I get a tune stuck in my head from time to time. Actually, it happens fairly often. It’s not a lovely tune. It isn’t melodious at all. It’s yucky, gripey, resentful, and angry sounding. I don’t like this tune. But every time I’m trying to accomplish something creatively and regular living ramps up a notch, this tune blasts in my brain like a heavy metal concert (or at least how I imagine one would be). The tune engulfs me, surrounds me, I feel it in my chest as the bass notes pound. I try to go where I won’t hear it and it follows me there too. Wanna know what the words are to this tune? I’ll tell you. But it ain’t pretty. I don’t like it. I’m ashamed of it to be honest. But running away from it won’t do. I have to face it, walk into it, stand in the middle of the deafening stage and deal with it. Here it is:
I’m an artist, people! (Cue the electric bass riff)
And I deserve to have long stretches of time to devote to my Art!
I deserve to have technology that always works for me and a schedule that allows me to ruminate, write, design, craft and execute all the brilliant creative ideas that march into my head!
(Cue the drums here) And would it be too much to ask
that someone bring me a Peppermint Mocha while I create??!
Is this too much to ask? (Cymbals clash!)
Yeah. So there’s the dirty, nasty crux of it. The ache, the demand of my heart. Not exactly the tune you want to have blasting out on a Friday morning, at the end of a week of working to self-publish a book, prepare for an upcoming Art Show (November 21st), get ready to go out of town for oldest daughter’s Senior Vocal Recital, gather cake and other items needed for a reception, help youngest daughter find/create a costume for Halloween, be ready for parents to come visit and stay overnight, begin a weekend of not one, but two soccer games, wonder why the pharmacy didn’t get the inhaler prescription for youngest and oh maybe clean that bathroom before the weekend hits. (Insert the aforementioned Ugly Tune).
So on Friday morning, as the Ugly Tune bludgeoned me into a meltdown, I do what I know to do…I go for a walk.
A walk is good medicine. At first, a walk feels like escape. Get out of those four walls that seem to hem me in, and go! Pound the sidewalks, breathe huge gulps of fresh air, walk away.
But what happens out there is something magical. Oh, not the sparkly, glittery kind of magic, but the grind it out, substantial, soul reorienting kind. As I stand on the stage and walk, walk, walk, begging God to give me what I want (ie. Ugly Tune), the notes begin to change. Sometimes there’s a subtle shift in chords. But Friday morning it was an abrupt key change. All brought on by the sight of a dying dandelion in the grasses beside the sidewalk.
I do wonder if my neighbors see (or even hear) me mumbling as I walk. I’m talking to God, having it out right there on the sidewalk stage. And do they see me halt when I hear it? A voice so clear I’m sure it must be audible. Right there. On Hill and Dale.
“You are my dandelion.”
Oh? What was that?
“You are my dandelion.”
This dandelion I saw was pitiful in its late October appearance. No bright yellow petals now. Nor even a full head of white fuzzy-tipped seeds. There were only about 5 or 6 seeds left and their tuft had turned grey, hanging on, or waiting for enough breeze to take them off to new lands, to bloom again.
All of this in a split second, the key change, the Voice, the words–You are my dandelion. I don’t think I stopped walking, but I’m sure my gait slowed a bit. The pitiful (though beautiful) image I’d been given was unfolding and weaving a new tune in my heart. The rest of the walk, I listened to the new tune.
“Dear one, you are not a hot-house flower. If I had made you thus, you might, just might, have reason to ask life to bend to your wishes, to rally around you so that your flourishing is assured. But I made you a dandelion, bright and sunny in a field of grasses, the ordinary stuff of life. Your yellow petals give way to many seeds as you die to yourself and your demands. It is only in the dying that these seeds can be carried away to other ordinary places, roadsides, weedy patches to bloom again and bring a bright spot to an otherwise ordinary place.”
This new lovely tune, mingled with tears, washed away the last chords of demand. I picked the tufted dandelion, carried it the rest of my walk home and set it in a vase beside me as I worked on wrangling the book into form. This is beauty. Unexpected. Life-changing. Soul-altering beauty.
I am a dandelion. 🙂
What flower are you?