May the Budgie of Happiness Sit on Your Head


My grandmother, Mimi, was a great solitaire player. My family legacy is mainly memories, so I especially cherish my few tangible mementos. Especially a photograph of Mimi, when she was in her mid-70's, sitting at the kitchen table, solitaire game in progress and a small green "budgie" (aka parakeet in this country) atop her head.

You need to realize that my grandmother was a lady. She'd been an executive secretary in her working days, and there was a dignity about her that somehow hadn't translated into subsequent generations. Genteel, she was. Prim. Proper even.

That's why the budgie picture is such a delight. If it is possible for my grandmother to relax enough to tolerate a bird in her hair - and allow a photograph! -- then it is possible for anyone to let go, let down and play. She knew what could happen. She knew what birds do . . . and she yet, let it sit there, let this fragile little creature just be.

The approaching summer will bring opportunities, and if we're not careful we'll find ourselves too busy . . . too tired . . . too dignified . . . too preoccupied . . . to step outside the lives of our safe and comfortable everyday. We'll be too worried about being careful . . . to concerned about acting our age . . . too busy thinking about tomorrow to pay attention today.

And yet: When something knocks on your door and asks, "Can [your name] come out to play?", remember. You can't know if this invitation is one of many or the last one that may come your way. Life is like that.

I have a new bumper sticker that says, "Don't Postpone Joy." I think this is what Alice Walker had in mind when she wrote, in The Color Purple, "I think it [irritates] God when you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it" (Those of you who remember the book will realize I've tidied up the verb somewhat, although I admit the sentiment was more effective written her way!)

Joy, playfulness, doing your version of letting a budgie sit on your head - these are our human way of saying "thank you" to the Universe for the gift of life - long life, short life, whatever weeks and days and years remain.

So, here's my summer wish for you: Let the budgie of happiness sit on your head. Recognize there are consequences, but live with it. Let your motto be, "Don't Postpone Joy." May room for happiness, make time for play. Every day.

Copyright 2005 Maureen Killoran

Maureen Killoran, MA, DMin, is a Life Coach who specializes in liberating people's strengths, values and passion. Don't miss Maureen's great new e-workbook, "Spirit Tickling: A Workbook for Curious Souls" -- a selection of her absolutely best articles, with questions to encourage your path of personal and spiritual growth. And for ongoing connection and monthly inspiration subscribe to Maureen's free e-zine, Seeds of Change. www.spiritquestcoaching.com">http://www.spiritquestcoaching.com


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