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Where I’ve Been

Beautiful PlacesOne of my favorite sayings of all times (and please excuse me if I don’t get it exactly as penned) is from the lyrics of the brilliance that was John Lennon. The song is called “Beautiful Boy” and can be found on the “Double Fantasy” album.

In the song, John sings to his son Sean:

Before you cross the street take my hand
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

I don’t usually relate it to the first sentence about holding hands and crossing streets, however. For me, it is almost always about having things turn out much more differently than I expected or imagined; and most of the time, HOPED they would.

This summer which has been characterized by continuous days of grueling heat, even in what should be the less-populated and remote areas of the coal mountain area of Northeastern Pennsylvania. It also serves as my real-life reminder that my plans to devote focused energies to further develop myself as a writer, need to take a back seat to unforseen and unexpected exits and entries,  taking children into our home unexpectedly and even a return of a ‘graduate’ who has found truth in this saying as it applies to his own attempt to start a life on his own after spending years in the foster care system.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful; I really don’t. I know how much worse things can be – and actually are – for a lot of people. We have a nice home in a beautiful part of a wonderful country, great pets, wonderful foster children…we are all in good heatlh….even the pets! We have a lot going for us and overall, a good life.

And, I want to write. I NEED to write! I was hoping to have the chance once summer rolled around and we settled into our off-season routine. But as Mr. Lennon reminds me….such is not the case. And my writing is on a catch-as-catch-can basis, at best.

I have taken on the roll of pee-wee football mom, taxi driver, co-pool-pass holder and necessary guardian, and the one that I realy never saw coming was on-line educator/teacher. Two of our boys, although of 5th and 6th grade age chronologically, came to us from a home where education was ignored entirely. As amazing as it may sound, these brothers lived lives that were so inconsistent, they did not stay in any one area long enough to make it on someone’s radar as not attending school.

Yep. In our country, two English-speaking boys, aged 11 and 12, born in Brooklyn, NY, were never taught to read. They were never taught basic math. So, this summer, I am working with these boys myself, to try and bring them to a point where they will be able to develop into productive, successful young men.

I did some searching on line and found Adapted Minds, http://www.adaptedmind.com/failedpmtstudent.php,  a program that helps parents work with their children to practice reading and math skills. So far, the boys are kieeping with it and working their way through 1st grade. I get daily notices of any progress they make and the number of questions/problems they work through and also can see any of the areas where we need to focus in more. So, we’re tackling illiteracy, here in the United States of America, in the year of our Lord, 2016.

Now you have a little idea of where I’ve been…but I’m still working on getting myself into a routine where I can write because I still NEED to write!

 

 

 

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One Man’s Trash

Credit to Freefallintoreality

Credit to Freefallintoreality

It has been said pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Is it just me, or do those few words speak volumes? Anyone who knows me, at one time or another, finds themselves in the midst of onslaughts regarding the connection between how we live our lives and how we see things.

I have been known to go as basic as the half-empty half-full images, all the way up through heavy philosophical meanderings. But all these roads, with their many different twists, roadblocks, pitfalls, scenery and assorted pavement compositions, await travelers. And we, in our imperfect human condition, are those travelers.

It is now time for a collective exhale, better known as a sigh of recognition but more gently known as acceptance.

Pain and Suffering 2

Pain is necessary. OUCH! Unless there are those among us who fit masochistic descriptors and wear them proudly, this is not provoking happy thoughts. We humans don’t like pain. In fact, we go to great lengths and agree to spend ridiculous amounts of money in order to avoid it.

When we face reality, most of us are honest enough to admit pain is not something we can avoid. We may postpone or lessen it. We may delay it or deny it, only to have it re-enter our lives at times when we don’t recognize its return. Sadly, it is inevitable.

Credit to commonfoodle

Credit to commonfoodle

Now for the good news. It revolves around suffering. And although this clearly sounds quite ridiculous, upon deeper inspection, it is anything but crazy. In order for suffering to exist, it has to be perceived as such. My aunt Trudy used to love hot soup. I mean HOT soup; where most people would seek medical assistance upon having it come into contact with their mouths. They might question why she suffers through such an experience. To those who love hot soup, it is not suffering at all. Quite the contrary; it is something they enjoy, something pleasurable. Perception, in its purest form, magnifies these contrary emotional responses. The way we perceive things, the very element of our lives over which we do possess control, is uniquely ours. It is entirely optional.

Credit to Forbes

Credit to Forbes

You may have heard of a similarly polar situation with regard to people who conduct and visit yard sales. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Those of us on the outside looking in, able to clearly see both the forest and the trees, are aware of the same mechanics at play; steered by perception. Both the soup and the item found at the yard sale remain the same, it is the individual’s thinking, their perception that causes the difference, that lies behind any change.

It says in the bible as a man thinks, so he becomes, or words to that effect. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Someone else very wise and honest explains how nothing changes until we change the way we look at it. These messages are all the same. At some point, each and every one of us, has the ability to turn things around, to alter the direction we are headed in, to change our lives and possibly, even our little corner of the world.

A NEW MEANING FOR BEING WORN OUT

Credit dreamstime

Credit dreamstime

Have you ever sat down to write something because you know it is the thing you ought to do, and not have a clear idea whatsoever what it is you want to write about?

Oh wait. You’re a writer. Of course you have!

Most likely, there isn’t a single writer on this planet, with prepared, detailed outlines and thousands of dollars in writing courses behind them or not, who hasn’t had this exact experience and isn’t extremely well-versed in this moment. In fact, I’m willing to bet many of us have been here more than once.

credit Community Spark Notes

credit Community Spark Notes

It’s a pretty awful feeling…telling yourself that you have something to write, yet knowing, at least on some level, you have no idea what to write about. And no…I refuse to consider, will not permit to cross my fingertips or my lips the dreaded two-word phrase that begins with the letters “WB.”

credit twaldron blog

credit twaldron blog

I choose, alternately, to believe in the slogan made famous in the movie Field of Dreams. So here I stand, or sit, as the case may be, ‘building it.’ And, although it may not win me a Pulitzer, ‘they are coming;’ “they,” of course, referring in this case, to ‘the words.’

The words are coming. They are slipping through my fingers, stumbling across the keys and magically, creating words. These words, in turn, create phrases which of course turn into sentences and then even paragraphs. But the amazing part of it, occurs when this process actually begins to form logical concepts and thoughts spring forth. I mean, who knew?

Actually, I think I did. I suspect it must have dawned on me at some point, that just forcing my bottom into the chair in front of the keyboard would be the catalyst for something considered prose on some level. And I suppose the worst thing that might occur, is that I really would think it entirely unworthy and delete the entire piece.

credit to purewoolslippers.com

credit to purewoolslippers.com

But that isn’t the case this time around. I can’t explain why, but I feel a desire to share this, in its entirety today rather than keep it within the confines of my mind. Today, I have decided is a flare out day – a day in which I am going to wear whatever I want, whether it matches, coordinates or flaps in the breeze or not; out in plain sight. Today I feel the need to be nobody else but myself, in my complete sense of self. Without refinement of any type, without makeup, even in my woolly slippers if I happen to find them. I am pretty sure the last time I saw them, they were in the dog’s mouth as he ran under one of the children’s beds. At least that’s pretty sure where I saw it the last time.

My Own Next Step

First Step

We hear so much about it – many of us tend to avoid it – often at all costs. Some of us claim to look forward to it, but in honesty, we do not at all, in fact we fear it. It evokes the unknown in almost all of us and that is not a comfortable place to be.

Change is necessary, but it is also some place difficult for most of us to get to, especially those of us who are seeking self-honesty and truth. It is quite difficult to achieve, even after we have committed to it. It is a process, not something that happens quickly. And it is something many of us, even if we do our best, do a tiny bit at a time, and very rarely in a continuous forward motion. Change is something that, if and when we accomplish it, we look back on over time, and see, not something we recognize while it is happening.

 

Change

It is only through continually recognizing how difficult change is for me to achieve, that I truly find myself able and willing to accept how unlikely it is that I will be able to change someone else. Let me say that again, a bit differently. By being honest about how hard it is for me to accomplish, and that is after I have made up my mind that it is necessary in my life, something I am willing to do or recognizing the need for in my life; then it makes it much easier for me to accept how unlikely it is that I can successfully get another person to change. They are not at the point of acceptance in their own lives that I am in mine. They may not have gotten fed up enough with things the way they are to commit to the long, tedious and difficult process and all it entails in their lives. In fact, they may not be anywhere near that point at all.

Yet, somewhere, I have convinced myself it is what is best for them, something I wish to see happen…and therefore, I believe it should be so.

“I hereby decree, it is time for you to change,” I tell them subliminally or maybe not so subliminally depending on the type of relationship we have. “I hereby decree that from this time forward, you change outcomes to given situations. I demand you respond differently, feel differently and most definitely, react and behave differently because I am not happy with the present situation. I am not finding it pleasant, rewarding or something appealing, thereby I demand you make the necessary alterations to fix things!”

What the heck am I thinking? Because that is, more or less, what I am saying every time I expect other people in my life to change.

So, this is not a lesson on how to get other people to change, rather, how to remind me how to get back to the place I need to be – a place of understanding and acceptance of my own – one that is true and real, in which I can look around and see things the way they really are, not necessarily the way I have mentally decreed they ought to be.

By going back to my own being and revisiting what it is like for me to make changes in my own life, even those I believe to be good and positive changes, I remind myself how difficult it is to ask of myself…how hard it is for me to achieve small, little bits of progress.

The older I get, the more I see – and the less I know. I do not know what is right for you. How could I possibly know how difficult or maybe even impossible or drastic an undertaking the change I wish to see occur might be for you at this point? I can’t! What I know is that I want it. And I am experienced to know that when my entire reason is based entirely on my own self-will, as in this case, I most definitely cannot account for the outcome.

Acceptance

THAT is something way out of the scope of my own existence. It lies elsewhere, outside of me and my abilities to regulate; harness or control. So that leaves me in a very different position than when I began. My position may be one of my honestly telling you, if you care to know, how I feel and where I stand, and then stepping back away, to take my own next step.

Humble Beginnings

Credit Judy Douglas

Credit Judy Douglas

I always find it interesting how words and their meanings seem to evolve. I start out thinking I ‘get’ it – that it makes sense to me and I am able to wrap my brain around the concept, but somehow it changes or it adds on a different component that I missed entirely. Or even in some cases, that I had it all completely wrong.

Very often, I experience this morphing sensation when it comes to personality traits or virtues and qualities. Take HUMILITY for example.

There’s no wavering in the fact that I have always viewed it as an admirable quality to possess, one, that I have wanted to say I exhibit in my own everyday life, yet one that I have struggled to really understand. As I young girl, I learned that humility was akin to modesty, someone who did not flash things in front of others, brag, or even wear clothing that could be seen as promiscuous or outwardly displaying indiscretion. I used to think that when a person exhibited humility, they lowered themselves, becoming meek or subservient to others and putting their own needs beneath those of the people around them.

But recently, I have come to see humility in a different light.

Humility, I now believe, comes with an understanding of knowing what belongs to me and what doesn’t. It means staying in my own space, keeping my own side of the street in order and free of debris. This is something I am not used to – because it means paying attention to what I am feeling and what is happening within myself rather than focusing so intently on what others are doing.

Humble Thoughts

Humility, in a sense, involves letting go of my pride and realizing I don’t have all the answers, I am not able to handle everything for everybody…I don’t know the right thing to do all the time. It means I can instead, focus in on not only my abilities, but my inabilities, my limits and my imperfections and accept them as part of me as well. I begin to embrace my humanness…my being a part of an imperfect entity. I am more willing to accept myself, as incomplete as I may be; thereby I become more willing to accept others too. I join with others rather than separate from them, believing I know better and do better.

Shedding Conditions

credit to jarrodinspires.com

credit to jarrodinspires

Something I’ve come to realize is that my own, personal happiness can’t survive once it gets diluted with conditions. It gets diluted, of course, by me – although never with this being my intention, or for that matter, rarely with me being aware I am doing it. It is something that happens beneath the surface, not something easily recognized or realized.

This is how it usually happens: I am unhappy or discontent and I begin to think “once (fill in the blank) happens, then, I will be happy.” Or I tell myself “As soon as _________ occurs, it will be better and I’ll be happier.”

Only, that is not how it goes at all, because it is never really the need for any one thing to happen, in order for me to feel happy. In fact, there are many times when that very thing I originally tell myself has to happen in order for me to feel happy, does indeed happen; and still it does nothing to elevate my mood. In fact, there are times I remember just the opposite happening. I prod and push my way to get what I want, I get it, and then I am left with a sense of disappointment, feeling let down, left asking myself ‘is that all there is?’ I learn that it is an illusion, that this one thing I have pinned my happiness on possesses this amazing ability to make me feel happy.

Perhaps this is because I am not seeking the type of happiness that lasts for a moment – is fleeting – as if swallowed up in one, huge gulp.

Credit to picturequotes.com

Credit to picturequotes

I may, in fact, be looking for the type of happiness that is better described as contentment or satisfaction the feelings that come from acknowledging and recognizing what truly is, not something fueled by my expectations. And something extremely profound for me, is that all this goes for people in my life too, not just events, things and situations.

Many times, whether I have been aware of it or not, I have handed my mood over to other people in my life – not outwardly, but inwardly. I have put the way I feel about them, myself and my life in the hands of those around me. If they are in a good mood, kind, nice and all the things I believe make them so, then I feel good and I can be in a good mood, kind and nice. Not only is that rather insane (professionals refer to that as co-dependent) but conversely, it means when that is not the case; when they are in a bad mood, mean and unkind, and all the things I believe make them that way, then I feel bad, and am in a nasty mood, mean and unkind.

Credit Healthyplace.com

Credit Healthyplace

So, if that seems crazy to you, then you understand what I am saying and feeling. I am learning that how I feel is simply that – HOW I FEEL. It does not come with conditions. It just IS. And the same goes for other people. It is not the feelings that are the causes of the confusion. It is the conditions we tend to attach to them.

Well, then…. Here’s to more times and things in my life without conditions.

Helpful Heartbreak

Credit to Tinybubbles

Credit to Tinybubbles

I know this isn’t my usual type of post, but today I got the chance to play mom when our 17-year-old foster daughter got her heart broken by the boy she’s been dating for the past 6 months. It’s not a role I play very often, but I found quite a few more life-lessons to be had in light of this particular situation…so here goes.

It has been said that some people would rather die than let an illusion die.

What a powerfully profound comment that is!

In addition to my seeing how she’s hurting, I am seeing how true this is – she had such a clear image in her brain of how she was starting to envision her life in the future.

Every moment she spent with him, or listening to music that she associated with the time they spent together, or thought of him…the more detailed and precise that illusion of her future with him became…until just half a year at the age of 17 and she feels as if her entire world has come crumbling down around her because she is beginning to hear from others and see for herself, that maybe he is (to coin a phrase) just not that into her.

It seems the straw that broke the back for our kiddo was hearing from a friend of this young man’s family, how habitual the behaviors that he is exhibited regarding her and how he is backing off now that the relationship is no longer fresh, new and exciting, seems to be something that he has done in other situations, time and time again. It seems, once her young man comes to the realization that (to coin another phrase) the thrill is gone, he backs off, begs for time to ‘do his own thing’ and pretty much moves on, emotionally.

If you are a young male, this more than likely makes perfect sense to you, but if you are of the female persuasion, this is a pretty crude and insensitive thing to do to the girl you’re about to take to prom this upcoming weekend. In a way, it’s actually worse than formally breaking up – because you’re not even owning up to the fact that you want out…you’re sort of just fizzling out and hoping she will be the one to tell you it’s over, so you don’t have to look like the bad guy. You can actually turn this into the preliminary ‘come-on’ you provide to the next girl who’s heart you’ll be breaking down the road – letting her know how you’ve got these trust issues because of how girls always hurt you and end up with other guys…Boo Hoo!

Credit To Eyetestonline

Credit To Eyetestonline

Okay, so back to the life lessons. Beginning with the concept of building illusions that we then hold onto, in ways where they begin to direct our behaviors our choices, our complete outlook on things… It becomes so difficult not to hurt and torment ourselves…we have put so much of ourselves into this make-believe future outcome. We have so much riding on it, that when it doesn’t produce the anticipated or expected results, we are not just upset…but to a certain degree, shattered.

It becomes nearly impossible to see through all those negative feelings, believing even if only for a moment, there may be something at play that we haven’t been able to see or realize clearly on our own. We are so focused on feeling let down or disappointed and sad, that is pretty much all we can see.

In the case of our foster daughter, just last week, she ran into a young man she had not seen in years who she is just beginning to talk about – someone whom she has told me throughout this week, seems to be very forthcoming about how grateful he is to have reconnected with her…someone who already seems to be more in balance with her than the young man she’s been ‘running after’ for the past 6 months.

I am in a position in my own life, to be able to see the outer workings of forces beyond her and her 17 year old world at play – not to draw the conclusion that this other young man will take the place of her current boyfriend in time (although this may indeed play out) but that he just happened into her life at a time when she needs to be able to see for herself what type of qualities she prefers in her close relationships – what qualities she appreciates and desires and how good it feels to feel valued rather than always being the one to initiate conversation, time together and couple activities.

Personally, I couldn’t have plotted the timing any better had I written the screenplay myself. So, I’m left, looking at the life-force that has moved the pieces of her chess board into an entirely new position…and I see it for just that, something greater than her, directing the scenes and placing before her what she needs to move forward in a stronger, healthier, more self-reliant manner than ever would have been. The heartache is unfortunate, but pretty much collateral damage when looking at all the bigger picture holds.

Credit to 1Folonion

Credit to 1Folonion

I too, have been given this grand landscape with which to point out, when she comes to me, not only the narrow point on the canvas, but also the background and the scenery in the distance. If we’re going to look at this image as it really is, we may as well break down all that there is in it; not just the parts that are close and easy to see.

One more thing I can walk away from this experience with is the consistent hope and belief that I too, by practicing bringing qualities such as faith and patience in my own life, will be able to see the landscape of pictures in things that occur to me, in my world…that I somehow see the inner working of events as they unfold to me – and I learn to let go of my false expectations and illusions and learn to let what will be, simply be.

Please feel free to share  your experience of “blessings in disguise” or events of this type below.

(T)ZADDIK

The Letter Z

I’m guessing most of the people who read the Z-topic I have selected, are scratching their heads while looking at the word TZADDIK. To be perfectly honest, I, someone who knows what this word means and where it derives from too, am scratching my head, feeling quite amazed, because I had no idea it could be considered an English word. Yet, lo and behold, there it was, in my Z-word lists, one that it clearly states is permissible in games of Scrabble. And what could be more legitimate than that?

Love and Giving

I am hard pressed to think of many real-life examples, however, and that saddens me – frightens me too; because a TZADDIK is defined as a man (because of grammatical conjugations and such the word changes to TZADEIKES when referring to a woman) who is righteous and saintly according to Jewish standards. And, needless to say, one of the things we are NOT inundated with in today’s world, is righteousness and saintliness according to ANY standards.

I’m not looking to pick an argument or rile anybody up with this conclusion, and a part of me would love to complete my A-Z blogging challenge on a much more upbeat note, but I also feel a tremendous need to speak from the heart; at least that is what I hope I have been doing a lot of here this past month. In no way am I looking at this from a religious point of view – but rather an ethical and moral one – one that comes from a sense of ‘good for the soul;’ nothing more, nothing less.

charity

This all makes a lot more sense by working with the meaning of the word ZADDIK itself. Even though it can get confusing because of the very act of trying to work with words across different languages – some constants remain. The Hebrew word for charity is TZEDAKAH, but it has a moral obligatory component added to the concept we don’t have because of how closely connected it was to Jewish law in ancient times.

And the word ZADDIK (also spelled TZADDIK since there is no single letter in our alphabet that duplicates the sound of the first letter in the word) comes directly from here. Hebrew words often contain root words (3 letters in length) that logically connect to other words with the same root. The connection between righteous, saintly and charity is one of those.

kindness can change the world

And it makes me wonder – I wonder about why we aren’t inundated with kindness and charity and righteousness, at least enough to help balance out destruction, corruption and mean-hearted stuff. I doubt there is a simple, single-dimensional answer. And I know that means it is not an easy thing to bring attention to, nor do I expect it to be very popular.

Can it be true that we’ve collectively, as a society, gotten so accustomed to all the negativity in our lives? Do we accept it without even trying to set it right anymore? Maybe we’ve bought into it all being so much bigger and pervasive, because it can be found everywhere, and we just turn a deaf ear to it; as if numbed to its effect desensitized.

Facebook status

Sometimes it seems as if these things that we know deep down inside should matter, these things we truly want to do something about but feel helpless about – get replaced by terribly unimportant things…things like continuous updates to the status of people who we may never have been that close to in the first place.
We don’t address how little goodness, charity and kindness is broadcasted or announced. We are hit with so much information in the course of any given day, but it isn’t usually about such things as righteousness and charity – I guess those types of things don’t sell or monetize easily.

So, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to close this challenge with this brief piece on the concept of ZADDIKIM, those who live their lives with an element of righteousness. Maybe this might remind us to bring some type of balance back, to help these types of qualities regain a place in the world as something to look up to, rather than something to eliminate and override.

An Ode to Y

The Letter Y

As I compose ideas and thoughts for today’s post, I am absolutely amazed that I have come through this challenge. But before I go further down that path, I will disclose today’s Y topic.

Interestingly, when the letters are not the most common, or when I find it difficult for whatever reason, to settle on a topic for the post, I have found myself resorting to searching. I quickly punch in the keys that spell out “words beginning with the letter (fill in the blank) and within seconds, Master Google has provided for me a number of sites I can click on that will present for me a list of words from which I can choose. Some do this seamlessly in word-count order, but for my desires and purposes related to the A-Z Blogging challenge, I tend to prefer one large alphabetical listing, uninterrupted by letter count.

List of words

I spend a few moments reading through the list, and find a word that sparks my interest, or perhaps a word that I am not that familiar with but one that I find interesting anyway, so I look it up. If I like what it brings up for me, I may go with that and a post is born.

But that is not how I decided on this one. Well, at least, not entirely. Since I found it difficult to think of my own “Y” topic, I pulled up a listing of words that began with the letter Y and read through it, finding it quite limited with many of the same words posing as ‘spin-offs’ of a word beginning with that letter. There was a multitude of ‘yellow’ words; words that expressed a full variety of shades of the rainbow like yellowish green and yellowish beige. I found something similar with the word ‘year’ as the springboard word. These included concepts than ranged from ‘year Y2K compliance’ to ‘yearling’, ‘yearbooks’ and ‘year-old.’

No way would I stoop to anything so contrived for this topic of the second to the last letter of the alphabet. I’ve come too far in this challenge to settle for them.

Youth_Power

I did however, find myself drawn toward the word “youth” because it instantly brought a saying my father quoted very often over the years. He used to say “youth is wasted on the young.” It almost had me, but then I also like ‘yesterday” and a lot of what that brought up for me.

Yesterday and toay

So, the struggle between the two, “youth” and “yesterday” began in my head and my heart. And it was right there, smack dab in the midst of the battle, when I suddenly decided on today’s topic.

Okay, now do you remember how I started this post, by saying how amazed I am that I have achieved this undertaking of posting through the alphabet? The reason for my being so amazed is because I tend not to believe very much in my abilities nor my perseverance or determination. And that is because of my “Yucky Thinking.”

Now, I am not quite sure that “Yucky” is even a word, not in the official sense, anyway. I may have missed it in my original search list, but I don’t think so. And if it was there, it certainly wasn’t attached to any other word to compose a phrase like “Yucky Thinking.”

But I know that is most definitely something I had to put out there, because I remember when the challenge was first posed to me by a new friend, but someone who I have grown to become quite fond of in a very short while; how my first, second and even third reactions were products of just that, “Yucky Thinking.”

I knew it was something that I wanted to be able to do, but something I was equally filled with excuses against taking on. There was no way I would be able to do it on a consistent basis. Come up with 26 different things to write about that I would actually hit ‘publish’ for? Don’t be silly. Only real bloggers do that sort of thing.

I had already attempted to write fairly consistently and had abandoned it as soon as I missed one time that I had scheduled and destroyed my perfect vision of my perfect writing. Not only that, but I had no idea how to measure up to others, not in regard to the quality or quantity of their posts, nor to the number of their followers.

“Yucky Thinking!”

And I do it a lot…with so much of the things that I might, God forbid, allow myself to find pleasure and enjoyment in.

Positive and Negative Thinking

So here’s my ode to you, “yucky thinking.” May you rest in peace…..at least more often!

XEROPHYTE

The letter X

Okay, I might as well admit it right up front, for today’s chosen topic beginning with the letter X, I had to do a bit of research. Despite all my workings with the English language, I must confess my resources for words beginning with the letter X are sadly, quite limited indeed.

Having said that, I set off to find a word that contained something I might be able to relate to and that, right off the bat, eliminated the few common “X” words that come rolling off the tongue like X-ray or Xylophone. Sheesh!

Succulant plants

I found myself, where else, but on the web, poking around for X-words and I stumbled upon one that I feel has (wait for it……..) depth.
The word I give the honor of the day to is XEROPHYTE. And if truth be told, I had never heard the word until today. But I like it.

To the best of my understanding, Xerophytes are a species of plants that compare in a way to camels within the animal kingdom. It seems these plants are highly adaptive in their ability to conserve of all things, water. They are actually able to store large quantities of it during dry periods so they can survive. Some sources actually claim that these plants can get their metabolic systems to effectively shut down so they don’t soak up the water the same way, thereby making it last longer so they survive.

How cool is that? They are designed to be able to balance their own intake of water, their very source of life, in a way that pertains to their individual need. If there happens to be a drought, their internal mechanism is able to monitor their functioning so that they can live longer.

Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree here, but I don’t know “advanced” species, say, us human beings, who can do that. Almost all of us have a really hard time balancing the things we think we want, let alone the things we truly need in order to survive. Heck, most of us can’t even balance our checkbooks (if we still have them since the advent of online banking).

Blooming Cacti

Typically, plants would evaporate water at a quicker rate in an environment that was dry (and this can go for hot, dry climates such as deserts, or arctic climates where the water plants need to survive freezes due to the continuous, extreme cold). But this doesn’t happen with Xerophytes. They allocate the water they absorb to the areas that need new tissue growth and are able to store it for later too. Somehow, they manage this intricate, individualized water supply system within themselves, enabling their continued survival.

So I am thinking a lot about how I can learn to be more like a XEROPHYTE. I need to learn what is truly needed in my own life and to discover a way within me to balance it so I too, can continue to survive – even through periods of drought.

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