One sunny day, while walking our dog, Kai, I found a particularly pretty little flower. It wasn’t like the others in the grassy field. It stood out with bright yellow/orange petals and looked sort of like a poppy.

I bent over to pick the flower and then, thought better of it. Remembering my grandmother, an ikebana sensei and my mother-in-law, also an ikebana sensei, I thought it would be great to take the flower home and make a tiny arrangement using it as inspiration.

And then I thought again. If I picked the flower, sure, I could use it in a little thing for home, but if I left it where it was, there was the chance that so many other people might notice it and enjoy it. Sometimes, there are days when, for want of seeing something pretty in nature, one can only see the not-so-pretty unnatural stuff, the trash, the pollution, the strife and disagreement within society, the disease and misfortune.

But then, someone says something nice to you, your dog licks your nose and does a happy dance, that avocado on toast is exactly the right thing that day, the car escaped the pine needles from the high winds the night before, you find a hummingbird nesting in a tree, a squirrel stops and sits up and looks you in the eye. Or, you see a pretty yellow flower that seems to be enjoying the weather.

So, you leave it there to live out its fortune.

And you go home with your heart a little lighter and the day looking a little brighter. And pick up that unnatural snack size potato chip bag floating along the grass with the wind. You can do something to affect good change in the world, small though it may be. A ton of small things equals few big things. Never give up. Never surrender. No despair. Just hope.

Sounds like 1960’s hippie stuff, doesn’t it? Well, one can’t really escape one’s age, can one?

(perspectives as absorbed by rereading e e Cummings poem [:O Sweet Spontaneous]