Monthly Archives: February 2016

But Seriously, Is This Your Super Power?

If Mr Dreamboat has a super power, and truth be told he has many, then it would be his ability to find things. Far from becoming irritated when I lose things (… the same things… every day… and then other days I lose different, important things…), it seems he becomes ignited by the opportunity of a challenge and when he emerges, inevitably victorious, he gets a sheepishly proud look on his face and bestows me with the gift of the found object.

Sometimes I swear I can see his 8-year-old self beaming through.

And so it was that when Zoë lost her phone on the farm in a very deep way, we were all a little disappointed that Mr D was, and would remain, out of town for 8 more days. That’s a long time to go without one’s personal device in this day and age.

Each member of the family took turns and then as a team and searched for the missing phone for days and days. Zoë could be heard mumbling as she passed, “If I were a phone, where would I hide?”

On several different days the hall closet was completely emptied. The first time the focus was on coat pockets, the second was on shoes, the goat stalls were literally combed and yet the phone’s whereabouts remained a mystery.

The phone was lost on a dark and stormy Wednesday night. The following Tuesday morning presented itself as cloudy and then changed its mind like a moody middle schooler and surprised us with a sunny disposition. As my day unfolded the glistening air called me and I decided for a short farm meditation, holding goats and feeling fresh mountain air on my face.

As I put on my jaunty purple boots and told the home team where I’d be, Zoë requested I hold Nellie, our newest baby goat. That’s how you train them to hang out with humans.

I walked the short walk to the goat barn and went straight to Nellie and her mom. After I cornered the oh-so-adorable-kid I opted for yet another search for the phone.

Step-sweep-step-sweep, I snuggled Nellie while her mother dumbly searched for her. Look up you ridiculous goat.

And there it was, gleaming like an unearthed treasure, in all its phoney-glory… or rather, it was a bit dull with but a single goat poop marring its glorious face.

At that moment I felt my super hero cape flapping in the breeze. The sun shone even brighter and I knew I was the hero of the day… or at least five minutes… whichever comes first.

After the emotional reuniting of Woman & Phone, I wondered if a bit of Mr D’s magic has finally rubbed off on me and then I got to thinking. It wasn’t magic at all, at least in the way we’d like to think of magic.

The magic was in the perseverance. The magic was in not accepting the phone as lost, but in knowing if we just kept looking we would find it.

It is magic. It’s the kind of magic where we just keep working at it. We get up every morning and try again no matter how many times we fail.

Our dreams will magically come to us. And it’s just like Tinker Bell always promised, we have to keep our faith, trust and Pixie Dust.

Or if you live on the Young Family Ranch & Zombie Apocalypse Sanctuary, Goat Dust will work just fine.

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Where In The World Are You Going?

Just a few weeks ago I sat in the airport listening intently to understand even one word of the Spanish announcement, I felt a rise of excitement and anxiety as we ventured into places unfamiliar, extraño, if you will.

Mostly the answer was no. No, I did not understand any of the words despite years of avid Spanish study.

China Town in Mexico City. International, baby!
China Town in Mexico City. International, baby!

It was disappointing, but not surprising. I hadn’t practiced the language for years except to say, “Me encanta la lengua pero no lo hablo mucho. Por eso no hablo bien.”

Which of course sounds pretty good because I can pop that sentence out like a boss… because it’s mostly the only Spanish I use anymore.

It means, “I love the language but I don’t speak it much. That’s why I don’t speak it well.” Yeah…

But life is never linear and what we believe we “are” is more location than definition. Wait, let me explain what I mean by that.

So often we look around ourselves, we evaluate our circumstances by what perceive we’ve achieved, how our day played out and maybe, if you’re like me, we judge who we are based on our most current results.

As if what appears today is a definition of who we are. You know, like, “I don’t speak Spanish well today, which means I don’t speak Spanish well.” Which is another way of saying, “I suck.” Unfortunate and inelegant.

Harsh, I know

The reality of the situation was that I had, indeed, studied Spanish for a lot of years in earnest. I’d traveled to Mexico and Guatemala with the specific goal of immersion study. I had done the work.

Also true was the fact that I hadn’t practiced it much in recent years. It was hard to speak it and even harder to understand the words spilling out of a static-y sound system in a busy Southern California airport.

As our trip to San Miguel unfolded, each day I practiced speaking and trying with all my might to understand what is a truly lovely language. Every day I discovered anew how much I enjoy it and, to my delight, I discovered the skill was never lost. It was there to be rediscovered all along.

Our circumstances are in no way a definition of who we are. Who we are is a manifestation of a graceful Universe. We are expressions of a limitless God.

Further, our circumstances are simply feedback and nothing more. They are either encouraging us further along the path we’re on or begging us to choose something different, something more worthy of us.

The more I tuned in, the more my brain cooperated, spitting out words I’d long since forgotten right on demand. It was fun. I was encouraged. But perhaps most importantly I was reminded not to judge myself so harshly. Where I am, is not a definition of who I am, it’s merely a location. And I am not a tree, I can move any time I choose.

Where will you go next?