We are almost 3 weeks into mayBE and I am slowly catching my breath. I am a bit behind in posting my journal pages but I have been taking just 15 minutes here and there to do them. Posting them is another story.
We just had a long weekend here in Canada. For me, it means that it is time to tend the garden. My neighbours bite their tongues as they watch our yard and the subsequent “weeds” pop up early spring, silently hoping that we will deal with them before they seed and wreak havoc on everyone else’s gardens. Meanwhile, my children are popping off the heads of dandelions and bringing them inside to make dandelion fritters.
To me, a weed is the quote “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in action. My children love the columbines that grow up the cracks in the side of the house. This alley barely gets sunshine and is a plain little path to the back of our house. But when those columbines are in bloom, the alley transforms into a their secret garden path. They pick the flowers to decorate their outdoor kitchen and clubhouse. However, in the name of neighbour relations and proper house care, we yanked them all up this past weekend. I did manage to transplant a couple to the front yard. I just couldn’t help myself.
My kids love finding growth in the unlikeliest of places. My second daughter is about to turn 12 on Friday. Five years ago, I bought her a book for her birthday. It had caught her eye and she just couldn’t stop talking about it. It was called I Think I Can, I Think I Can.
It’s a simple little book of photographs that capture nature’s resilience. The “weed” pushing through the cracks. To this day, #2 is often the person to spot these instances of grit and determination in concrete blocks, city grates and back alleys just like ours.
“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968
Today let’s celebrate the underdog. The small and the unexpected hero like that gang of plantain that managed to push up against the chainlink fence. This same plantain that I am always looking for in parks to heal my children’s cuts and scrapes but which most people see as a weedy nuisance.
Find that astonishing example of the possible in seemingly impossible situations. It can be a plant pushing up in the unlikeliest of places. It can be a child trying to make those first attempts at something challenging. It can be that one mom-and-pop shop that survives in between all the big-box stores around it.
You also aren’t limited to taking a photo. You can also try your hand at drawing it.
I’d also suggest printing this photo and putting it in your art journal with that famous Little Engine that Could quote, “I think I can, I think I can…” because sometimes real beauty is simply found in the never giving up.
You can leave a comment below or join my top secret life explorers group on Facebook if you want to share any discoveries or explorations. Friend me and I will send you an invite! You can share your thoughts or your creative expressions there. You can also post on Instagram using #may_BE2015