I Don’t Want the Indian to Cry

I Don't Want the Indian to Cry.
Cloud formation to the south while sitting on my deck last night.

A few weeks ago as I was heading to Madison with Gidget, flying down the highway, a man in front of me in my lane opened his car door and tossed out his garbage.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I said out loud, “Did he really just do that?”  It felt so violating.

Lately with the nicer weather I’ve been getting out on more walks. Gidget comes along with me in her dog stroller.

Our serene little town of 950 explodes in the summer months due to people visiting their lake cottages, as well as the fact we are a popular tourist destination.

Along with this, seems to come more litter. I found myself complaining in my head, upset that people can just throw stuff on the lawns and streets without thought. I love our quaint, adorable village and it upsets me that others don’t respect it, too.

But then I realized today I could do something about it. Something quite simple, really.

Now when I walk, I walk with a new purpose. I pick up any garbage I see along the way. Gidget’s stroller has a nice sized pocket underneath, so it’s a great place to collect what I pick up.

And then I thought about the Indian. Remember him from the commercial in the 70s encouraging us to Keep America Beautiful?

I don’t want him to cry again– though I know well enough that large cities have their mountains of garbage lining the streets, which always makes me sad to see.

But in my own small way I can make a difference right here in my little town. So no more complaining will I do, but instead will shut up and pick up!

The Beautiful Death of a Peony

The Beautiful Death of a Peony

I almost threw them away.

But then I stopped dead in my tracks as I suddenly realized how beautiful this silky, soft, pink peony was even though it has lived its cycle.

Now, a new way in which it is full of beauty. As if a delicate, vintage doily.

And the two buds on either side which never made it to full bloom. But caught in-between worlds, as if in a cocoon and trying and be forever young.

I now don’t have the heart to dispose of the them–it’s as if they are standing still in time. I want to let them linger just a bit longer and take in their exquisite wisdom of seeing grace where we can so automatically dismiss it.

Just like growing older – there can be elegance and dignity in that too. We just have to look for it and appreciate it.


A Poem: A Periwinkle Dragonfly Sat Upon My Knee


Well, hello there Miss Periwinkle Dragonfly upon my knee. Are you here to see me?

I indeed am, she said.

What is it you wish to speak to me about? I asked.

I noticed as I flew overhead a moment ago that you are reading, The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg.

Ah yes. I see you are a very smart dragonfly who can read.

Yes, being periwinkle gives me this magic power that other colored dragonflies do not have.

You are lucky as ones world expands in unimaginable ways being able to read.

Indeed. But you see, we all have magic power within us.

There is no secret, really. No secret to being creative, or flying, or being who you are.

Yes, I realize that Miss Periwinkle Dragonfly. But being human, I need to be reminded quite often, I said.

And precisely why I landed upon your knee, she said.

To share with you my magical periwinkle wisdom that the secret really is just allowing your heart to follow what matters most to you…and just doing it…every chance you get.

That’s it, really. No secret.

Ah, yes, you are wise indeed, just like Natalie Goldberg who shares the same wisdom.

Thank you for landing upon my knee as confirmation for me that following ones heart is really the only way to fly…and write…and create…and live.

This is my job being a periwinkle dragonfly – to spread the magic of listening to ones heart. I’m glad I could be of service.

Thank you Miss Periwinkle Dragonfly. I will carry your magical wisdom in my heart.

Inspired by a periwinkle dragonfly who really did land upon my knee as I was reading Natalie Goldberg’s book right outside my writing cottage today. If only I’d have had my camera nearby!