Five children, in a mini-van, for five hours, by myself.
Sometimes I am not the brightest crayon in the box. Yet this was the exact situation I found myself in a few weeks ago. My husband and I are in the process of building a new home ourselves. This makes his time extremely limited and it has been this way for the past six months. Because of that, I decided to be brave (read crazy) and travel five hours to visit my parents for the weekend. We had a great trip there, spent a fun weekend visiting, and began the journey home. Despite the fact that I was traveling with five very rambunctious children, I found myself completely exhausted and barely able to keep my eyes open. I had been running full speed ahead for the past several weeks and it had finally caught up to me.
I did the standard check list of ways to stay awake while driving:
- Rolled down the window
- Blasted the radio
- Held my eyes open with my fingers
It worked great for the first couple of hours, but little by little I found myself sleepy again. As a last ditch attempt to stay awake, I started to look at all of the scenery we were driving by, something to get my attention off the fact that I really just wanted to curl in a ball and go to sleep. After several miles of observing the typical farms, cows, horses, fields and more farms of rural Utah, I noticed some really cool weeds growing just off the side of the freeway. These were not just any weeds, they were beautiful! Standing several feet high in the air they were brown, yellow, and gold.
My mind started to spin and I began to think of how cool it would be to add a bunch or two to my home décor. The very next bunch of weeds I came upon, I turned on my flashers and pulled over to the side of the freeway. (Not the safest, most rational moment of my life.) In my skirt, high heels, and with my trusty pocket knife in hand, I pranced through the tall grass and began cutting my new found treasures.
I cut to my hearts content, loaded the entire bundle in my arms and pranced to the back of my mini-van. I carefully loaded my new found treasures on top of the luggage and proceeded to lecture my children about how they should not touch the weeds, they were breakable, fragile, and could not be replaced. After driving for several more hours we arrived home and unloaded the car. As expected, my children did not carefully unload the car and some of my precious home decor (read weeds) were broken. After scolding my children, I gathered the remaining precious cargo in my arms, and carefully carried them into my bedroom where I proceeded to clean, cut, and organize my bundles into beautiful home decor masterpieces, worthy of any Pinterest pin. I felt so proud of myself for finding beauty in the rare weeds hours away from my home and for having the foresight to pull over and take advantage of my situation.
Fast forward one week.
As previously mentioned, my husband and I are in the process of building a new home. It is a huge project and I’m try to spend as much time as possible at our new home helping him. So there I was that particular day. I had been cleaning, picking up trash, sweeping floors and slaving away for hours. I was totally exhausted. I sat down on the bench seat of my new bedroom window to catch my breath and enjoy the view. To my utter amazement, horror, astonishment, and a whole lot of other incredible words, there was a huge patch of those most beautiful, (apparently not so rare), weeds. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I jumped up and ran out my back door to investigate. After all they just couldn’t be the same weeds, could they?!? Sure enough, only a few yards out my bedroom window, was a whole patch of those dang weeds. I was certain that they had not been there before and completely positive that they must have appeared overnight. After all, weeds appear magically in my vegetable garden on a daily basis.
There I was. I had been so caught up running to and fro in my own little world that I had missed the beauty only a few yards away out my bedroom window. I was so sure there was something more beautiful somewhere else, that I had neglected to see the beauty right in front of my eyes.
It has caused me serious contemplation. How many times in life do I look for beauty outside my own little world and miss the beauty standing only a few feet away? How many times to I go to great lengths to find something from somewhere to make me happy, when all I need to be happy is right within my current reach? The world we live in is beautiful. We don’t need to travel to the high Alps of France or gaze over the Grand Canyon to find beauty and joy in our lives. May we each remember to find happiness and beauty in our lives, literally just a few feet away, and then take the time to enjoy and be grateful for it.
Written by Contributing Author--Heather Grant