Monday, July 6, 2009

Rose Garden watchings and musings



I’m sitting here at the Rose Garden. Instead of a solitary hike (which my mom deemed, unsafe for a young lady like myself), I opted for pretty scenery and reflective space. I set up camp in the mini amphitheater with my blanket, lil’ buddy (my ipod), book and journal. I read for a few minutes and was quickly drawn into prime people-watching all around me.


I watched the group of kids running across the lawn, running and screaming for as long as their lungs would allow to see who could scream and run the longest in one breath. The oldest girl was the true winner and won time and time again. The younger ones, took several breaths and ended up running out of eyesight every time, but convinced themselves they had won.


I watched a couple young girls put on a talent show on the stage. Performing 10 second performances of break-dancing and singing.


I watched a young boy and girl for a while, following their play and conversation. I watched the little boy jumping down the oversized steps beside me, with his face bright with adventure. His mom calls out, “Jason, what are you doing??”

OOF…OOP…OOF…

With each jump he lets out an OOF…

He looks back with a big grin and yells, “CLIMBING!”

And continues his journey.

A young girl is following after.

He keeps looking behind to make sure she is following.

Oof….oop….oof.

She has the same smile of adventure on her face as she follows where the boy leads. His excitement is brimming when he leads.

She calls out when they reach the bottom, “follow me!”

He stops and sulks into the grass, his face visibly fallen. He slowly gets up walking after her, but with no enthusiasm. It’s clear her doesn’t want to be led. His joy comes in the leading, in the adventure of forging the trail, in knowing that someone is following his lead.


I wonder to myself as I continue to watch them play if I too often default to my own lead- and my own independence. If I should step aside now and then and allow myself to be led.


...And now, the clouds have moved in and I’m sitting in the sprinkle of rain, wondering if I am going to stick it out. It seemed that just when I got comfortable and settled, enjoying the sunshine and warmth-clouds moved overhead. Though it’s still sunny, I am still sitting here in the midst and mist of rain.

I love how metaphorical weather and seasons can be and singers know it.

“it never rains when you want it to”

“for tomorrow may rain, I’ll follow the sun”

Change in weather always throws people off a bit. When it’s 90 degrees for a week straight and then it drops to 65 just like that, people don’t know what to think of it. I’ve noticed that the day the weather changes in any drastic way, first snow, or downpour after a dry spell, first sunshine after weeks of rain- those are the days the coffee house is busy. Not just for beverage needs. People need to discuss the change. They need to know that other people are experiencing and witnessing the change happening around them. Change is easier when you know you’re not alone.


Change is always difficult because it means, well, just that-change. Sometimes it’s welcome change. Other times change happens and we don’t want it one bit. We liked the way things were, settled and comfortable. I'm going to have to go back to change is easier when you know you're not alone and thank goodness we are never alone.


3 comments:

Derek Gillette said...

Instead of it being a tug of war between being led and leading, maybe it is more realizing what are you strengths and what are the areas where a better result is realized when someone else takes control.

I think the problem happens when we try to be everything for everyone. I think the problem is when we see weakness as weakness and not strength.

We are all in this together. We are a family. And family always sticks together.

rachel rianne said...

SHANNON.
summery day, sitting at the amphitheater in the rose garden, sitting, writing, watching... that sounds perfeccttt. i was sitting at loose park (amazing landmarkish park if you didn't know) in kansas city the other day and doing the same. it's humbling and makes a girl contemplative when she's sitting and watching people and listening to kids laugh and play.

i love what you write.


and i have to disclose some unfortunate news: my plans to visit the nw this summer fell through. because of a myriad of things, it just isn't going to happen, and although my heart breaks, i know it'll happen eventually. just know that you're definitely high on the list for when i DO finally make it back around there.

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