“You’ll find out it’s little savors and little things that count more than big ones. A walk on a spring morning is better than an eighty-mile ride in a hopped-up car, you know why? Because it’s full of flavors, full of a lot of things growing. You’ve time to seek and find.”
(Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury)
At first glance, this quote may have nothing to do with spirituality. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say it may have nothing to do with your spirituality. Even once I’m fifty years into this journey, I’d never dare to dictate what spirituality is and isn’t, because it is so personal. For me, at least, and for many of you I’ve come across in person or in print, it’s about the little things. Maybe it’s because the big things are too vast to contemplate; maybe it’s because the small things serve as building blocks to lift us higher and ground us all at once.
One thing I’ve learned is that sometimes I need to stop questioning and let things be. Just for a while.
I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in Ontario there are dandelions EVERYWHERE right now. No matter where you look, there’s a sea of cheery yellow. So what did I do?
I made breakfast.
Yes, dandelions are edible, and not just the milky stuff from the stem that makes your mouth pucker. You can lop the flower heads off, toss them in egg and fry them in butter. I made a mistake or two along the way and ended up with something akin to a dandelion omelette, but what can you do? It was tasty nonetheless.
Last month, I posited the idea that “spirituality is about connection, about being present in your life.” Today, on that walk with my mum, looking at the blue sky above and the sea of dandelions crashing and waving as I swung on the swing, and then later, eating the last crumb of those fried dandelions, I felt so in the moment and connected to everything around me. It’s amazing how something so concrete–a weed!–became such a source of peace.
That’s an interesting thought, though–part of it was the dandelion’s presence in the world, but it was also about the interaction that resulted, not just enjoying the visual feast but the edible one, as well. It’s not just about acknowledgement, it’s about connection and incorporating something into your day, whether you eat it, share it with someone, write a poem about it, pray about it, or find some other way to make it beautiful.
It seems that when we’re kids, time passes interminably slowly. Sometimes we were impatient to grow up and get to the good stuff, but we were also incredibly adept at living in the moment. We’d live our days this way, moment to moment, embodying them as fully as possible. Now, in our twenties, time seems to have gotten the memo and sped up like a roller coaster tipping over the edge of a climb and gradually gaining speed until it’s hurtling towards the next bend.
Whether we call it spirituality or living mindfully, we need this grounding, this time and space to collect our thoughts and let things be. It lets us approach our days with a more peaceful mindset and a readiness to encounter whatever comes next. The last few months, I’ve set specific goals for my spiritual journey. This month, with countless adventures on the horizon (moving out on my own, for one; learning to drive, for another; summer mischief, naturally) I’m keeping things simple. My spiritual focus will be on finding and living truly in these dandelion moments.
“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”
(Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert)