The Tiger in the Grass Needs You to Look

I want to write you a love letter you’ll never forget.

Slip out of your shoes and just begin walking.

Look in the mirror and smile at those little dimples, that spark, that life looking back at you as you head out for your next adventure.

You can lay in the cool grass under a tree and watch clouds, you can ask a friend or even a stranger if they want to play, you can move a little faster or stay totally still and all that magic in you is showing. We can all see it…if you can.

You are sweet tarts and green apples and lime soda, you are a cool orange slice after a soccer game, you are fresh water at the top of the trail, you are butterflies and crickets and fire flies. You are the night sky in Santa Fe and the Red Rocks and the Ancient Redwood Forest.

That’s just half of it.

You are love. Infinity. You do not need to worry–not about one thing.

Can I tell you a little story?

There was a woman who lived in Africa. Not in the cities but the wild places still left there. She worried about a family of elephants who shared a large open field with her.  They might stampede, they might get nervous and stomp her.

These things can happen.

One day, despite her fear, she sat in the long grass and watched the elephants from a distance. She was so focused on the elephants, that off to her side, laying in wait was a tiger. She did not see him.

As the tiger prepared to pounce, a large grandmother elephant began running at the woman who had no idea a tiger prepared to attack her. Panicked, she froze in place. She thought, it finally was coming true, she would be killed by an elephant.

Instead the elephant drove the tiger out of the grass and away from her. The elephant whom she thought would kill her actually saved her life. As the elephant walked away the woman lay back in the grass breathing.

Her failure to see the tiger in the grass, her fixation on the wrong enemy almost cost the woman her life. Had she had a more expansive view which included tigers in the grass and the possibility of goodness in elephants her life before that moment would be different.

After that moment her view changed.

 

The coffee of Portugal, the Spanish bar with serious guacamole down the way from where Cerventes wrote Don Quixote, the warm afternoon on the French Coast, the Irish bars and trains, the sunset on the Big Sur Coast, the first snow of a Boston winter, the easy sands of North Carolina, the Florida Egrets, the Mexican markets and uneven tiles, Canadian waterfalls, The sweet child who offered me water, the beautiful man who bought me a drink and left, the woman with red lipstick who said–“Do it now!”

Everyone I loved, I still love. Every adventure is a thread that knits me together.

I value the friendship of our children and grandchildren. I had them deep in my focus from the start. That was the right place to look.

You were the right person to look at too. You are happy to play with words, ideas, on this page and others. You ask me to find my passion and share it.

Here’s the big irony–all that stuff I use to worry about is back in some personal deep time closet I don’t look at anymore. I don’t miss it.

The stuff which showed up at the corner of my sight when I began to change focus is exactly what I needed. I embrace the elephants and watch for the tigers. I can appreciate them both because they make up this beautiful adventure. I honor them both, but I don’t walk the grasses without a stick and an elephant near me. That’s not worry that’s just vision.

Now I travel with all kinds of things packed in my life’s backpack that I never knew I would carry. All the safety kits and carefully folded items are out of there. All the unnecessary worry weighs too much. I travel light with friendship, love and balance.

It works out, I’ve learned.

I fear nothing in this moment and should fear return I will face it boldly. That’s what it takes–knowing you have what it takes.

You have what it takes.

Let’s play.

 

 

 

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