Looking at Life Upside Down

Dear Reader:

“Big Red” the geranium is having to share the spotlight with “Big Red” the Bradford Pear. Every day another  section of the tree turns…brilliant orange/reddish colors. I took my Iphone yesterday, (in the early afternoon when the sun’s rays are hitting it so delightfully) and took this “shot.”

As I stared up through the branches underneath all I could see was the colors of green, orange, red, and cobalt blue from the sky staring down at me. I just wanted to go get a blanket and lay under the tree all afternoon.

But little Maggie and Vickie were waiting on me to walk and Vickie said she had something to show me before we left… to come over to her back yard and see the surprise. Vickie and her granddaughter, Christy, had picked out this year’s Christmas tree, a beautiful balsam fir. Christy wanted to help select it before she returned to college. In this particular Christmas Tree lot each tree is given a name and that is what Vickie wanted to show me…the name of their tree this year. Look!

That was so sweet! I just love it! I can hardly wait to see it  decorated in all its beauty. Thanks girls!

How many of you remember squirming under your Christmas tree as a child…not just to shake presents but to lie on your back and look up at the different world the colored lights form together on the branches?If we squinted our eyes…the colored lights began to blur and create a fantasy world fit for fairies and imaginary toy lands.

My other observation has to do with leaves and their unique time-table for turning colors and then finally letting go…falling off the tree. For example, there I have my Bradford Pear peaking at just the right time and then the grandchildren’s Japanese Maples finally letting go of their beautiful leaves. Thanksgiving day the cold and rain took its toll. Each piece of nature intuitively knows when to “hold” and to “fold.”

Here is Lachlan’s maple the day before Thanksgiving and the day after…

…and Jake’s Japanese Maple…before and after Thanksgiving

Nature doesn’t have a “date” book to carry and mark when it should peak and mark when it should go dormant…not according to human calendars…they simply do what their intuition tells them.

Wouldn’t we all be better off if we didn’t have to follow clocks, watches, calendars, and “date/deadline” notebooks? I will have to say that since retirement there are days when I wake up and have to stop/think a moment what day of the week it is.

It is the most lovely dilemma in the world! Every day that is wide open for me is my favorite day. I love to lay in bed a little longer on those days and create my own personal daily calendar…filling it in with visits to friends or checking on friends or walking in the park or eating some delicious dessert in secret or musing in the garden…whatever my heart tells me.

Yesterday I walked around my garden and laughed at how wisteria and other weeds can give off the most beauty this time of the year. Many of the summer/fall plants have called it a season and the vines have come to co-habitate the surrounding areas. Instead of making the fading plants look worse…they give them one last glimpse of beauty.

Some of the mums that I thought were just going to dry up before the buds would open are now at their most beautiful.

A friend and I went to Castillo’s to grab a pizza before all the games started yesterday and they had been decorating for Christmas. When we commented how cute each table was with an empty beer bottle dressed up as a reindeer or the Grinch, etc. the owner told us to pick out two we liked and take home since we were frequent diners. Too sweet!

And then on the way home…the ginkgo tree had finally come into its crowning glory…absolutely gorgeous.

Happiness is a fetching fall day crowned in the glory… “For the beauty of the earth.”

So until tomorrow…If you are having trouble finding beauty or happiness around you…try looking at life upside down.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh



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 Looking at Life Upside Down

  1. bcparkison says:

    Isn’t Nature a wonder to behold? The Ginkgo really is. The most beautiful yellow and the leaves ALL fall at one time. There was, and may still be, a really huge one on the campus of MSCW in Columbus, Ms. Always fun to guess when it would let loose.


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