March 17, 2015
I love the way that sounds. In translation, it means “long live the difference” and generally refers to the difference between the sexes. No matter! When I walked out my back door a few days ago to see what was new in the garden, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of my California Poppies were blooming. I was even more surprised to see a single white one amongst the sea of orange. It touched me in more ways than one. My first thought was, vive la différence! Then I grabbed my camera! It was early in the day, so the flowers were not yet opened. But I snapped her anyway. I took a moment to ponder the beauty of it and planned to be sure to visit later when the poppies would be open.
I have visited the garden several times since (okay, daily) and each time I do so, I smile. Many pictures have been taken and some cards will definitely be made. I sent a couple of pictures to my friend, Janine. I just had to share! She told me the white one was my angel. What a lovely thought.
During this process, I have thought more about being “different”. Over the past several years, and upon turning 52 (MY year), I have come to realize, and more importantly believe, that it is okay to be different, act different, think different, look different, like different things. God made us all unique, so celebrate that! No two people are exactly the same. Okay, there are identical twins, but they have their own minds, and maybe a different mole or something! Anyway, people, get off your high horse! Stop telling people what they should look like and how they should act. Of course, I’m talking of the beautiful side of life, not the evil. I’m not saying we should let those that commit crimes or act in a way that is harmful to others continue to do so just because that’s the way they prefer to be. I’m talking about lifting people up, not bringing them down. We all need support and encouragement to be the best we can be, and to know we are loved and respected no matter what. We were not put on this earth to judge or to ridicule. We were put here to find out who we are, find out what makes us “different”, use our gifts, and share them with the world. Quite simply, it is to make a difference in the lives of others.
So I am quiet, not comfortable at large parties, have never done the club scene, and am not interested in world travel (well maybe I would like to see Ireland or Scotland, and the Northern Lights in Alaska). I don’t drink, don’t smoke, I like comfortable clothes, love thrift shops and flea markets, and prefer a simple meal at home than a fancy restaurant. I’m a bit of an introvert, and am generally more comfortable with family or a small group of close friends. And that is OKAY! More power to those that love to travel, wouldn’t be caught dead at Goodwill, and love to party and start up conversations with people they don’t know. They are different than me, and that’s how it should be. I won’t put you down or think you’re nuts, so don’t think I am, either.
I had lunch yesterday with my friend, Marisa. We got talking about different things and how she has always loved to sew, but hasn’t done so in years. Since her children are grown now and she has her first grandchild, she decided to sew a quilt, and is now working on her second one. We got talking about quilting and I told her I have quilted with my grandma, but don’t have the talent, or the patience, to do one on my own. We laughed, and talked about being different. She said she could never work with flowers like I do, or make an arrangement so effortlessly. We had a great discussion about our differences and that that is what makes the world so interesting.
Before, when I referred to the poppies as mine, I must take that back. They are in my garden, but I didn’t plant them. Last year, to my delight, a few popped up here and there. A gift from a passing birdie, I suppose. I made sure not to disturb them hoping they would re-seed and a few more would come up next year. Well that little gift from the birdie has grown from a few plants to, well, I can’t count them! I’m not even sure where I will be able to plant my tomatoes!
So, there are a few lessons learned here. Take time to really see. You may walk outside and look at the sky, the trees, the flowers, but do you really see? That one white poppy could very well have been lost in the garden, but I took the time to see it, listen to what it was trying to say, and be grateful for it.
Celebrate our differences. Vive la différence!