Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Rainbow Connection

Whenever I have to answer those “password protection” questions like, “what is your mother’s maiden name?” and I am asked, “what is your favorite color?”—I answer “white.” I love the color white because it is clean—something that seems to constantly elude me. I like white because according to the Color Code, I am a white. White is the color of peace. But mostly I love white because it is a combination of all the other colors.

A few days ago, I got together with “the ladies” for a lovely lunch. I have been thinking all week about how unique and different each one of us are but how together we are each striving for the same things—to be good and do good. Just like a prism that separates light into the different colors of a rainbow, life has separated us into our own unique colors on the spectrum but when combined together we still work together in harmony and peace and light. So often, what one can’t do, the other can and this has helped us over the years to decorate Christmas trees, plan reunions, take care of the “parental units,”plan weddings, funerals and reunions, bake cakes, bread and casseroles, raise children, hike mountains and ski down slopes, birth babies, decorate homes, open businesses, write papers and edit manuscripts. I think I have finally arrived at that glorious place in life where I don’t “envy” others but instead can appreciate that we each have something to bring to the buffet and can now just enjoy the feast. Together our talents cover the whole “spectrum” of the rainbow—dancing, art, cooking, teaching, healing, decorating, listening, writing, gardening, scrapbooking, humor, photography, reading, music, organizing, and letting things go— some of us can even make our own soap! Together ladies we are one “rainbow connection” and my life is so blessed because of it. Thanks for lunch!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!!

I remember what a big deal watching The Wizard of Oz was as a child. The year we got our first color television was the biggest of all. I still remember the fear that the witch and the flying monkeys evoked and the relief I felt when Dorothy was safe in her own bed. As I have grown older, I have come to realize that The Wizard of Oz is really more of a story for grown-ups. From those days watching television in our little blue house on Morrison, holding a bowl of popcorn, while my Dad waited expectantly for the “color scene” to appear on our new Magnavox; until yesterday, when I walked up my own “yellow brick” or rather, “red brick” road, Dorothy and her traveling companions have continued to inspire me. For me, the story of The Wizard of Oz has always been about confronting our fears. When Dorothy throws the water on the witch and when she pulls the curtain back on the “Great Oz,” and finds an ordinary man, she reminds each of us that when we finally look those things in the face, that truly frighten us, they almost always just melt away.

Yesterday, I saw Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers at the Smithsonian. “There’s no place like home,” she learned. However, my fears are not of getting back home but of leaving home and the longer I have been there, the scarier the thought of leaving became. My friend Lisa once commented that she liked the fact that I was “always home” and she always knew where to find me—(we have spent a lot of time texting the past few days—she can still find me!) A few months ago I decided to send my paper to Georgetown, not really expecting that anything would come of it; that was my first step on the road to bravery. When I received the reply asking me to come present my paper, I had to face my fears straight in the face, not the fear of public speaking, not the fear of debating a controversial subject with colleagues who I knew were much more knowledgeable; I had to face my overwhelming, almost crippling, fear of-- hailing a taxi in a strange city! Like Dorothy, when we are overcome with fear, it is easiest to just lay down in a field of poppies and go to sleep; fortunately life always causes it to snow and somehow we get up and keep moving.

So I am posting this blog-for my family, friends and my large contingent of Chinese readers--to let you know that I found my bucket of water. Like the cowardly lion, maybe I don’t feel quite so cowardly anymore. As I walked up the brick paths of Mount Vernon this morning, I thought of arriving by plane, catching the Metro to my hotel, checking in all by myself, hailing a taxi, getting to Georgetown, meeting a group of strangers, speaking, hailing another taxi to go to church, finding my way downtown and even eating in a restaurant all by myself—something I have never done. We all have our “witches” and “flying monkeys”—I sort of doubt that any of mine are yours. But it nice to know that when I click my heels together to return home, I am doing it feeling a little older, a little wiser, (a little more sunburn), and a little braver.