Sunday, February 27, 2011

Round and Round and Round and Round

Sometimes you’re happy, sometimes you’re sad,
But that doesn't matter at all
Take it from me, there's still gonna be
A summer, a winter, a spring and a fall.
The planet spins, and the world goes 'round
And 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round
(Apologies to the lyricist for scrambling the verses.)

Circles. All of life is made of circles and cycles. In this country, of course, we celebrate the beginning of a new year--a new circle--on January first. My soul year, though, begins with Lent, which coincides more closely with the garden year. Since I bought this house and its old neglected gardens, (I first saw it on Ash Wednesday and moved in on Palm Sunday), I began to pay attention to my own cycles. It is this time of year when I look inside myself and gather energy for whatever is coming; when I begin preparing with the garden for a return to life. I have tried to be a summer person; but it is spring when it is all happening; when my soul and the garden are full of excitement at what is happening now, with hope for what is coming next, and with sure knowledge that there is something to be learned. The garden is my teacher.

This year Lent is late; Ash Wednesday is still a week and a half away--later than it has been since I began learning from the garden. But the garden isn't waiting. And neither am I. Just as Lent doesn’t explode onto the scene with the razzle-dazzle of the resurrection, we have to wait for spring and summer for the garden to burst into the fullness of its bloom and potential. Lent, in the garden and in the soul, sneaks in quietly; begging to be observed and reflected upon, but with patient introspection. These are teasing weeks: cold then warm then cold again; still more darkness than light. So some days, when I feel my winter inwardness ready to bust out, and other days when I turn back, I don't despair. Easter is not here yet. But there is plenty happening.

In the garden my Lenten Rose is Crazy With Bloom. I count twenty buds and blooms this weekend, compared to four last week and two last year, and none the year before that. I love the Lenten Rose. It is a plant I was not familiar with until I began my love affair with the garden and started observant walking in my neighborhood. Its foliage remains green through all the seasons, and it blooms during Lent. The dusty deep purple then green then yellow flowers are not a showy burst of color, and they hide under the leaves; but like Lent, it is there for those who are looking for subtle change, for a slow coming out from winter, for the first small sign of resurrection.

Evidence of spring can be seen everywhere. Daffodils and camellias are blooming. Cherry trees in the Village appear this week and light up the gray skies. (Well, the skies haven't been gray much, but they need to be. Rain is in short supply.) The more reticent trees have just a hint of color. But not all the evidence can be appreciated with a drive-by. It is much too subtle. The vinca minor ground cover I planted two years ago has its first periwinkle bloom; I don't notice until I walk up close. The pink feathers of the lorapetalum have opened. The dogwood has buds, and the tight green and purple hydrangea buds of last week are opening into green. The weeping Japanese maple I planted last year has new green branches and tiny pink leaf buds. The sea oats and guara are sprouting from the ground, but I have to peer closely to see it. And, when I brush aside the leaf mulch, I discover purple sprouts of the bleeding heart. But it's not time for everything. There is no sign of the Purple Heart, the hostas, or the peony. I claw through the mulch and check the banana tree. Nothing. I cover it back up. It is still February.

I planned for a Lenten practice this year, but I haven't waited for the liturgical year Lent to begin. I am following my own cycle. I rise early and sit on the deck with my coffee. A cardinal sits in a nearby branch this week and sings for a mate. And each morning a hawk, glides from tree tops across the street into the trees at the back of my yard. I watch it sitting up there. A few minutes later it flies back to the across-the-road trees with building materials its mouth. On Friday it is accompanied by another hawk--its mate perhaps?--and they both return bearing twigs. Preparing. We are all preparing for what comes next.

I have not enjoyed so much the cycle of the box elder bug. They came inside this year, and I have read more than I ever needed to know about the bug's life. They are completely harmless: they do not bite or carry disease, they do not harm plants or eat buildings. They come inside to get out of the cold, and when it gets warm they gravitate to warm places (like my southern exposure, upstairs window) trying to get outside. Though the literature says they do not reproduce inside, and they only live for a few days, it leaves me puzzled as to why they continued to inhabit my window all winter. The literature doesn’t say this, but they are stupid--or maybe just sluggish. They can fly, but they don't; they just let me have my way with them. I probably could open the window and let them escape--since that's what they want; but instead I swat their short lives even shorter and fill the waste basket with their tiny carcasses. At least they are not the ladybugs that congregate in my mother’s sunny windows; they would be hard to kill, what with being so cute and their children burning and all. This week they are all but gone in the house, but hatching--and flying--outside. I can’t like them, but what are they hurting.

Circles and cycles. They don't always follow a lateral line. Take the Crazy With Bloom Lenten Rose. It is in an upward spiral. As are several of the plants I have put in the ground that are strengthening as they become established. Older plants, though, are spiraling downward as they come to the end of their lives. Bulbs planted in the sun, become shaded as other plants grow over them, and experience a failure to bloom. (I have one of those random remembrances this morning of practicing lateral spirals in the long rectangular Palmer Method penmanship books. Do students still learn penmanship? Obviously not. Cursive writing has become a lost art.) I have experienced all the spirals. I think I am in an upward one now. It is opened-ended; I'm not sure where it is headed; or if there is even a destination in our spirals. But upward feels good.

I planted two Euphorbia in one of the first gardens I renovated. I love the name. One of the evergreen plants is doing very well and the other--only two feet away but with just a bit less sunlight--has struggled in a downward spiral. I transplant it this week to a sunnier spot. Sometimes we must transplant ourselves. What might have worked for a while, or might work for someone else, is not so much what we come to need. Lent and early spring are time to pay attention to that. We can see better when there is not so much "noise." Like in the garden, I watch and listen more intensely for what is coming for myself. What needs to be transplanted; what needs to be replaced. I begin opening up to possibility. As I wait for the warmth and the light to come to stay and for the more frantic pace of planting, weeding, and watering to begin, I prepare the garden and myself for another season of growth. We are getting ready, my bloom and I.

May Sarton said, "In the garden the door is always open in to the holy--growth, birth, death. Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle..." Sometimes our soul circles are longer than the garden cycles; some are not contained in a single year, and that makes them easy to overlook. If it has worked for several years, why is it suddenly not working? The truth is, it's not sudden, it just takes time coming to light. More than at any other season, I feel most like a participant in the divine act of creation this time of year. I embrace life more fully as I tune into my cycles. I choose what I want to cut away and what I want to nurture. I dig deep into the soil, enriching it to make it fertile to sustain whatever I decide to plant. I listen, I watch, I start the work. I revel in the beauty, the mystery, and the challenge of my soul garden.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Light Dawns

Light Dawns...I am uncom- fortable with the title. This week has felt anything but light--it has been both dark and heavy; and yet those words, and the evidence of light, continue to leap out at me, if not from me. And besides, it isn't Lent yet, and the light isn't supposed to come until Easter. What will I write at Easter, if light is dawning now? Everything is out of sync. I try in vain to come up with something to write about that makes more sense to me. When I wake this morning I realize that this is what it is going to have to be. So here I go to see if I can discover what I am supposed to learn about light in the dark.

I have nearly reached the light at the end of the tunnel that is work in January. The month from hell lasts well into February. I still have six weeks of filing to do...making new folders and doing the filing are at the end of the tunnel; not to be tackled until I reach the center and head back out into the light. The folders are made and the filing might get done this week, along with other odds and ends. There is an end to both dark and heavy. Two things that redeem my January work are the moments on West Street that begin and end the hours that are sandwiched between my drive to and fro. I watch the sun rise over the city at an hour when most people are not heading to work; sometimes I pull to the curb and watch. And on the way home, after most people are already at home, I drive past the West Street power station. By day it is an ugly tangle of poles and wires and transformers; but after dark it is bathed in periwinkle light that transforms it into a work of art.

The long days are over, so I will miss the sunrise until daylight saving time begins and the morning ride is again at dawn briefly; and the purple light show is done until next winter when the daylight ends early. But something else happens on West Street this week as I drive to work on Wednesday. A slumbering revelation erupts from a place deep enough within me that I have been able to ignore it until now. Tears well up as I realize that I am on my way to a place that has defined my life for nearly ten years, and been an anchor when everything else changed--several times--and I don't want to be there anymore. It disturbs me. It feels dark and scary and very heavy. I don't know what is happening to me. One of those times that a therapy conversation would probably be helpful! And I consider it. (Therapist friend, be on alert. I am aware that people read this blog who will be concerned about my revealing of that thought; but I have vowed to myself to use this space with integrity. And that is where I am this week.)

As has become my custom, I look to the garden to see what I can learn. At the beginning of the week I find four buds on the Lenten rose. Lent is late this year, but apparently the rose is not aware or does not care. Last year it bloomed for the first time, two blooms. I also find a daffodil with swollen buds. When I get home on the day that I broke open, I take my usual tour of the garden. Both the rose and daffodil buds have also burst into bloom. The winter jasmine that struggled through the snowiest winter on record--one bloom-stalk, then three, then six, then four--is in full bloom this week and bathed in light.

The weather this week is spectacular. The "o-Phil-shul" groundhog predicts winter is nearly over, but this is flip-flop-tempting ridiculous! It is February! I have slept with open windows, even turning on the fan the past two nights. It is a good thing I can't see the light from my office; it would have been hard not to be in the garden. But yesterday I was out all day. I have been noticing that my pansies are unusually pretty unusually early this year in spite of an unusually cold winter. I know why that is: for once I pulled out the summer annuals before they were spent, and got the pansies into warm ground. They have bloomed through the winter and they are already increasing in girth. I am pretty sure the garden is telling me something. Sometimes what we have loved needs to end before it becomes unbearable. Too often I have waited for change until it is forced upon me. It seems easier that way. No decisions, no ripping. Or if there is ripping, at least there is the comfort that it wasn't by choice. Not my choice, at any rate.

This weekend, speaking of ripping, I take out the last two bushes in front of my house to prepare for the roses I want to plant. Roses scare me. Some things I read say they are high maintenance. Some rose growers I know say the same. Other say rose-growing scare stories are over-rated; just enjoy them. And my neighbors, whose roses were planted by the woman who renovated the house, do absolutely nothing in their yard (which drives me and my loppers insane) and the roses look great. I thought of roses when I read this yesterday, "We must jump into the unknown to gain insight." (Nicoletta Baumeister) I know nothing about roses, but I am reading and listening to the words of people who do. Roses, life changing decisions, we have to just jump. Not off tall buildings, necessarily. Not without a parachute, necessarily. But jumping with a ball and chain attached to our ankles would not be a good idea. And the anchors that center us can become that when we resist change. Fear of change creates darkness; letting the fear come to light brings tears; and tears, one-by-one break the links of the chain that holds the anchor that tethers us to the known and comfortable before it becomes a deadweight.
I get up early one beautiful, warm morning late this week, and sit on the deck with my coffee while the sun comes up accompanied by a chorus of birds and the fresh, lung-clearing air that is unique to this time of day. I can't see the sunrise from my house, but I watch the pre-dawn hazy sky clear to bright blue as the sun casts its light on the tops of the trees. It is so beautiful, my eyes fill. A friend posted this on her Facebook page this week, “Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again.” (Alex Tan) What is clear in this moment is that I am so lucky to be alive and sitting on this deck in this garden on this morning of this day. Does anything else really matter? Really? What we have for sure is this one moment.

As I push a chunk of sadness aside, to make room for the beauty of the morning, I am surprised at how heavy it is. Other things are heavy: carrying a nine plus pound baby in utero (twice); and then heavier ones in my arms. Hiking mountain trails toting a backpack with supplies for a week. A wheelbarrow loaded with bricks. When we can’t carry them anymore, we set them down. And, in fact, we can’t fully enjoy the baby until we put down the weight and give birth; we can't get what we need out of the backpack until we put it down; we can't use the bricks to create beauty until we move them to the spot of the creation. I can't plant pansies until I pull impatiens and I can't plant roses until I dig out the shrubs and ready the soil. Preparation requires heavy lifting.

The tears I have shed this week over past, current, and anticipated sadness drop away that early morning on my deck; and tears are for the beauty that is in my world. How confusing that beauty (and clarity) can permeate the dark, even though it doesn't always remove it. It was a full moon week. Light and dark co-existing. There is nothing confusing about that. Why am I befuddled when I feel simultaneous joy and sadness within myself? That same friend who posted the quote about tears sent me a text some weeks ago that I wrote down: "Sometimes the sun just wants to make sure we're paying attention, so she sneaks into the day." (Vickie Leigh) The light sneaks into the dark. And without the dark, can there be light? I anticipate a life change in the not imminent, but not-too-far off future; I am preparing. This time it will not be a forced change and I don't know what that looks like. I think it looks like this. Fully enjoying all that makes me happy right here and now; and living in it. Planting roses for someone else to enjoy. At the same time link by link removing the chain that holds the once-comfortable anchor, shedding tears for sadness and for beauty--yes, at the same time--and beginning a letting go bit by bit. As the plants gain strength under ground, so do I. And Easter or not, they bloom when they are ready.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shopping for Excuses: Conversations with Myself

On Thursday a brochure for a week-long summer writers' workshop at a college in the beautiful mountains of southwestern Virginia showed up in the mail at work under the church name, and whoever distributed the mail put it in my box. I start to put it in the recycling right then, but decide it won't hurt to look at it, and carry it to my office. When I get a minute, I read the workshop option descriptions--and avoid looking at the price. It's not like I'm going to go. I can't decide which of two of the courses I would choose, they both sound perfect. Moving on to the faculty, I choose based on the instructor bios; okay, their photos--definitely the woman over the bearded man. What the hey, might as well look at the price. I quickly add up the workshop, room, and board prices. Then I drop the brochure in the trash and return to the bank reconciliation. Numbers swim in my head for the next two hours. I knew this reconciliation was going to be problematic due to a bank error last month. It gives me a headache. I take the brochure out of the recycling box and add it to the pile on my desk.

The next morning, going through the pile, I look at the workshop list again. I really don't know how to choose between the two. And besides, it's a whole week. I don't have enough vacation time for all the things I want to do--a two-week trip to visit my family, staycation, camping in the mountains, time left for a day off here and there. And I'm not really a writer, anyway. I would be terrified to do such a thing. It is expensive, and even if I had the money it would be irresponsible to spend that much money on, on, on what? On myself. Work calls; I drop it back in the trash.

It's not the only random event of the week. When I arrive home Friday night from an evening with friends, there is a shopping cart parked at the curb in front of my house. It is late, I go to bed thinking maybe I didn't really see that. In the morning I leave the house for the coffee shop and errands, hoping that when I get home it will be gone. If I ignore it, perhaps it will go away and I won't have to make a decision. That is usually my first line of defense when faced with something that is hard, or that I don't want to do, or that might lead to disappointment--bad feelings; conversations that could clear the air, or could fill it with permanent smog (that has never happened, but I keep it on the list of excuses for not bringing up hard stuff); asking for what I want; giving myself permission to act on what I want. I wish I had never seen that brochure. As I enjoy my coffee, I read a couple more chapters in Creative is a Verb. "Passion should overwhelm reason time and time again. " (Alvaro Castagnet) I drive by my office to retrieve the brochure. I need to decide which workshop I would choose--if I were going to go. The trash has been emptied; the brochure is gone. It must be a sign. I feel a mixture of disappointment and relief. Mostly relief.

At noon, the cart is still at the curb. I consider my options. I quickly reject pushing it the mile to the Food Lion. After briefly considering relocating it to a neighbor's curb, I muse on walking it to the wannabe corner grocery in an empty shopping plaza a block away. Sort of the "if there is a buggy, can the store be far behind" train of thought. I would be doing my neighborhood good deed. I am annoyed at having to deal with this. I go back to ignoring the cart and continue surfing the net for instructions on building a small round patio in the backyard and how to calculate the area of a circle and where I might get building materials cheap and the merits of buying in bulk and paying the delivery fees and having to shovel gravel and sand and cart it to the backyard verses the more manageable but expensive bags at Lowes and how many cubic yards I would need and how many bags that would be at half a cubic foot per bag. Now that is a more responsible use of my money--a patio is an investment in the resale value of my home and garden and something I can enjoy every day for as long as I live in the house. A writing workshop only lasts a week and then it's over. My mom gave me money, but I am hoarding it for my house, it would be irresponsible to spend it on myself. God, it's good to have a clear justification for spending money. (Sometimes my thinking is so twisted it annoys even me.)

I tire of the internet, and I am discouraged with the patio project anyway. It's time to get outside, rake some leaves, stop this ridiculous dreaming of doing something that is too big for me, and way too much math. It makes my head hurt. I turn around to the window. The cart is gone. It worked! I ignored it, and I don't have to make a decision. Life is good. I start raking the crispy leaf bits off the weed lawn and around the chairs where I want to build the patio. Of course, the workshop brochure is on the web, I don't have to have the hard copy. As I rake, an activity I don't enjoy, but that I recognize as a task that clears the head as it clears the yard, I recall the question, "What would you do if nothing were standing in your way?" What would I do if I ran out of excuses? As a lifelong voracious reader, years ago I answered that question, "I would be a writer." As I pile leaves on the sheet, I see my mountain of excuses. As I pull the sheet to the back of the yard, I feel its weight. What if I considered myself as worthy of investment as I do my house? Could I work a couple of Saturdays so I wouldn't have to use as many vacation days? Would I consider giving up some of the things I have done before with my time off to do something new? How about acknowledging that writing never makes my head hurt? Maybe I could fill the shopping car with possibility instead of excuses. As I dump the leaves on the compost, the sheet becomes light again. The mountain is not insurmountable.

It snowed again this week. Just a dusting. The winter jasmine is in full bloom now. The bulbs I discovered had sprouted last week are taller. And the sedum has emerged from the ground. The snow does not deter them. It is their time, and there are no excuses. One of the friends I spent time with on Friday evening, a friend whose family includes a child in college and another close behind--income inhalers--went to Cuba last year with a group from church. Friday night she said, she couldn't really afford the trip, and the timing work-wise could not have been worse. But deep inside herself, she knew it was her time to go.

What is it my time to do? I have run out of the practical excuses. All that is left is fear. "I am not a writer. What if I can't do it? What if everyone else is better than I am?" I pull up the website and reread the brochure. It doesn't say a thing about "must be published," or "must have a degree in literature," or must be a "poet laureate." The only prerequisite is a love of writing. I read the course descriptions. The one the woman is teaching says it's for intermediate and advanced writers. The one with the bearded man states for all levels--and the description sounds a bit more like what I do. I open the registration form and choose them as my second and first choices respectively, add my contact information and credit card number. It does not ask for a writing resume or a writing sample or a 250 word essay on why they should let me in. I click send. I am the 80th person to register for the eight 15-person-limit workshops. Maybe I will get in, and maybe I won't. I will be disappointed, not relieved, if I don't. But I have done my part.

I go back outside. Three thoughts dawn on me. I could have put the shopping cart in my car and driven it to Food Lion. I put the brochure in the recycling box, that's why it wasn't in the wastebasket. And the income tax refund I am expecting is exactly the cost of the adventure I just signed up for.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coloring Outside the Lines

It was a beautiful day in the neigh- borhood... and a strange, strange weekend in my universe. After I wrote my post last Sunday, I went out into the sunshine where the temperature was approaching the day's 71 degree high to sit and bask at a table in front of the cafe. I was soon approached by a man about my age who, saying he wasn't from here, asked if it was always like this in January. We proceeded to talk for the next 30 minutes. Let me just say here, that I don't generally talk to strangers, at least more than a phrase or two here and there. Ken was clearly accustomed to jumping right in, however, and we talked easily about things deeper than I generally discuss with friends. He asked if I believed everyone had a purpose, for example. I surprised myself by having an answer to that. Mostly, though he was really trying to engage me to talk--and I was talking--he was needing to inject as often as possible stuff about the capital W-Who that he is. My friend, Charly, who knows more about men than I do, says that's how men show their feathers. You have to try not to judge them until they finish strutting. Then you see if they can ask you questions; and, more importantly, if they can listen to the answers. This Ken does have a very interesting life, I must say. He is a nomad and photographer for such organizations as National Geographic, and he has a special interest in America's national parks. (I did google him.) He is leaving soon for one more tour in Afghanistan and then thinking of settling down in Seattle. I could tell you much more about him, but this blog is about me.

Ken got me thinking about coloring outside the lines; as is the book I am reading that Emma gave me for Christmas, Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World, by Rita Gelman, who became in mid-life an outside-the-lines colorer. I have no aspirations of a nomadic life. I like to travel, but I like home more. I am just interested in people who figure out how to step out of bounds and ignore the blowing whistle. When I was a colorer of coloring books, my first step on a new page was to trace all the lines with a crayon--thinking that would provide a physical barrier to keep my filling-in-color from inappropriately crossing into uncharted territory. I also took piano lessons. The lines of the staff kept the notes where they were supposed to be. I had a hard time memorizing the music; I needed the lines to guide me in the way in which I should go. My mother could not read music, and thus she said she couldn't play the piano. But when she sat down and played Humoresque from her heart, her hands flew and bounced on the keys. I wanted to play like that, but I kept to the lines.

Years ago I visited the gallery of an art school. On a wall was an art quilt in which some of the patchwork pieces had come apart at the seams and were spinning free of the carefully constructed, perfectly symmetrical body of the work. The vision of that color sneaking out beyond the lines has stayed with me all these years. I color outside the lines more these days. I don't like instructions; I prefer to figure it out myself. And I don't read how-to gardening books. I sit in a waiting room this week, looking through a Better Homes and Gardens. There is an illustrated article about what flowers do well together, how to group them, how many of each, and where to place them in the bed for the "better" look. A chart is included so the gardening reader can get it right. I feel brief guilt of wrongdoing as I recall impulse buying plants that call to me in the garden shop. The article warns against such behavior; like going to the grocery store without a list (heaven forbid you should act on a sudden hankering for pecan-crusted salmon that you hadn't planned on). I quickly shrug off the wrist-slap. I am coloring outside the lines. Does staying in the lines keep the color in? Or out?

Sir Wally of Raleigh saw his shadow at noon on Groundhog's Day. Since he would have seen his shadow at noon on pretty much any day of the year in the south, where winter does not hold a snow shovel to winter in the northlands, to depend on such an impostor as a predictor of the coming of spring is just plain lunacy. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, and I am sticking with him. The dangerously warm day on Sunday gets me day-dreaming about spring projects in the garden. But there is still plenty of winter left, regardless of what either Wally or Phil predict. In honor of Groundhog's Day, I dream a recurring nightmare this week. Only it has a twist. It is the end of the semester--I am in graduate school, not the usual junior high of my dream in the past. I have been to none of my classes all semester, and have done none of the reading. But I am not panicked. In fact, I realize that I haven't been to class because I am no longer interested in the field of study I have chosen. Days before the date of the finals, I walk into the registrar's office and withdraw.  

In my dream I worry about telling my parents that I have quit, but it doesn't feel like quitting to me. It feels courageous and right. I suppose this last is part of the dream because my father has been on my mind this week. Last week ended with the news that my former husband is leaving Raleigh, which feels really odd. Everyone I came here with is gone. I feel the loss of that relationship all over again. Even more bizarre is that he is returning to the place where we began our life together, calling up many memories of those halcyon days when we didn't know it wouldn't always be that way. The new week began with a call from my mother, saying that my dad's best friend of some 60 years had died. He has been looking after her these past fifteen years (a bit more than she needed, but I expect it was a comfort and a connection) since Daddy died. She said it felt like Daddy had died all over again. (I said it was a strange, strange weekend. Lost threads of connection that we didn't even know were tethering us. Feeling cut adrift in the world.) I hated to disappoint my father, even as an adult. And he had solid lines holding in "appropriate" behavior. It was always hard to tell him I was coloring outside the lines he drew; and there were consequences when I did. I guess it is always hard to tell those we love that we are going to leave the boundaries, especially if we drew them together. It is so hard, in fact, that sometimes it seems easier to just stay in them.

I have lived in four states. Though I dragged my feet to only one of them, all of the moves from my birth state were in response to someone else's life, and I was the follower. Within this state, I have made some courageous moves outside the lines. But they were not made alone, and though I didn't drag my feet, they were in response to someone else's choices again. My next move will be my choice alone. I anticipate that will be harder. It is hard to be in control of the crayon and move it outside the lines. Each time I go to my heart home for a visit, I am privileged to fly over the Great Plains. Crop circles and their amazing patterns can only be seen when we get some distance from them. When we look at our lives from afar, we can see the patterns. We can see those we like, and those we don't. There is opportunity this rainy Saturday for reflection. Reflection on what we see, or really seeing what we reflect on, is the beginning of change. My parents never told me to get my head out of the clouds, but I know many parents do tell their children that. Stay inside the lines, keep the notes on the staff. I say to us all, "Let Groundhog's Day be over. Get your head in the clouds, dream of the life you want. Then don't be afraid to color outside the lines."