Unique Joy

“By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before.” – Edwin Elliott

I spotted this quirky tulip during an evening run last week. More than that, it stopped me in my tracks. I marveled at this proud little thing standing where it really didn’t belong. Clearly it was oblivious to the fact that it was the only one of its kind in the entire yard and it was likely an accident that it was there at all.

At the time another thought briefly occurred to me: being authentic and different doesn’t always mean weird. Different can be a gift to everyone around. Some might even find beauty in it. As someone who feels perpetually out-of-place, I appreciated that little tulip all the more.

But I didn’t give it much thought after that — until today.

This morning as my older son and I strolled through the Botanical Garden, a neon yellow goldfinch buzzed right in front of us, fluttering to a stop on a nearby tree. I can’t explain it, but that little bird grabbed my attention unlike anything else along our path. He positively glowed. I stopped and stared at him — and he seemed  to return my gaze. I pointed him out to my son, who was more than slightly less impressed than I was. We headed on our way with the goldfinch watching us.

This afternoon, within the first quarter of a mile of my Sunday run, looked who buzzed in front of me.

I stopped in my tracks and stared. I took this horrible photo and chatted to him, letting him know that I saw him and that I thought he was beautiful. He looked at me, cocking his head as he listened. I began thinking how strange it was to see two of these in one day. Was it a sign of some sort? As soon as that question entered my head, the little guy flew away.

Okay, I guess that’s a yes? But what kind of sign? I did a google search when I got home and this is the first thing I found:

“Goldfinch Symbolism is a sure sign of exuberance, liveliness and enthusiasm in your current world. They are here to remind you to enjoy life and savor each moment for the joy that is in it. Perhaps its simply time to celebrate who you are, your accomplishments or just for the sheer fun of it. You are reminded that life is for living – and that each moment you waste on sending forth negative emotions such as fear, hatred and anger are moments that are forever lost. Find joy in the now.”

Thank you, sweet tulip and Mr. Goldfinch (es), for reminding me to continue to find joy in life and that it’s okay to celebrate what is unique about the way I see things. From now on I’ll think of you when I let myself share what’s important to me with others.

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