Breath held, I look at the plants. The year is 2010, Summer is in full swing - and I know what will appear: wilting flowers, browning for no reason I can discern. BLIGHT. The plants may be full of blossoms that are budding into fruit, but the blooms that wither and die hold my attention. As always.
No amount of spray or water, sun or shade will keep those blooms from shriveling, dying and falling off the plants. I find it so painful, it steals the joy of the ones that will survive.
I know in my heart that some blossoms just won't be saved, just like some people just can't break free of the bad habits and torment they inflict upon themselves. That life is not a neat, 30 minute sound bite that always makes sense - where dad gives good advice and all is well in the world. Why, then, do the broken ones take my attention away from the healthy ones, the ones that should bring me joy?
Many moons ago, I watched as someone close went through a horrible blight. The depth of despair we felt was so disparate that there didn't seem to be any way to re-balance. Our focus blurred. We were pushed apart by necessity - the necessity of focus, feeding kids and walking dogs, cleaning gutters, listening to a machine all night long, clicking every few minutes, telling me the poison was doing its hideously necessary job. I was supposed to be grateful for its power, that poison, but all I wanted to do was throw it out the window.
Slowly, over time, the world rebalanced and we found our axis again - not the "survival is all we have" mode but the "hey this is fun" stuff. Had I focused only on the blight and forgotten the good things that can be, there would have been nothing to remember but the horror of what I lived. If not for a sense of loss, would there be any sense of joy?
The month of May holds new promise and potential for joy. After all, if I focus on the blight, it can take over and be all that I can see. What's the point in that, when I'm missing out on the color in the world? And color there is, all around me.(Artist credit:My daughter, 18 years old and a phenomenal artist, creates amazing faxu-tattoos on her arm. This lovely creature was created in about 7 minute's time while we sat in a waiting room.)