Monday, June 29, 2015

Children in the Rain

Three happy children walk over fallen leaves. When the rain pours down, they seek shelter. But shelter cannot always be found, so they do not always smile.

They grow into adults with different attitudes about the rain. One stands in a puddle, arms to the sky, and lets her hair and clothes get soaked. Another carries an umbrella and dodges gathering streams. The third stays inside, waiting out the storm.

When they see each other they embrace. They talk about old times and new, other people in their lives. But they do not discuss the rain because it has always fallen, and they suspect it always will.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Lemonade Stand

On such a blistering hot day, the little girls' sidewalk lemonade stand was a welcome site to Sheila, sweating through her shirt. She approached the small table, eager for a cool drink. A small sign read:

COLD LEMONADE $0.25

"Hello girls, what are your names?" asked Sheila.

"Lemonade!" the older of the young entrepreneurs shouted. "Like to buy a cup?"

"Yes, please." She reached into her purse for a quarter and handed it over. "Here you go."

The girls frowned. "It's fifty cents a cup, Miss."

Sheila frowned too. "But your sign—"

COLD LEMONADE $0.50

"That's odd," said Sheila, "I could've sworn that sign said twenty five cents a moment ago." She laughed and searched her purse for additional change. "Here."

The older girl accepted the payment and placed it on the table, counted it out. One quarter, two dimes, and a nickel.

"Miss, I'm sorry, but this is only fifty cents. Our lemonade is one dollar."

Sheila, confused and getting annoyed, still sweating and growing thirstier, said, "Wait a minute, not only does your sign say fifty cents—"

COLD LEMONADE $1.00

"Well, now that's really weird." Sheila stopped, wondering if the heat was making her lose her mind. "Okay, I don't know what's happening with your sign, some sort of trick you're playing somehow, but you just told me with your own mouth that the lemonade costs fifty cents. Now you say a dollar."

The younger girl started to cry.

"Oh, please don't cry, I'm not sure—"

"Hold on, please," said the older girl, "I'll get my mom."

"Fine, get her."

The girls turned and stepped inside their house. Four minutes and forty seven seconds later, they returned with a forty year old woman built like a professional weight lifter. "What did you say to make my little girl cry?"

"Ma'am, I beg your pardon, but I think there's been a misunderstanding."

"Look, Miss, I don't know what your problem is, but just because you don't wanna pay two dollars for a cup of lemonade—"

"Two dollars?!" Sheila looked at the sign.

COLD LEMONADE $2.00

"Yeah, two dollars. The money will help fund my girls' education."

Sheila couldn't take it anymore.

"Nevermind, thanks anyway, I've got to get home."

Walking away, Sheila could hear the mom shouting, "Hey you, get back here! Since you'd be a new customer, we'll give you a cup for a buck fifty!"

Monday, June 1, 2015

Like Gold

We are alive. It's all we know. We don't think about it as we breathe in and out. We don't think about it as we walk down the street in the sunshine or hustle to get out of the rain. But we are alive and making decisions: who to defend, which initiatives to support, what's best for our families and our planet. We argue about what matters. We divide our limited time. We work for love or money or both, we join clubs, we volunteer, we attend weddings and funerals and baby showers. We party. We entertain ourselves in many ways, some free and others costly. We wake up and go back to sleep. We alternately stimulate our minds or kill brain cells. Our decisions are our own as we inhale and exhale. We live moment to moment.