How do we come to know a place? Exploration, play, living. I spent some time in the dwindling winter snow today, appreciating what remains. Hoping for more. And worrying about fire season this summer if more of the great white stuff doesn’t fall from the sky soon.
The day comes, the year passes. We stand witnessing both simultaneously.
Did we meet the expectations we had for ourselves? Can we find peace within despite the dreams we let go of?
Should we plan for the future or rest and bless the life we do not know that has yet to come?
Life comes regardless of our readiness. Finding the best of the arrival is finding our best potential.
I know, I know. I have seen those videos on Facebook, too. But I promise you don’t look like them with the booties on. And you even wore them once before when you were much younger and it was super cold outside, like today. You want to go skiing, right? OK! Lets go….
“Really?” she says, “these don’t fit so well. And the snow is collecting around the ankle. And they kinda’ hurt…..How about if I just lay here in the snow and wait for you to come back this way?”
“Quick”, she growls quietly. “what’s that?!” I walk to the window with her and we in the quiet light of dawn watch a bushy tailed fox dance a loop in the snow in front of us. Noel, my dog, has never seen a fox before. A beautiful moment to watch. And then as quick as she came she runs across the bridge and up the trail in front of us. Good morning!
I have recently been reminded of the root of the word courage. From the French corage, which means heart. When we love deeply, we find our courage. Today I am in the place of corage.
The spirit of New Orleans seeps into you if you give it a chance. It’s the reason visitors want to gather T-shirts and coasters and voodoo dolls, trinkets and beads and any other talisman before returning home, where their courage must be weak. New Orleans has a spirit of hopefulness beyond ordinary hope. It is a place where commitment and perseverance shine, where value of place and it’s specificity winds together with people and environ to make something that is not repeatable anywhere else . It is a place where tragedy is worn beside hope, and love next to hate, peace outshines war. It is a place where all that is good in us pushes back against all the potential negatives.
New Orleans shines with our humanness. As a place, it deeply contrasts my home of Montana, Which is why I value any visit here. It reminds me that beauty comes in all forms, that wildness so easily visible in the mountains and rivers and grasslands still survive within us as we stand up for our beliefs of what daily living should be like – and what we should commit to for the long haul.
Being here requires gumption expressed in many ways. Look into Bourbon street and recognize it’s bacchanalian presence. Early in the morning the night before is washed and swept away, and the stain of disregard remains. It only takes a walk to the next block to be deep in the neighborhood of respect and care, where sidewalks may be cracked and old, but are clean and free. In New Orleans a cordiality still remains as people cross paths, walk their dogs, say hello to strangers , contribute to the street with beautiful flowers cascading from baskets and balconies.
The point of all this life, is not to judge in relation to good, to single out, or hope that the bad May disappear. This hope is an unrealistic idealistic condition we should all recognize as impossible when we think about the qualities we hold within. The point of all this life, the place called New Orleans, is the manner in which it exists given the struggle of life . I feel in New Orleans a rise beyond good and bad, a rise of culture that’s potential moves toward the good in spite of the bad. To move beyond our strife toward a belief through courage and commitment to move toward grace.
We can see New Orleans in pictures. We can imagine, we can accept or judge. It may be a place that pushes against our beliefs , our senses, our taste at the tongue. But what I love about New Orleans is that it is real, striding, gathering, grasping, pushing on. Making itself new every morning yet remaining it’s singular self, giving me courage as it seeps Into me.
What do you do when you have more ideas than you have days of a life ?
Remember your mission. How does anyone, any successful creator measure their decision to go forward with an idea? They return to their mission for measure. Of all the ideas, of all the potential, the one to pursuit is the one that best propels your mission forward.
Know your mission in life . Know why you do what you do, set course and take off.
From here begins practice.
Rising out of the valley where I live I could see the lights below dot the floor if the Earth, Making 60,000 residents momentarily visible before we moved across the mountains .
Rising even with the horizon …The sun slit open the sky, Ripping the mountains from the darkness, the Horizon resting on jagged peaks, The Blackness of the clouds giving way to grey then dusty blue.
Not long after the sharpness of the orange, snow squalls float at mountain tops blurring the line and dulling the color until the sky was just a dusty beige. A momentary fade of earth to sky in shades of grey. And a clearing again to the early blue sky of morning .
The plane speeds along for the moment ahead of the sunrise making the transience of flying brilliant as the sun rises continually over the mountains coming and going along the horizon, then disappearing behind the atmosphere that lies between.
Difficult to remember, so important to happiness.