Two days ago, I parked my car next to my daughter’s car at the oil change shop and,after being told that it would be a hour wait, we decided to walk next door to  Lowe’s.
As we walked inside the doors, my 2 year old granddaughter, Riven Noelle, lifted her hands up,and exclaimed “WOW,OH,WOW!!” and began to walk,and dance and run in sheer amazement at the space of the store,and the possibilities it held.
Her delight was contagious -the clerks smiled,customers laughed and met my eye with smiles of their own.
One man even stooped down to sing “the itsy,bitsy spider” to her,while remarking to us about her absolute joy.

We walked up and down the large aisles,stopping to see our reflections in the mirrors.
She pressed her hands against one mirror, shaking her body, drinking her milkshake,and staring intentionally at herself.
She saw that she was cute and,most importantly,she liked what she saw in the mirror.

We didn’t just walk down the aisles;we skipped and danced, following her lead, we did more of a sashay, twirling and swirling,moving our bodies to the rhythm of our hearts.

When we entered the garden section,her eyes got even bigger and she stretched her arms wide again, running forward, shouting “WOW,OH,WOW,WOW!!!”

She touched the different flowers, pressed her nose into  the  blooms,pointed out the colors, “pink,red,blue”.
She patted some,declaring them to be “soft” and those that were sharp,she declared strongly were “bad”.
We picked out several pots of plants from the clearance racks,and a few from the front of the store.
She chose the most vibrant colors-the beautiful oranges,pinks,purples,and yellows.
It didn’t matter what kind of flowers they were,what mattered was they were “pretty” and they were “soft”.

Afterwards I couldn’t shake the feeling that this 2 year old child was teaching me more than I was teaching her, that she was showing me how life was meant to be lived and how I was supposed to love.

Think about it, when was the last time you said,”OH,WOW !”,as you walked through a home improvement store?
When was the last time you saw the possibilities,and the beauty of lumber,of bolts,and screws,of rocks and pots,bags of dirt and trays of flowers?

Sometimes we just think of the work involved,instead of looking at the simple beauty of things.
Riven is only 2,and she doesn’t understand that there’s work involved in the flowers. She doesn’t think about digging holes,pulling out weeds, planting the bulbs and seeds and tiny new plants. She doesn’t think about measuring and cutting,sanding and painting, or all the work involved in making a playhouse.
All Riven thinks about is how “pretty” and “soft” the.flowers are, how much fun the playhouse would be, how cool the rocks feel in her hands.

Over the years, I’ve neglected my garden,and even though it’s hard to admit,I’ve also neglected my soul.
I’ve worried about what others would think,instead of just doing what I really wanted. I toned down my exuberant personality a little,went for “neutral” colors, and I walked,when I really wanted to sashay.
But,my 2 year old bundle of joy has bought me back to life,to seeing the “WOW” in everything in my life, to bursting with happiness,to running fast, exclaiming “Just WOW!” leaping into an embrace.
Riven wraps both arms around those she loves,she gives and receives kisses. Actually,she DEMANDS to be kissed – she actually pointed to her lips and demanded her uncle give her a goodnight kiss!
Riven prays spontaneously, asking us all to hold hands, clapping at the “amen”. She doesn’t wait for a “proper” time or a “sacred”place, she just decides to “pray,pray”.

This little girl gives me the courage to pick out the whimsical things that I really want for my garden and my home. She reminds me to wear what I really like wearing,to see my own unique style and beauty in my reflection, and she dares me to live in a sense of amazement and wonder,of anticipation and joy, in the very real and present moment.

I want my life to be filled with “WOW”,overflowing with excitement and delight, and I want it to be contagious,just exactly like Riven’s love of life is.

Say it,live it,believe it-BE it!

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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