I grew up on a corner lot in suburbia, which means, I had a huge front yard where my family and I would climb trees and play croquet and wiffle ball and badminton to see which of us was best at hitting that weird shaped ball. Our Cocker Spaniel, Max, would always try to capture the ball, no matter what kind it was and we would chase him around and around the yard to get the ball back from him. The memories of my childhood home corner lot are wonderful but it's the memories of our teeny, tiny backyard that makes me become still and reflective.
It was where my mother decided she would create a fairy garden. That tiny space was filled with lavender lilac bushes, pink bleeding hearts, green mint leaves lining a stone path that lead to nowhere and an endless ground cover of little white Lily of The Valley. As a five year old girl, I would sit in the middle of it all pretending to talk to fairies and bake them mud pies filled with mint leaves and the tiny Lily flowers because their aroma was so wonderful. How could anyone resist a mud pie made with little white Lily of the Valley buds?
When my husband and I bought our first house almost 20 years ago in the month of March, little did we know that it too would have lavender lilac bushes, a pink bleeding heart bush, and yards of Lily of the Valley perfuming the yard. I think it was fate bringing me home.
Things sure have changed in the past 40 years. I find it amazing how powerful scents can be. Whenever I smell those first buds of Lilacs or Lily of the Valley in early to mid May it will forever take me back to making mud pies, talking to imaginary (or real) faeries and my mother's warm smile and kind hug as she remembered what it was like to be a child in springtime, in nature, talking with faeries and in love with life.
When I got home from work one night last week I was in a horrible mood. I’m not sure why. I guess I felt exhausted and overwhelmed by the list of things I needed to get done around the house. The last thing I wanted to do was take Truman on a three mile walk. But he needs it, I need it, so off we went.
I always feel better once I start walking but on this particular night I just was in no mood. And then ... I saw it. One of those little lawn flags that people stick in their gardens or their yards. You know the ones with maybe a holiday theme of Easter eggs and bunnies or a Thanksgiving turkey. Some of just have flowers. But this one was special. This one had a pretty scroll boarder surrounding the words “Enjoy Life”. That’s it. That’s all it said. But for me, in that one moment, that was exactly what I needed to see.
Seeing that flag made me laugh and cry at the same time. Enjoy life. Right on! I instantly let go of what was bothering me and took a deep breath and looked around. My life at that moment was being outside on a beautiful evening with my best friend getting some exercise, enjoying life. The next time I feel tired or overwhelmed, I’ll picture that flag, take a deep breath and slow down to … enjoy life.
There seems to be an epidemic in my community and it’s something that has been bothering me for months. People are not picking up after their dogs. Not only are people not picking up after their dog on someone’s lawn, but they are blatantly leaving it right in the middle of the sidewalk for others to step in. Believe me, I have.
And it’s not just one part of town. I walk Truman ALL over and I’m seeing it in the million dollar homes neighborhoods as well. The weird thing is this seems to be a fairly new problem. I didn’t notice dog poo on the sidewalks every other block five years ago. Now, it seems, it is everywhere I look. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen the offending evidence and not the offenders.
I understand if your bag fell out of your pocket or your dog had to go twice and you only had one bag, but GO BACK AND PICK IT UP. I just don’t understand it. Have we all become that lazy? Is it a sense of entitlement that we’ve suddenly developed that we’re too good to bend over and pick up after our pets? For shame.
I love my community and the pet owners who live in it but let’s all collectively realize the beauty of our community and take pride in where we live. Put some extra bags in your pocket next time you go for a walk and do a little stretching exercise and bend over and pick it up. Let’s turn this trend around!