenson put it.

I spent all that time praying for spring to finally come and yet I almost didn’t stop and take notice when it did. Now that it’s here I realized it’s one thing to live in the moment, but sometimes that is exactly when we should stop and appreciate the brilliance of what that moment has to offer. Most likely, it offers joy from the ground up. Musings and commentary on the weather aside, that is what it is all about for me.


Us Against The World April 11, 2013

The sky is crying today. Teardrops from heaven have been pouring down on and off all week, in fact. I’d say I do pretty well with the whole lightning Smiling Some Sunshineand thunder bit compared to most dogs I’ve met. But I’m not going to lie: this soppy cold mess of a weather pattern is downright dreary.

It has been raining constantly since Monday, and the forecast calls for more of the same all of next week. I told myself I wouldn’t comment on the weather again after my recent rant about what an awful weather person I would be, but I digress. This is some kind of awful that needs to be talked about. I can honestly say that I cursed under my little doggie breath when mom let me outside this morning into the frigid rainy wind that has been outside the last several days.

It actually reminds me a bit of a Coldplay song. “And if we could float away, fly up to the surface and just start again, and lift off before trouble erodes us in the rain…Through chaos as it swirls, it’s us against the world.”

Indeed, it is us against the world on days like today. Mom came home looking a mess, complete with frizzy hair and soaking wet pant bottoms. I could tell she was freezing cold and frustrated by whatever problems she had encountered today. I know it’s harder to keep your head up when there’s nothing pretty to look at, so I can only imagine all these dreary days are taking a toll on her and my dad. What’s worse is knowing that as certain as the rain falling from the sky is the toll its taking on everyone who is experiencing the dreariness that is this weather situation. As one who strives to share joy with the world, I would be lying if I said these days weren’t a serious challenge to even my resolve.

But then I remember something very important. It’s us against the world on days like these. So the sky is crying, and it’s not stopping any time soon. It is gray and dingy outside, but that does not stop me from finding my silver lining. Dreary or otherwise, I find inspiration in the sky. And when it withholds sunshine, I make my own.


Where art thou Spring? April 8, 2013

Perspective is a funny thing when it comes to weather in Wisconsin. I’ve always thought it was funny that people grab for their winter jackets, mittens and scarves when temperatures first fall below 60 in the fall, but you’d better believe all things winter are put away the second temperatures are a smidge above 50 degrees in the spring. To be blunt, that hasn’t quite done the trick for us in Wisconsin this year, as the majority of our glimpses into the fabulous fifties of spring have been just that. A glimpse, a glimmer of hope, dashed the very next day with wind chills in the single digits.

Normally, I’m not one to complain, especially about something over which I literally have no control. But I have noticed a trend on the weather reports lately. It doesn’t matter which station my mom has on, or whether its a local or national channel. In general, weather people are trying harder than ever to spin a positive story for viewers.

Warming My PawsIn February, we had Punxsutawney Phil promise us an early spring. He lied. March brought with it more than its fair share of brisk days, snow, and the negative spirits that come along for the ride. The forecasters promised April would be better, “unseasonably warm” even. While there have been a couple warmer days, they are only warmer by comparison. And today, I could actually see the pain in the weather person’s eyes when she said the word that may as well be a four-letter curse word this time of year: snow is in our forecast again at the end of this week. Following the next few dreary days of cold rain, that is.

Of all the people jobs in the world, I think I would be most awful at being a weather person. Sure, I know there is science involved that I might be able to figure out. And I definitely do all right in front of a camera. There’s the tiny problem of not being able to speak human, but I could find a way around that. If there’s a will, there’s a way, as they say.

In fact, I think it might just be my will that would get in the way. I’m a simple dog. I don’t keep secrets and I make a terrible liar. I would want too badly to have good news to report, and would struggle doing anything other than feeding that glimmer of hope for good things to come. But today, as my mom and I watched the bleak outlook for this week, I realized something.

I used to wonder whether the weather people know how their viewers hang on to every word of their forecasts, desperately hoping for good news. Today I got my answer. While I know I wouldn’t make a good weather person, I give them a lot of credit for doing a very challenging job at this time of year. It’s not their fault spring is taking its time to get here.

It’s all about perspective, Sarah Ban Breathnach reminds us in Simple Abundance. “Expect to have hope rekindled,” she writes. “Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” If good things really do come to those who wait, well we sure have something pretty spectacular to look forward to, don’t we?