Finding Our Way

Dear Reader:

As I was watering all the flowers by the fence early yesterday morning…I felt like a proud parent…without even any lessons the morning glories knew how to intuitively start to climb the fence and when they had reached the top…to begin, then, exploring other possibilities for growth around them.

The mandevilla, on the other hand, seemed to have the intuition right but just couldn’t quite grasp the fence on their own tendrils without a little help. (So I bought a small trellis to help them achieve their goals and now they are on their way.)

I couldn’t help but compare the two flowering plants and think how similar their plights are to real life. Haven’t we all, at different stages in our lives, felt like both plants? Sometimes life just seems to come easier…for awhile everything falls into place and we have a clear vision for our future and our expansion.

Then, suddenly, things change…sometimes slowly without our awareness, or quickly leaving us puzzled, bewildered, and lost in the process.

I don’t know who invented the roller coaster, but I sure am glad they did…because it is the best metaphor for life. Every time we get secure (perhaps even a little smug) about the direction our life is taking… the roller coaster begins its sharp descent into sheer, white-knuckle holding terror. We can always count on this part of the ride. (Or put another way…the proverbial rug gets pulled out from under us.)

Like the mandevilla, we find ourselves, not as self-sufficient as we imagined; we need help. This thought connects me to a mystery book I am currently reading:

Still Life is the first book in a series of detective mystery novels by Louise Penny. They are all set in the fictional town of Three Pines in the Quebec province of Canada. (She was interviewed on the CBS Sunday Morning Show recently and I immediately ordered the first book. I am completely absorbed in the story.


  Penny is a gifted character writer and her favorite character, in the series,  is the fictional Chief Inspector Armande Gamache. He is a natural mentor to his young agents and teaches them the four rules to wisdom in their professional and personal lives. (Obviously they apply to all of us readers too) They come in the form of four sentences or simple statements.

*“I’m sorry.”

*I don’t know.”

*“I need help.”

*“I was wrong.

The more I thought about these statements…the more powerful they became. As a race we are connected together and there is a reason for that…we are to help each other along our individual journey through life.

When we are able to “come clean” and admit to another, or others, that we don’t know everything, we aren’t always right,  we do know we messed up, we are sorry, and now we need help…the universe responds gladly and openly to our needs.

My grandmother taught us grandchildren this lesson with ‘talkings to’ like “I think it’s time for you (pointing to the grandchild in question) to come down a notch, cause you’re getting a little too big for yer britches. Now go tell (so and so) you’re sorry and you were wrong… then I just bet they might help you out of this fix you have gotten yourself into… “

So until tomorrow:

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Look what was blooming in a neighbor’s yard in our neighborhood as I was going past yesterday afternoon..I had to do a double-take. I found out it is a Texas Star Hisbiscus and the bloom is as big as Texas. I had to order one to plant this fall…it is just too gorgeous.



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Finding Our Way

  1. bcparkison says:

    Simple can be so profound.
    I love the vines and yes they do have a way all their own….just like us.


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