Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Three or four years ago we planted a couple of maple trees in our yard. I’ve noticed that each year these trees are the first to hint at the coming of fall. They begin early to show the most vibrant colors of any trees in the neighborhood. Day by day, the green leaves show shades of yellow, then orange and finally settling into a deep fiery red. For weeks I’ve enjoyed this almost inspirational display each morning as I open the garage door and step outside. But yesterday as the door went up I immediately noticed that both trees were completely bare.

I was shocked to see that overnight they had changed so dramatically – so completely, so quickly. And this final step of transformation seemed to come without warning. But then I began to understand that all the weeks of changing colors were preparation for this “sudden” & total transformation. And I think because of that preparation the change came gently – it seemed graceful & not harsh. There had been no storm, no pouring rain or high winds overnight, but the natural process that comes with the changing of the season had simply run its course.

As I walk through the dramatic changes coming in my own life may I begin early and prepare well – may I inspire others in the process. May the changes be graceful, gentle – natural, and may I not loose sight that spring always follows winter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lessons from Brandi Lea

When our dog Brandi was a puppy we didn't want to lose her in the house, we didn't trust her to not pee, poop, or chew anytime, anyplace, or on anything yet. In order to contain things and keep a closer eye on her we placed a baby gate across the doorway that led to the upstairs and other guest rooms of our house.

After a few weeks of us all stepping over the gate every time we went through that doorway we started to just move it aside - and eventually we stopped putting it back.

By this time we trusted Brandi more - and yet, she had learned to never go through that doorway. Now, almost a year later and fully grown (I hope) at 87 pounds, she still never goes through that doorway. We can all go upstairs - last weekend we spent the whole day cleaning up there - and then coming and going from up there moving our son’s stuff to his new apartment. She laid on the floor at the doorway - never once offering to step over that threshold.

Sometimes I feel like Brandi. Early on in life I learned some things - things that at that point in my life may have even been good for me. Maybe in some cases they were just perceptions I had formed...but the result is that I never stepped through some doorways. And now - fully grown (my own weight will remain omitted) I still am laying on the floor - and not stepping through some doors.

Maybe its time - maybe I'm ready to not pee, poop or chew on things I shouldn't. Maybe.