a story about believing in a higher power
I'm excited to share this post, a continuation of Monday's post about the book I'm reading, "when God winks." My friend Mickey loaned me her copy a few months back. I read a few chapters, and the book landed on my nightstand, waiting patiently for my attention.
I am finally engaged with the book and doing the recommended exercises. This book will yield much more to write about, but this first story is noteworthy.
Before I begin, I think it's worth mentioning that I believe in God/the Universe/a higher power. I gravitate toward goodness and light and believe in manifesting, but I forget those beliefs often. I still can doubt or overlook the miracles surrounding me daily. So when I find a sweet little book like this, I'm in. It's also important for this story to add historically, I've felt somewhat guilty asking for help, although after reading Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way," I have begun to reconsider my hesitance.
One day, a few weeks back, I was stressing about money. I tend to be judgmental of myself when worrying about money. I'm beyond aware that there are many more essential things in the world, my health and that of my loved ones being paramount.
Partially retired, our budget is typically comfortable, but this year is an exception as both of our daughters are getting married in October. We had long since put aside the money for each of our girls, but like any big celebration, some last-minute expenses that had yet to be considered were cropping up. Also, several household maintenance items had suddenly piled up: both cars needed tires, gutters needed replacement, and a long driveway that needed resurfacing, to name just a few.
We had begun to feel the pressure.
With Julia Cameron whispering in my ear, I briefly chatted with God before heading into town to do some grocery shopping.
Hello God, I know how blessed we are. I’m sorry to bother you. I’m sorry to ask. Julia said it would be okay.
The main road into town is a two-lane highway with a speed limit of 55. While the view of trees in the distance is beautiful, the strip next to the road is typically dirt that's been weed-whacked this time of year for fire prevention. As I was driving toward town, I noticed something bright yellow out of the corner of my eye. There in the barren soil was a single sunflower waving in the breeze.
Hello little Sue, I see you. I hear you. I can help. You will be fine.
Let’s time travel a bit together. It will tie in.
I've written about my love of sunflowers in the past. They lift my energy, sunshine in the form of a flower. I've also written about my favorite auntie, Lura. Although I had many relatives, I likely only saw them a handful of times. My Auntie Lura was different.
Lura played an important role in my life. I adored her and often tried to emulate her. She exhibited a spirit of celebration in the smallest of things. A trip to the grocery store felt like an adventure when you were with Lura.
During my teenage years, I was lucky enough to spend a week visiting her each summer in Southern California, typically accompanied by one of my friends. My friends were also crazy about her. Lura was very accomplished in her career as the head probate examiner for Orange County. She moved pretty often and loved to decorate. Walking into her home (any one of them) was a delight for the senses with the beautiful colors and textures, and always within a short distance of the ocean.
Backtracking a bit more, I grew up in San Bruno, California. Unlike now, where flower shops are abundant and every grocery store has a flower section, I remember only one flower shop in our little city, which was likely only frequented for weddings, funerals, and proms. My father never brought home a bouquet for my mother. Some families did, but I didn't see much of it in my youth. Like I said, for the most part, weddings, funerals, and proms.
So when I was fortunate enough to once again visit my Aunt in my early twenties, I decided to buy her a bouquet of flowers from a small booth on a sleepy coastal town corner; I felt pretty excited about the idea. I wanted to thank her for her most recent hospitality and every visit throughout the years. As a little gal from San Bruno, buying flowers felt pretty extravagant.
I was drawn to a bright yellow bouquet of sunflowers. It was PERFECT for my auntie to remind her how much I loved her days after my departure. The purchase felt like a coming of age for me.
I was all growed up, buying flowers for one of my favorite women.
Since that day, I have purchased sunflowers wherever I can find them. I have a preference, though, for the leaves left on the stem, which is hard to find. The lush green leaf against the bright yellow petals with their deep brown center-- perfection.
So yes, the single sunflower on the side of the road was a sign, a wave, a wink. My shoulders dropped an inch, my heart rate slowed, and of course my eyes filled with tears.
The story gets better. Part 2 is next Friday.