Bubbles near the Heart

Picture courtesy of TommiAnn Tromme

Some pictures are. Just are.

If there is one to capture our escaping from the past twelve months, this is it. Cheery canines, or that magnificent young girl? … Be that. To be one of those reflecting floating fantastics, in between the smiles and joy, would be heaven on earth as well. Bubbles near the heart of that child. Yes, some pictures are. Just are.

It doesn’t have to be just our release from pandemic restrictions, either. To be fair, we’re not as far removed from those woods as she is … running across a green field with passion I wish some adults would have toward popping the covid bubble. She has fight and energy. Joy and love. There’s a direction in her expression I rarely see in worn, half-tired adult faces who’ve lost perspective on bubbles in their lives.

Myself included.

Bubbles in the work we do to support ourselves and those we love.

Bubbles in what we believe about our self-worth.

Bubbles in our relationships with friends and relatives.

These, and many others, have been forgotten. I’m sure you can think of more. We forget these don’t last long – only a short lifetime. Cherishing them must be a priority while we enjoy the oxygen we’re so fortunate to have.

They aren’t perfect. We expect them to be most times, though. This young angel isn’t concerned about perfection. She’s pushing forward into an unknown future. With bubbles as helpful sidekicks, this pink-booted explorer finds her way across imperfect, rolling blades of grass to discover new ideas, colors, smells, or reflections from the beautiful sunlit day. She simply lives the imperfect life of innocence – apart from our complicated adult life of bubble-popping.

It’s just what we’re conditioned to do. And, it’s ok.

Sure, we’ve lost our child-like perspective. This world needs adults to, well, be adults.

Every once in a while, though, maybe you could step away from all of it and blow a few bubbles while standing in a field. Probably, if a few non-pernicious pups are willing to participate, they could join in. An afternoon away from the smudgeness of a workday, or a weekend when the sun is friendly and skies are open to it? Yes, find the time and an inexpensive dollar-store bottle of soapy liquid with a cheap, plastic ring inside. Field your dreams – if only for a few minutes.

This won’t pay the cell phone bill or ward off this crazy covid thing going on, but maybe – just maybe – it’ll help you escape from what ails your adulting bones that can’t seem to move the first ten minutes of every day.

Bones I wish I still had to keep up with the energy this young girl seems to have. I need fresh grass under my feet and a warm, quick breeze across my face … and a few sticky bubbles.

She has what it takes. I don’t know her. Permission was so graciously granted to use the photograph. Having an inkling what this picture represents to her family, I can share a portion of the reply I received after asking: “…I just love sharing her sunshine with the world.”

… And I can add one more bubble to my universe. A bubble I won’t be quick to forget.

Life is difficult. We know this. Look over your bubbles you may have forgotten and see if there’s time to play with them … if only for a few minutes with the passion and energy of a child.

You are you always. You just are – and that’s ok, too. Just like this picture.

It Was Nice

It was a nice day.

Ok, so the weather wasn’t a perfect 72-degrees, sunny day here in central PA. We’ve been talking a lot about the snow, ice, and coldness around town lately. Roads and bridges resembled a Dickens tale up and until yesterday as most staggering about have had enough. I saw the melting frustration in my customer’s eyes, however, as some sparkling ones, inside happy heads, approached my concession window – on top of bounce-in the-step bodies.

It was nice to see.

A sunny, 45-degree day can do this to defeated outlooks. As in most loving communities, the past few months have taken their toll on everyone. Nagging our collective souls: lingering election fatigue, a continuing unmasking of new information about the virus, national and local business struggles on how to survive, heroes of ours dying unexpectedly, personal and spiritual tussles within ourselves … and, of course, the weather.

I don’t know what, from that list or any other challenge, was on the heart of any one of my walk-up, special, fellow walk-abouts yesterday. I do know my mind wasn’t quite on task upon opening as a dear friend was in a cold, sterile hospital room being consulted about her ongoing (possible) newer treatment for cancer. Possible, parenthetically, because her cancer is a rare, unwelcomed friend that’s been hanging around a bit too long and she’s kinda tired of it needing attention. “What to do going forward…?”, could have been one of the questions of the day swirling inside her always optimistic, outlooking window of a brain. “Is the treatment – and possible side-effects – worth it?… Do I want to go through all this, again, for a third time? … Just what, exactly, is my body doing with this cancer that I need to know?… “. Her thoughts were unknown to me. My thoughts about keeping sodas cold, or over-grilling a few burgers took a back-burner for a moment as the quiet of pre-opening a concession trailer during a rather nice February weather day took shape.

She was one. One person who wasn’t in-person, but on my mind as the protective, hinged roof rose to start my day. The sun did shine through my less-than clean windows – sliding their way across north and south. I did find my way through the emotional morning, though. Sales are like that. Turning a switch as my first customer sauntered his way up to my window … happily so. I like this moment. Happy is transferable. Smiles spread well. An insincere smile, they say, is better than a sincere frown.

He appeared happy. I knew it was going to be this way. After all, the weather brings out happy when – after weeks of rain, snow, and ice – slightly-warm sunshine breaks through malaise sitting on folk’s vitalities.

It was nice to see.

Content and untroubled words continued throughout the day … as did warmth. Now, warmth, in this context, was 45-degrees and a slight glare I could finally see reflecting off of the gray pavement a few feet below where I stood inside. Salt residue crunched under the feet of an increased number of folks who saw 8-foot banners my irresponsible self at last decided to hang back up. It was these wonderful right-of-spring, bright red “Hot Dog” flags waving in the mild breeze I loved to watch yesterday in between thinking about my friend and waiting on customers … wondering what they were thinking each time one would walk up to my window. Yes, It wasn’t spring. We’re 21 days away, but there was a definite spring in their step.

It was nice to see.

I need a day like that. A day to see other people. A day to be sad about what my friend is going through and a day to be extremely glad to enjoy the sun, the breeze, the opportunity to be in business … and share the happy in other people’s lives. One ordered just a plain dog and was simply joyous to do so. Another came by later – after passing by earlier in a hurry, unable to stop – and was plainly contented ordering five sandwiches … talking about life with me as I prepared his order. A long time casual friend, out and about, needing some time with me to chat up the weather in his life. A somewhat stormy, but familiar life. The sunset, to him, was so welcoming. I got it. I really did.

It was nice to … hear.

That was the day to me. Customers, friends online and off. I did hear from my dear friend as she returned home later in the day. A sunny, some-what warm day for everyone … including her. The sun knows no problems we face down here on this floating home of ours. It knows only what it can give to us – bright, warm faces and hope for a better tomorrow. I saw glimpses of that yesterday … in myself and in the eyes of so many others as they casually, yet intentionally, walked a few steps away from their cars to my slightly speckled windows I never did take time to clean. Windows I closed, seven hours after opening. With more optimism, I drove home on dusk-laden roads knowing happiness during those warmer hours meant something. A sunny, 45-degree day can do this.

It was just … nice.