Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Handful of Candies

Today's guest holds a special place in my heart. I wrote to her recently that every time I read her blog, I know my heart has found another home place, another friend. I always think, "I wonder if she'll reserve one of her boys for Sloane?" Some people just have a gift for living. They use their time and their talents to enrich the lives of others. Our guest today is just such a woman. Please welcome Stefani of Blue Yonder fame. ~ Relyn

I've had this feeling before.

It is the same feeling I had a couple of winters back when I put on my coat for the first time that season and found a crisp $10 bill in my pocket. For about 3.5 seconds I was ecstatic. Yay! Found money! And then... "but what should I do with it?"

Save it?

Put it toward the unending pile of bills?

Share it? (The man that stands on the corner with his "Dreaming of Change" sign comes to mind.)

Splurge on a "just for me" treat? (coffee - yes I'll have the whipped cream on top please- and a glossy magazine? Flowers for the window sill?)

Splurge on a "just for all of us" treat (popcorn, M&Ms and a rented movie)?

I kept that $10 in my pocket for ages. Each time that I needed to warm my hands, I felt that bill and the surprise of it tasted like sugar - sweet, on my tongue but with it came the bitter, indecisive aftertaste all over again, every time.

So when you asked me, Relyn, to come and sit by your fire and share a passion. I felt at once honored and excited and then... Oh. Oh no.

Oh this means I have to make a choice! I have to choose just one passion to share here.

I've made lists. I've chosen and then re-chosen. I've piddled and pondered and ran around in my wishy washy little circle.

One passion.

Just one?

And then I took my boy to a baseball game. I bought him a bag of candies and watched, awestruck, as he handed them out to every kid in shouting distance. He never hesitated.

He never stopped to think about sharing because it wasn't just about the candy. He genuinely wanted everyone around him to share in his excitement... for the game, for being out late, for the big lights and the crisp uniforms and the crack of the bat. He wanted everyone to share in his joy, in his passion for that moment in time. He could do that, because for him, life and passion aren't like dollar bills at all. They aren't things that you spend and then they're gone... they are seeds that grow and bloom where you cast them.

As I watched him, I understood why it has been so hard for me to choose just one passion to share with you here...
See, I am very very blessed. I live in a world filled with stories, thick and fluid - stories to swim in, stories that make you forget to come up for air.
I get to reacquaint myself with the freshness of life all over again, everyday, through the eyes of my little boys.
I have two hands capable of making and baking and drawing and holding onto the people that I love.
I have two eyes with which to watch a spider spin her web, a child sleep, a feather fall to the ground.
I have dreams, and it shocks me every single morning to wake up and find that I'm living them out.

I have a lot of passions, but I think I'm seeing that what I'm MOST passionate about is noticing the everyday kinds of blessings that surround me, and then sharing them, like a handful of candies, with everyone I meet. Because we're all in this thing together, and really, each of those passions grow, a hundred times a hundred fold, when shared.

I want to stop doing the dishes long enough to notice spring's first green slant of light through my kitchen window. And when I see that, I want to ask myself, "How can I add light to someone else's day?"
I want to revel in the sweaty grubby little boy hand that has slipped into mine and wonder, "What small gesture will mean the world today to someone that I love?"

I want to remember the smell of simmering plum jelly in my grandmother's kitchen, her apron tied tight, and Johnny Cash on the radio. Then, I want to tie my own apron, fill my own kitchen with a ruby red scent and sing, "I hear the train a comin'" at the top of my lungs with my young men. I want to know that they will make plum jelly with my grand kids, too, because jelly is just jelly. But, when shared through generations, it is love, jarred and saved up, to warm you on another day.

On a chilly night, I want to pull my granny's quilt round me, the one she made when I was new. I want to sidle up to a warm fire to do a little stitching of my own, because my new nephew should have a quilt too. Quilts are love notes written with needle and thread.

If I hear a poem that moves me, I want to read it out loud to everyone, or no one at all, just because poems should be spoken into the world. It makes it a nicer place to live.

When I find that my dreams have grown wings, I want to use them to help another mama reach her own heights, too.

When I receive grace, I want to be quick to forgive.

I want to look at life like a little boy at a baseball game - eager to share my handful of passions with everyone around me.

So there it is, my passion is sharing my passion with the world, because it is a beautiful, scary, amazing, blinding, terribly, awfully, gloriously, fantastic world - made so much better when experienced with an open heart and an open hand. ~Stefani

All words and images by Stefani of Blue Yonder.


beth said...

how great was this ? with all the sadness and anger in the world, this was such a gentle reminder to simply enjoy life...our lives... and all the blessings around us.

TheChicGeek said...

You have the most amazing blog! I am in heaven here :)
Thank you, thank you, thank've absolutely made my day!

ELK said...

so very nice to meet you and know that we are now friends through our sweet fire side sister Relyn!

eco said...

Hello! I am a Japanese. I have the child of the one girl. A photograph is wonderful!! I love them.
You are a splendid photographer.

Derrick said...

Hello Relyn & Stefani,

Stefani is a special person indeed to be able to look at life in this way and to "share" with those around her.

And you are lucky, Relyn, to have found such a passionate group of friends!

P.S. word verification is PAGIC - a blend of passion and magic!

vintagechica said...

Oh rocked my world with this. Im printing this little post off and taking it with me on my trip this weekend. You summed it all up so perfectly.

Love you Stef!

Anonymous said...

thank you for your wisdom. see you back at "home".

Miko's Girl said...

I love Stefani -- she makes me look at the world differently and appreciate more. Thanks for having her. Thanks for making my day!

Zenobiah said...

Stefani, yet again you made me cry reading your stuff.

I miss my mama's jelly on the other side of the planet! :-(

spread your wings said...

this is all-together beautiful - i am so glad to have met you, Stefani, through our lovely friend Relyn.
thank you for sharing your passion with us all.

Lisa Clarke said...

So well-said!

SE'LAH... said...

Wonderful blog. I just want to blow those carefree. Happy Conscious Friday!

Christina said...

Oh my, how I got lost reading this. What dinner? What dishes? I have fallen in love with this post... fallen deeply and I refuse to fight it one bit.

Thank you for sharing with the world.

; )

Colleen said...

what a beautiful, beautiful post; i was smiling the whole way through.

Jennifer Johnson said...

Thank you, Stefani! I wish I could articulate the things you write about as nicely as you do. How fun to find this blog, too!

busygnomes said...

Just beautiful,
Oh, how blessed your children are.

Patti said...

Hi Relyn and Stefani~ As I am wiping tears from my eyes after reading these beautiful words, I am going to view my day a little differently. Thank you so much for sharing such a passionate post~

Jessica said...

These words just sing off the page! Thank you.

anna said...

This is so beautiful! I am grateful for those who have the heart to share their passion in such a moving way.... thanks Stefani! and Relyn!

Miko's Girl said...

This one's for you: . Thx for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving me some needed perspective.


Paula and Skip said...

Stumbled upon your blog and right to the fire. I adore the way you express yourself. Really do admire you, I used to dance and this is the only kind of expression I had. Now I struggle with words and languages, having moved from Spain to Florida. I shall sit on the fire again.

paris parfait said...

A beautifully-written post about your passion. Lovely!

dutchbaby said...

Breathtaking! Thank you!

Elizabeth said...

and the world is better because you follow your passion. :) what a beautiful post - thank you for sharing it!

robin bird said...

stafani i enjoyed your writing So much! what a gift you have for expressing the many passions of your life with the rest of the world!

Jaime said...


This is truly wonderful.


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