How a frog and a goldfinch saved the day

Today was one of those blah days. Carson’s at the station; I realized I’d lost my wallet on Sunday and have given it up for gone after an exhaustive search; a bird bath I was excited to get in the mail showed up shattered to a thousand pieces; I was unable to focus on my growing mountain of work; and, to make matters worse, I watched the final episode of Downton Abbey season 3 instead of doing any one of a  number of productive tasks. Naturally, the tear-jerking episode sent me into a mood spiral for hours, which I didn’t start to recover from until Susan asked me to water some beans we planted yesterday. I said I would, and 45 minutes later (aka a full episode of West Wing) I grudgingly climbed on my bike and made the short ride over.

Once there my mood neutralized as I gazed at the other gardeners and all the progress being made, getting inspired like I always do in that garden. Perhaps sensing I was being pulled back to the positive side of things, the universe sent me a gift. A lovely little frog jumped out from under a strawberry I was watering, and the two of us communed for a calming moment before going our separate ways.

The frog encounter enlivened me to get my hands dirty in my own garden, which has received a minimum of work this past week. While cutting back unruly grape vines and rose branches, I looked up to see, not 10 feet from me, a goldfinch eating from the nyger feeder I’d put out two weeks earlier. This stopped me dead in my tracks, my jaw gaped open, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of yet another animal – one I’d been anxiously awaiting! Then I looked around and noticed a robin hopping on the grass and a hummingbird hovering overhead, and I felt a rush of connectedness and joy that wiped the last dusty remnants of my bad mood away.

The moral of this story is one that I seem to learn over and over again: bad moods are quickly cured if you can just get yourself outside.


The little poppy that could – these tenacious flowers are happy to grow in our lava rock front yard. I think there’s a lesson here, too…


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