The Colors of Life

 

The spectrum of humanity lives in my garden.  All the hues are represented.  I spent much of the day today here in the garden, working and enjoying the beautiful day. 

Here in my garden among nature’s living color.  The riotous reds and sunny saffron.  The bright fuchsias, vivid indigo and royal plums, Tangerine oranges and leaves of deep velvet green with tickles of snow-white petals kiss the Kelly grass. 

The butterflies flutter and frolic, while the songbirds twitter and tweet. The place hums with life.  Chickadees and blue birds, Robins and Crows, the little Wrens and the glorious hummingbirds all play and sing. 

 Raccoons and opossums, the neighbor cats and probably a few mice. A million kinds of insects and even a few humans also pay frequent visits to the garden.  It is an oasis of pure green in the city.

Everything is all organic.  I let nature do  a lot of the work so I can have more time to appreciate It’s wonder.

When I work the soil, I feel a certain connectedness to the Earth.  I feel so included, so a part of something much bigger than I .  A  cool cloud of  calm descends over me and my mind can finally relax.  I take in the whole experience of the garden, It is a delight to all the senses.

I plant a seed and watch that seed sprout out of the ground and grow into something beautiful  and useful, it’s like a miracle to me, every time. I can’t get over it, the more I learn, the more I need to learn.  

I have learned much over the years and have accomplished much as well.   Many times I had to learn the hard way until I finally learned that I don’t know everything and that it’s O.K. to ask for help.  I’ve learned that nothing and no one is perfect and that is a good thing.   We are all different: but just as beautiful, just as vitally important.  All of us contribute to the beautiful essence of the garden of humanity in our own unique ways.

We need a spectrum of colors in our garden of humanity.  And love and understanding for one another.  The health of the garden depends on all of us…From the bipedal big-headed hairy ape, to the smallest microbe.  We need to work together for the good of all.

As I work in my garden I think of these things;  I start to believe that nothing is impossible, if you believe.  Every plant starts with one tiny seed, and ideas are like that.  Some land in the wrong place, some never germinate or get water, some just wither and die, and some are even stepped on.  Some ideas, with love and care and attention can grow and become tall powerful towering trees, like the great redwoods.

I believe that, if we all believe and work hard.  Humankind can achieve wonderous beautiful things. Together, we can do much. Apart, we achieve nothing.  And maybe someday we can all live in peace and harmony.  Just like in my garden.

And while we are on the subject…Check out My Garden page  for a tribute to The Sunflower and more…Wishing you Peace and Happiness,

 Strawberryindigo.

Behind the Tide

Earlier this summer, M.M. and I packed up the two teenagers and headed to the beach, to one of our favorite coastal towns.

We had been there before.  It’s the perfect place for family fun in the day and other kinds at night.  There prevails an old school carny atmosphere and brassy charm.   This town reminds me of a big-mouthed quickly aging carnival queen with a great right-hook and a heart of gold.

Needless to say, I love it there and my family does too.  The last time we went there, it rained the entire time.  We had a good time, but not a great one and this time, we vowed would be the best time ever.

I like to play travel agent so I did some research and found us a nice place with two extra bedrooms, an indoor pool, room service, and all the extras (free coffee!) at a price that we could afford; in other words, I did the impossible for that town at that time. And while I’m patting myself on the back for being so utterly brilliant,( save your applause for the end)   Take a look-see at the beauty which is part of our Great United States

Those are some of the reasons why we like it here so much.  I have a fondness for the Ocean that is almost instinctive.   The sound of the surf is like no other sound, it feels so comforting..so natural..the sound pulls me in and embraces me in tranquility.  The warm sand below my feet, the cerulean sky above and the yellow sun shining down .. I could almost stay there forever….. 

We have just arrived and I am eager to get to the sand.  Our suite is just what we expected and I hastily unpack and then, with my 16-year-old in tow…head to the sand and surf.

My need to be in the center of everything left us with a three block walk to the beach, this I did not mind since we passed by several shops and the cutest little mall…..There I taught my son a valuable lesson in patience and bought myself a new hat!  

Topped with my new hat we headed to the beach proper where we were greeted with a wall of humanity 10 feet thick.  I had never seen so many bodies pushed up together in one area, they reminded of seals or walrus packed up together like that.

There was music playing, little girls with fat stomachs in tiny bikinis gyrated to a Gaga tune, old furry men sat and drank beer while their too brown wives tanned their hides in the sun, the sweet smells of marijuana and coco butter mixed with the late afternoon heat, producing a pungent but intriguing aroma.

I had to get to that sand!  I ran ahead and ditched my shoes on the way, soon I’d be there… and then I was there,, I almost cut myself on brown beer bottle glass!  What? My eyes scanned the sand; It looked all used up.. a million footprints, cigarette butts and trash all over.  I almost felt like crying……..

We had been to this very same spot 18 months earlier and now it seemed so different, it was loud and raunchy, the aging carnival queen with the heart of gold, had been replaced by a mean old barfly with bad teeth and even worse breath. 

And then I saw “The Bitch”, she was new on the scene but I could tell that she would be a major player soon.  She wore the name of a famous chain hotel, utilitarian looking and gigantic, it was like Nazi’s had designed her.  What a monstrosity.  

She dwarfed the other hotels. They looked old and cheap in her shadow, I had no trouble imaging what would happen to these old gals in the near future..The fact that one already sported a “for sale” sign was just more handwriting on the wall.

The older I get, the more history in the making I get to witness, some of it is exciting, some of it is sad or scary, some of it is quiet and slow and steady and before you know it has already happened. 

No matter what happens, something is always happening and change is inevitable, especially with us humans.  Building bigger and higher and newer. In our race to keep up, do we ever notice if this race is one we should be running?  

I watch the poor patrons of this hotel trying to make the best of their vacation by swimming in a pool while construction workers with power tools hammer and drill above them, I can’t believe this…one drops his tool; he yells down to us, asking if we can see it in the tall beach grass.   We shake our heads “no”  and get the hell out of there.

The sun is setting as we start walking back and I can’t help but feeling that this will be our last time here… and I am reminded of a quote

“The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future”

**Marya Mannes (1904-1990)

Happy Labor Day–Strawberryindigo.

Saturday night fight: Kirk VS. Picard.

Kirk vs. Picard (2/365)
Image by JD Hancock via Flickr

There’s something I must confess; I am a Star Trek fan from way back, I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject of Star Trek, there are many others better versed in The Star Trek Universe. I am but a humble appreciator of quality Science Fiction.

Two of the most well-known of the Star Trek characters are among some of my favorites.  One is James T. Kirk.  Captain of the Enterprise in the orignal series and Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek, The Next Generation.

Come on, who wouldn’t be a fan of either one of those guys?  I can’t help but wonder:

Who would win in a match up between the two?

Kirk Vs. Picard…..Let’s do this thing!

James Tiberius Kirk  Captain of The Enterprise in the original series.  What can I say about this swashbuckling Romeo with illusions of grandeur.  A tin plated hero adored by his crew.  A man so devoted to his ship, he had no woman before her.  It was almost sexual between Kirk and his girl.

Not that Kirk didn’t like a little, well a lot on the side with every humanoid female in the galaxy.  But no matter how strong the pull, Kirk always returned to his beloved.  The Enterprise.  

Kirk was as loyal as you can get and the bestest friend anyone could have.  Sure he was hung up on himself and all that.  And he wasn’t the brightest bulb.. so what.  He had Spock for that.

Kirk had spirit and that boy sure was plucky.  He loved a good fight and I love watching him in action, especially when he gets that little dribble of blood on his lip and his shirt gets torn.  Wow!  Now that is quality television right there.

Kirk never let a little thing like the Prime Directive get in the way of a good time.  Dammit, Jim had his priorities straight.  If I still drank,  I’d go have a beer with the dude, maybe several, and some Klingon Ale too.  

As captains go, Kirk was O.K., but as your roommate in college…totally amazing!  Kirk’s the man! 

Jean-Luc Picard  When I first met Jean-Luc back on Farpoint station I have to admit, I had my doubts.  I didn’t know what to think..A bald Frenchman with an english accent?  He sure was no Kirk, but who could be? Right?  So I gave him a chance, he had no Spock.  He needed all the help he could get.

Jean-luc was a little off-putting and stuffy.  As I mentioned, I didn’t know what to think….until Wesley Crusher, Picard hated children: Wesley included.  I hated Wesley.  We were united in our hatred of Wesley Crusher!

This endeared Picard to me.  As the seasons went by, I thought more and more of Picard.   His calm reasoned approach was reassuring.  Maybe I needed a Dad, not a boyfriend.  I don’t think Picard was in a hurry to get in a conflict, he tried to think his way out, instead of fighting.  (We need leaders like this in the real world)

I’ve done much thinking on this vitally important question, I go over and over it again. Some of the greatest minds have pondered this and how can I, little me, even begin to answer it?

I guess Picard was the better Captain, Kirk was the better all around guy and Spock….he’s the best of all in my book.

….Besides I like Spock!  All that logic and emotion rolled up in one.  Totally conflicted, just like me!  Haha.  He is, in my opinion; light years above the rest. He should have been Captain.

Live Long and ProsperStrawberryindigo.

Friday Afternoon Sounds

The following is a true story; only the names have been changed to protect the innocent… 20 minutes ago…The rustling of leaves in the overhead trees, birdsong, barking and a faint radio.  The neighbor screams, a vicious “No!”, followed by two more, A “yeah!, more birdsong, then a lone crow. Another scream and…ahhhh… the air conditioner kicks in and drowns out my crazy neighbors…..

It’s just your typical Friday in my neighborhood.

I hear Florence and the Machine..It’s a surreal tune and I go to the front to investigate.  My neighbor, The head of the clan of crazies is getting drunk on his front porch.  His dusty black car sitting in the driveway, sans a driver, with the radio blasting.  I don’t mind, I like the song.

He screams a “Yeah!” again and points across the street to a stop sign lying in the grass.  apparently he has seen me and he wants me to know about it.  He yells, I think, “Three Times!”,  I half-smile and wave the peace sign at him and scoot on back to the studio.

I have many “interesting” and noisy neighbors.  The three dogs, Fletcher, Jimmy and the new one,The Moaner.  The cute little girl next door who plays the violin almost constantly, the same tune that sounds like the theme to “The Exorcist“.  The Giggler on the other side and his friend, the doughfaced punk with the fluffy dog. They watch their dogs play and giggle until all hours of the night.

It is the night when it truly gets “interesting” around here.   Many times the police are called on the neighbors with the ironic name, who report many “crimes”.  Once the police showed up at our door looking for one of them who had been reported kidnapped, later he’s screaming as he’s been taken away by the bald cop.

The radio plays all night.  It’s not so bad since again I like the drunken crazy guys taste in music.  It drowns out the creepy flute music and reedy voiced woman who sometimes sings like her heart has been broken.

You can see why a visit from raccoons would be a welcome distraction.  Did I mention?  Those rascals showed up again last night and they made quite a  racket.  This morning I discovered a sunflower head missing, just a stem left. I think one of them took off with it.  Who knows.?  Just another day in the neighborhood.

Wishing you a quiet evening–Strawberryindigo.

Out of the shadows

Out of the shadows

Three years ago this October I learned something about myself that profoundly changed my life.  It came as a complete surprise, although looking back now I suppose it shouldn’t have.

I received a call from my daughters teacher, she told me that she’d like to set up a meeting with the school psychologist to evaluate my daughter for Asperger Syndrome.  I had heard of it before but I never associated my daughter with anything like that.  Sure, she’s quirky and sensitive and a bit shy and uncoordinated.  She got those traits from me and I don’t have Asperger’s…..?

A question was planted in my brain.   If I am interested in something I will learn everything I can about it, as fast as I can.  I have been accused of doing something until I exhaust it to death.  This new bit of information had me reading up a storm, the more I read the more it became obvious. My daughter was definitely going to be diagnosed with Asperger’s, I knew that for sure because by then I knew we both are soaking in it.

This left me with mixed feelings, as a mother, it’s hard to hear  someone tell you that your child isn’t perfect and it’s doubly hard on my heart to know that my daughter now knew that the school thought something was wrong with her.

The other part of me, the one that belongs solely to me was elated with relief and joy.  I cannot describe fully how I felt.   All my life I had lived in the shadows, trying to blend in with the crowd; into the background.  I couldn’t let anyone know my secret.  That I was different  from everyone.  So misunderstood.  Everyone seemed to know what to say, how to act, what to do.  I never knew what to say to anyone.

As child I liked to pretend that in reality I was an alien and that “my people” would be returning for me soon. I am blessed with a rich imagination and that helped somewhat but no matter where I went,  I was alone, even in a room full of people, I was alone.   The more people, the more isolated I felt.

I carried this around for many years.  It effected my entire life.  I was crippled inside, I believed my imperfections were weakness and entirely my fault.   I hated myself and many times I wanted to die.  I called myself “lame” and I believed it.  I got into drugs and alcohol, my life hit a downward spiral.  This continued for years….

Fate lent me a hand in giving me my two wonderful children.  They literally saved my life.  I had a reason to live, they needed me and they needed me to be strong for them.  I began the uphill climb.

I kept pushing myself out of my comfort zone, past my boundaries.  It hurts to grow and sometimes I would fall.  But I always got back up. Slowly and surely I became more.  It wasn’t enough though.  No matter how normal I looked on the outside. No matter how together I looked, I was still as alone as ever.

As silly as this sounds; a part of me was afraid that they’d say she wasn’t Aspergers after all, but they confirmed our suspicions.  My daughter was officially diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and  began to receive help.

 This last July I stumbled upon a website.  It is a forum for people with Aspergers to communicate with others who understand.

That is where Strawberryindigo was born.

I obsessed myself with that website and the other people there.  It was tonic for the soul to know others, many others felt the same or similar to me.  I finally felt understood by  those  who were misunderstood themselves. And I found that  sort can be the most understanding and accepting of all. I feel that people on the spectrum have unique talents and abilities.  I believe we Aspies are a special breed with a lot to share with the world, we just need a few of us to speak up for the rest.

This peer therapy was truly was shot in the arm.  My family started to notice a change happening in me.  I became happier, almost cheerful.  I poured out my heart to these strangers.  The more I did this the better I felt.  I began to use the blog feature there.  It’s very simple compared to this one but it is there I learned my salvation…

..Writing. I found that it brings out the best in me.  All my life I have kept all this in, I have kept myself hidden in the shadows.  My dream has always been to be a writer but I had this fear of others reading what I wrote and judging for it and maybe even hating me.  I have always felt that I had something to say but I’ve been afraid of saying it.  I’ve been afraid of everything!

Now, Here I am. I little shaken but intact and improving and getting stronger everyday.  I owe it to that website and those people.  I really believe that peer therapy works.  I also believe in the cause to help others with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders such as Asperger Syndrome.

Thanks for listening—Strawberryindigo.