Friday, December 15, 2017
She was a special little duck, not too big as ducks go. She had plain but nice and smooth and shiny feathers but there was one thing unusual about her and that’s that on her back, she could reach it so she could clean it and keep it shiny, was a small single red feather.
Bright red feathers don’t usually show up in a ducks body there, at least not for her nor her relatives and it stuck up, sort of popped up out of the rest of her feathers so it looked a little funny when she was walking around or swimming. Of course when she was flying with friends or family, not many people could see it. It wasn’t a big feather so it didn’t interfere with the way she would fly but she could feel it in the breeze.
She liked to visit the park with her friends and family. A lot of her friends and family would eat the bread or other things that people would throw but she didn’t like to do that. She held back, she knew she was there for a reason but she wasn’t sure what it was. One day the reason showed up and that explained why she had that red feather.
“Over the vista and through the woods. Now, how did that song go?”
“Grandpa, it’s not over the vista, it’s over the river and through the woods,” Andie said.
“Is that it,” Andie’s Grandpa Jeff asked.
“Yes,” Andie answered.
“Oh well, it’s good I have you around Andie, isn’t it because you can help me to remember the things I used to know and - there was a time when I taught you that song.”
“That’s right Grandpa. Sorry, I shouldn’t have made such a fuss,” Andie said apologizing.
“That’s alright, sweetie. Don’t you worry about it. What do you want to do today,” Grandpa asked.
“Well”, she said, “I was thinking, maybe we could walk down to the park - you know the place you like to go and sit on the bench by the ducks, because that duck I was looking for - you know the one the other day?”
“Yes, the one with the funny feather,” Grandpa answered. “That’s right. I was wondering if that duck came back,” Andie responded.
“Well, lets go,” Grandpa said.
“Okay,” Andie answered.
So they put on their jackets. Grandpa Jeff used his extra warm scarf and Andie put on her warm sweater vest. They left the house and walked towards the park. It was only two blocks away but it was a nice walk because on the way, there were several people who had friendly dogs and Andie would say hello to all the dogs and they’d come up wagging their tails.
One place, Grandpa Jeff said hello to his neighbor Jocelyn who was always very happy to see him and they would linger for a little bit. Andie would smile shyly and look at the ground and hope that someday her grandfather and this sweet lady Jocelyn would get together. “They’d make a sweet couple,” Andi thought to herself.
They got to the park and settled down on their favorite bench. Not too many other people were around, just the regulars that came there every day. They waved cheerfully to all the regulars and the regulars waved back and they settled in and waited for the ducks to come.
The ducks always came at the same time of day. Andie figured that they probably had other places they wanted to visit. Grandpa figured that they had other places where they could get goodies and they would go on tour to various places where they could get some foods they liked.
Andie and her grandfather would always bring special food that they got at the pet store that was just for ducks. It gave them all of the nutrients they needed to be healthy. So they felt good about feeding the ducks and knowing that they were helping them too.
Soon the ducks showed up and lo and behold there was the duck with the different feather.
“What do you think that means, grandpa?” “Well you know, it is funny. You wouldn’t expect a red feather to be sticking out of a duck in that place. It’s just a mystery, isn’t it”, Grandpa responded to Andie. “It sure is,” Andie answered. Grandpa continued, “I don’t know what that red feather means but I wonder.”
Soon the ducks came out of the water towards them because they knew that they were going to get their good food. Several of them came over including the little duck with the red feather.
Andie’s grandpa Jeff and Andie spread out the food for them and most of the ducks started eating except the little duck with the red feather who walked right up to Andie, turned around and pecked at the feather and pulled it out. She dropped it right at Andie’s feet.
Grandpa looked over at Andie and looked at the little duck and said, “I think that’s meant as a gift for you.” Andie responded quietly, “I think so too. Should I reach right down and pick it up now?” “I would,” Grandpa answered.
Andie slowly reached down and got the feather and watched the little duck and noticed that the duck watched her all the way and when she picked up the feather she held it for a moment and little duck kept watching her.
“You know…,” said Grandpa, “…I think she wants you to do something with it.” Andie answered, “I know this sounds silly but I feel like putting it in my hair.” Grandpa responded, “Go ahead.”
She stuck it in her hair and the little duck looked at Andie and then at grandpa Jeff. She looked back at Andie one more time and nodded her head and turned around and went back in the water.
“What does it mean, grandpa?”
“I’m not sure what it means…,” Grandpa said, “…but I think it must mean something good.”
Well, they went home after that and they talked it over that night - what could it mean - but they didn’t know so they each went to bed and had a good nights sleep and looked forward to going to the park again the next day.
Sure enough, the next day they looked at each other and smiled. Andie was wearing the red feather. She had dusted it off and found a way to put it in her hair so it wouldn’t blow away.
“Oh, that looks nice,” Grandpa said. “Thank you. I’m not sure if it’ll stay there but I have it sort of connected to a scrunchy and I think it might,” Andie replied.
“It’s a beautiful gift and not a bad looking gift giver,” Grandpa said with a smile.“Not bad looking at all,” Andie said cheerfully.
They walked on towards the park and Andie said hello to the friendly dogs and then they got to the house where Jocelyn lived but she wasn’t sitting out on the porch as usual. Andie noticed that her grandfather looked disappointed but they walked on.
A half a block away from the park they saw Jocelyn at a distance walking towards them from a side street. As she got closer she said, “How do you like my new Christmas hat?”
Grandpa Jeff and Andie glanced at each other, then looked at Jocelyn. Grandpa Jeff said, “My, that’s a beautiful big red feather on your hat.” Jocelyn answered, “Thank you, and what a nice red feather in your hair, Andie.”
“We really want to tell you all about what happened at the park yesterday,” Jeff said. And soon they were talking and laughing like old friends.
Soaring in the sky a little ways overhead, little duck smiled and knew that the little girl and the old man would soon be happy with the lady.
Happy Holidays to you all as well.
Photo is © B. Kim Barnes, used with permission, and can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kimbar/30687841335/in/album-72157656268292266/
Monday, November 20, 2017
Bill looked over the edge. He was always afraid to do that because when he looked over the edge he could see all his dreams and it just made him nervous.
On the one hand he was excited and happy when he saw his good dreams but on the other hand, sometimes he would see those scary dreams and it just made him nervous.
He’d always been able to look over the edge before he fell asleep but he’d never been able to stop himself from falling asleep just at the point where he could look over the edge.
He called it looking over the edge because it was that point between being awake or being asleep. There was that midpoint where he could feel himself sinking into sleep and he called that the edge.
One morning he woke up and he’d had a good dream and he felt relaxed and happy and he just enjoyed those feelings for a while. Then he heard a voice in his head saying, “There is a way you can experience only good dreams.” Bill said, “Who’s that?” And the voice said, “I’m your conscience, I’m also your soul and I have a gift for you.”
“Really?” Bill thought wonderingly to himself though it felt like part of a conversation. “Yes, really…”, Bill’s conscience replied, “…this is what to do when you’re looking over the edge. You’ve noticed how in the past when you look at your happy dreams they’re always on the right side and when you look at your unhappy dreams they’re always on the left side.”
“Yes, now that you mention it,” Bill answered. Bill’s conscience continued, “Well, this is what to do. From now on when you look over the edge, look only at the right side and then while you look at the right side, drag it across so that it’s on the left side too.”
“Is that possible,” Bill asked.
“Yes, try it tonight when you’re looking over the edge.”
That night when he laid down for sleep, he didn’t know whether he could even fall asleep because he was excited to try the new way but sure enough when he started sinking into sleep he looked over the edge and he saw his good dreams on the right side and the scary ones on the left side.
So he concentrated and looked really hard at his good dreams on the right side and he dragged them over to the left side. He was concerned that that would mean that his bad dreams were on the right side but they weren’t there anymore. His good dreams just filled out the whole panorama of his dreams and everything felt happy. He didn’t know what to think but he was sinking and then he was asleep.
Bill woke up and he was in his dream. It was a happy dream, the one he loved where he’s climbing to the top of the mountain and it was so easy and he got to the top and he could look around in all the directions - he loved that dream.
He woke up and he remembered that he’d woken up in the dream too. He’d never woken up in a dream. He was awake, he felt, when he was in the dream, he really felt himself doing that. He wondered if there was a message there. He thought about it and he thought about his life.
He was born with one leg slightly shorter then the other and it had been difficult getting around. It wasn’t a big difference but it was enough of a difference so that if he wore regular shoes that his back or his shoulders or his legs would hurt and so he always wore a special shoe which made it feel better.
He had to be careful to keep his balance though so he never really climbed up any steep hills or even the trail that went up a mesa near where he lived. Doctors told him that it might be risky or it might be possible, they weren’t sure and so, playing it safe he’d never tried.
Since it was saturday, the day when he went out and did things or saw friends, he decided that he’d take up a friend’s offer and go on that trail and see if he could make it to the top like in his dream.
He called his friend, Millie, and he told her that today was the day he was going to try the trail with her and she was excited and said she’d bring everything that they needed - water and food - for a picnic on top and that she would either go first or walk behind him, what ever he wanted. He wanted to walk behind her so he could see how she walked and where she put her feet.
Millie also brought walking sticks for him so he had something to lean on if he needed it. Well, they started out and the first part was very slightly uphill but he leaned on the walking sticks and it was fine. As time went on and the trail switched back and forth as it often does going on a hike, he needed to lean on the walking sticks more and he had to stop and rest a few times.
Millie said it would be alright and that they didn’t have to go the whole distance if he didn’t want to but Bill said, “I think I have to try to go the whole distance.” She smiled and said, “Okay.”
They made it all the way to the top. Bill looked around at the top of the mesa and he could see in all directions and for a moment he felt like he was in his dream again and then he looked at Millie, his good friend and she looked at him and warmth and love spread between them.
They both knew in that moment that their long friendship was finally going to turn into something closer and certainly, it happened.
Years later Bill realized that the whole purpose of his climbing the mountain dream, was to learn that some risks are okay to take and the whole purpose of him climbing the trail to the top of the mesa with his closest friend Millie and being there with her and looking in all directions - that being there with her in that moment that he could take the risk and go past friendship and that they could be married and live together and dare he say it - yes - to live happily ever after as they have been doing.
Sometimes you can go beyond your limits and live happily ever after. Happy Thanksgiving and goodlife to you all.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
“What is that? I can’t make that out.”
“What, I can’t hear you. Can’t you speak louder?”
“I still can’t hear you. Can you speak louder?”
After a sort of scrabbling, ripping, popping sound from a brightly colored bag came a shout, “Here I am!”
“Ah, there, now I can hear you. Who are you? You’re really different looking.” “I’m Candy Corn,” she said happily.
“You…you’re Candy Corn eh?” “That’s right! Who are you?” “I’m Licorice. Hello.” “What is this place,” Candy Corn asked.
“It’s a grocery store,” said Licorice. “We’re on a shelf. Butterscotch told me something. He said that people will come here and take us to their homes and put us in bags for little people. What do you think of that?”
“Wow! That sounds like fun!”
“Are you always so cheerful and happy,” Licorice said feeling a little overwhelmed by Candy Corn’s enthusiasm.
“I’ve always been like this as far back as I can remember,” Candy Corn answered.
“Well, you are very colorful. Yellow and orange and a little white. A very pleasing effect,” Licorice commented, “I noticed everyone else with you are all the same colors.”
“Yes, we all like to be colorful in the same way. You have lots of colors too. I see black and red and yellow and all sorts of colors. I like it,” Candy Corn said, “Very stylish.”
“Do you think we have a purpose besides being as sweet as we are,” asked Candy Corn.
“Well, it seems that people don’t always know how to say nice things to each other or even to talk to each other and sometimes they like to bring out sweet things like us, candy, that can cheer everybody up,”Licorice responded.
“Now I understand that…” said Candy Corn “…but isn’t there something that can be done so that human beings could still enjoy candy but don’t use it instead of being able to talk to each other?"
“Wow, that’s a pretty profound thought for candy,” said Butterscotch chiming in to the conversation.
“Still, maybe there is,” Candy Corn continued feeling inspired, “Maybe we could start a new slogan called, Candy or conversation or both!”
“I like that,”Licorice and Butterscotch said together, “That’s good” “Let’s do that,” They all said together in happy excitement.
It’s okay for Halloween to be sweet as well as fun. Hope you have good times, good talks and maybe new friends too. Goodlife
Saturday, July 08, 2017
He felt like he’d just woken up from a deep dream. He smiled and looked up. Bright blue with a few puffy white clouds and he smiled wider. “Oh, this is perfect,” he thought.
He looked down towards the villages and cities, for he could see in all directions being at the very top of the mountain. “It looks quiet but there’s sort of a sadness there,” he thought to himself, “I wonder if they’re missing something?”
Sky, his dog, who had been laying beside him during his long nap looked at him and said, in that special way they had of talking just through their eyes, something that helped him to understand.
Sky said, “They are missing you. They are missing that naturally happy part of themselves. You don’t remember but you came up here because the people began losing their happiness and since you are the one that holds and protects the peoples happiness you came up here to keep it safe. Do you remember now?”
“Yes”, said he said, “I do remember that now. Thank you for reminding me. Perhaps we should come down from the mountain.”
“Yes Hap,” Sky said, “Lets come down from the mountain now and you can sprinkle your happiness all the way down.”
“How shall I do that,” He asked. Sky said, “The clouds are forming above you now because they will help. So just look at the clouds.”
Hap looked up at the clouds and soon they became heavy and thick and a slight golden and green color appeared that looked a bit like a rainbow and then there was pink and light blue as well. “Oh, I like those colors the clouds are.” “Yes,” Sky responded, “Very nice. Now just be yourself and look at the clouds.”
Hap was filled with his own happiness and looked at the clouds and soon the clouds spread out all over the land. The mountain, yes, the small villages and the cities and all over the planet and rained lightly.
Some people remember the rain that came in different colors and felt like it was tingly and after that, people were happy and liked each other and weren’t mad at each other for reasons they couldn’t even remember anymore.
Life got better and Hap was able to come down from the mountain with his dog Sky and all was well again.
May Happiness visit you soon and your town or your city and may it visit all your friends and family and for that to happen in the most benevolent way for you all now. Goodlife
Friday, May 26, 2017
Tom crawled out from under the leaf. It had fallen on him and was a complete surprise. He thought he’d never get out from underneath it.
“Oof,” he said as he finally got out from under. He didn’t take it personally of course, because leaves do fall and of course they come back again and that’s a great joy of living in the forest.
“Renewal,” he thought to himself, “That’s always the way it happens. It’s very unexpected. You come to the end of what ever it is for you and you just sort of go away.”
Tom had experienced this himself many times as an earthworm but it was unusual to be a portion of it and of course when the leaf hit him, unexpectedly, on the head and made him a little bit fuzzy there for a minute, he was thinking, “Is this the season?” He looked around and he said, “No, no. This is Spring.” So he was confused.
He looked up in the tree. It wasn’t very far up because it was not a very big tree and there sitting on a branch where the leaf may have fallen off was his friend Arnie, the squirrel.
“Oh”, he thought. He smiled at Arnie and Arnie laughed. They were old friends. He never thought that Arnie would be able to drop a leaf and it fall exactly on top of him since leaves like to flutter when they fall.
Tom laughed out loud and Arnie ran down and they laughed together. Arnie said, “I can’t believe the leaf landed right on top of you.”
He laughed as he said, “I’ve been trying to do that for about 3 or 4 leaves and I don’t think you ever noticed it because the leaf just flew by.”
“I didn’t notice it,” Tom said. “But this time I couldn’t help but notice it. I’m glad you didn’t pick a really heavy leaf. This one kind of made me a little dizzy.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Arnie said sincerely, “I didn’t realize I’d hurt you.” Arnie came up close to Tom and brushed Tom gently with his fur. “Does that feel better?”
“Oh yes,” Tom said. “Oh, that’s better. Thank you!”
“I’m sorry,” Arnie said, “I’ll never do that again, I promise.”
Tom said, “Can I trust you on that?” “Yes really,” Arnie replied, “I’ll never play a joke on you again. You’re my best friend. I don’t want to hurt you!”
“Okay,” Tom said, “I forgive you.” “Arnie offered, “Do you want to go for a ride?” Tom said, “As long as it’s a short one and please not up in the tree.” “Okay,” Arnie replied.
“I know you like to go up in the tree, “Tom said, “but it scares me. After all, I live underground most of the time.”
“I know”, Arnie said, “that kind of scares me.” They looked at each other and laughed and they both said almost at the same time, “We sure are a couple of strange friends aren’t we.”
They both laughed and Arnie laid down and Tom got on and they took a slow walk around the forest. Tom looked around to make sure everything was safe for them and thought that it is a good thing that there are lots of trees so they could walk and be protected by low hanging branches. As he appreciated that he relaxed more riding on his friend.
Tom said, “That’s a nice ride but I think I’ll go back home now.” “Okay,” Arnie said and carefully went over to where the opening was to Tom’s home.
“Arnie asked, “Come out tomorrow and play some time with me?” “Anytime, anytime but tonight I think I’m going to go down to my house and I’m just going to rest and take it easy. With my exciting friend, I can’t do this too often.”
They both laughed. Arnie knew that Tom was just kidding and away they both went to their homes.
Forgive somebody today, it’ll make you feel better and them too. Goodlife
Monday, April 03, 2017
Arcan circled over the planet. It was certainly beautiful. Blue and white and green. He’d never seen a planet like that. He got a little closer and he looked at the northern part of the planet. He hadn’t seen that before. There was these beautiful colors just dancing around - it was brilliant and wonderful and marvelous.
He got a little closer and he saw some people. He was actually not that far from them. They were pointing in his direction - he wasn’t too surprised.
He got a little closer and he saw some people. He was actually not that far from them. They were pointing in his direction - he wasn’t too surprised.
He swooped down and settled on a log and the people ran over and they said, “What kind of bird are you” and Arcan thought about that and said, “I’m the bird of change and transformation. I help to bring out the good parts in people and help them to let go of the parts they don’t like so much.”
“We’re already feeling better,” the people were saying, “It’s wonderful. Will you stay with us for a while.” “I’ll stay for just a little while,” he said and Arcan flew around the places where the people were and then he came back and settled back down on the log and the people were all smiling and sitting down and at that time were having a meal.
Arcan looked around. They seemed to be happy. Things looked better. The children were playing and not fighting over any toys and everyone seemed to be much better.
The people waved at Arcan and he flew on. “I wonder where else I have to go on the planet,” he thought and he flew over a body of water.
It was very vast and since he could float he settled down on the water and pretty soon people who swim in the water - some big, very big and some very small swam up to the surface and they said, “Who are you” and he said, “I am Arcan” and a big swimmer came up and said, “I know this person.”
Arcan recognized the whale immediately, an old friend. “Good to see you, my friend,” said Arcan. “Yes, good to see you too. I will tell them all about who you are and what you do. You can fly on now if you wish,” whale said. “Thank you,” Arcan said and off he flew.
He got a little closer to a place where there were many structures, many buildings but he noticed at the top of one building there was a garden. Someone had planted fruits and vegetables and a few flowers just for beauty.
He swirled around and landed on a small bench and the gardener came over and said, “I have never seen a bird like you,” and Arcan said, “Thank you.” The gardener said, “You seem to have a sort of glow about you.” “Thank you,” said Arcan. “And I can hear you speaking,” said the gardener. “Yes, I hear you as well. Is your life all right,” Arcan said.
The gardener said, “Well, I come up here to the garden because sometimes people are not pleasant and sometimes I am not pleasant in return and I would like to be different, maybe better.”
Arcan said, “Here, let me help.” He flew up in the air and swirled around over the gardener and settled back down on the small bench. The gardener said softly, “I feel so much better.” Arcan flew up again and flew around the garden and the fruits and vegetables and flowers glowed a bit.
“I think,” Arcan said, “I will fly around other places where there is food and maybe I could help to bring about a change for the better.” The gardener waved at him and off Arcan went and he’s been flying ever since.
Maybe you’ll see him someday soon.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Walking across the prairie, the giraffe looked in all directions. He didn’t see anyone except his friend, the little one. Little One was also looking out. They got to a spot where there were a few trees and there were a few birds looking on but they were friends.
Giraffe looked down at his friend Little One and Little One looked back up and they smiled at each other and Giraffe slowly shrank and got smaller and smaller until he looked just like Little One and they played in the grass and jumped around and found nuts and little foods that they could eat and they had fun and then they went over to the tree and the birds came down and they turned into birds and flew around in the sky with all the other birds.
Then, after a time they all came back and the birds settled in the trees but Giraffe and Little One settled on the ground and they turned into beings like Little One and then Giraffe slowly got bigger and bigger and bigger until he was his normal size and they looked at each other, Little One and Giraffe, and smiled and Giraffe could see into the trees and the birds were all smiling too with their eyes glittering and they were almost winking, the way birds wink, in a happy way.
Giraffe thought to himself, “If only people could do this so they could find out what it’s like to be other beings - to be different - to be completely different then what you are but to discover the joy of it as we are able to do by some miracle.”
Giraffe discussed this with his friend, Little One and they said, “If only” and the birds nodded in agreement.
“Maybe it could happen for people somehow if they imagine it and actually try to feel it - you know - feel what it feels like,” Little One said. Little One looked at Giraffe and Giraffe thought about it and said, “Maybe.” Little One looked at the birds and the birds nodded with their maybe nod. They all smiled at each other. Maybe.