Day seven of Mom’s new adventure. She’s working with several different kinds of rehabilitation therapists about four hours a day and then resting from the hard work of it all. She can walk with assistance. She’s speaking better everyday. Remembering names is sometimes a bit tricky for her. She has some right side vision neglect that they are working on. She still has her sense of humor and expresses gratitude and love to everyone who visits or helps her out in any way.
We lived in the Northwest for a few years once upon a time. Humid and cool, opulent with growing things. We picked wild blackberries, rock climbed, camped, collected shells in the too cold water below the Tacoma Narrows bridge.
Winters were mild, with a couple of rare days of snow. Summers were cool and cloudy.
Perfect conditions for snails.
Slimy, slow-moving, bulbous shelled creatures of shadow and night.
They left trails of slime across the screens and sidewalks. And the destruction they left in a flower bed aggravated me to no end.
I tried a few remedies. Beer in a bowl, useless. Slug and snail bait, laughable. Salt, only if applied directly and mercilessly. I finally gave up planting flowers when I realized how addictive they seemed to snails.
I imagined the little slime balls after a night of debauchery in the flower beds, drunk on the nectar of blossoms and stems, fuzzy headed with the liquor of leaves and roots. I chose to stop enabling their habit and consequently stopped planting the hopeful pops of color in my garden.
That would teach them a lesson or two.
But no, it didn’t. They simply slimed the screens and sidewalks with more vehemence in search of their drug of choice. Finding no flowers to wreak havoc on, they slimed my yard more and more.
Why am I bringing this up now? (Besides the fact that the weatherman keeps taunting us with a 20% chance of rain as if a deluge is likely any moment.)
Those slimy snails remind me of negative things; sadness, anger, hopelessness, frustration, meanness, selfishness.
Those emotions seem to leave a wake of slimy yuck behind them. I feel the aftereffects of aggravation long after the source of the emotion dissipates. Sadness lingers. Meanness replays itself over and over in a mental movie of hurt. And selfishness hovers like a skunk that passed by hours ago.
The residual effects of negative emotions stick like slime.
Negativity and pessimism act like addictive substances. One angry thought invites another until a whole room of anger buzzes and jabs. Anything in its wake takes a hit and comes up fighting. Slime trails wander everywhere.
I don’t know. (We don’t get many snails here in the desert.)
Escargot tastes delectable if done right. Saute’ in butter, add a bit of garlic, a pinch of fresh parsley. Mmmm. Some crusty french bread on the side.
Ah yes, there’s the ticket.
That’s no answer. I realize that.
Or is it? Try this one on for size:
When life gives you snails, make escargot.
Laughter often sparks more laughter. I’m pretty sure that hope can be contagious. Smiles seem transmittable. Kindness often avalanches into more kindness. Determination to succeed, to overcome, to soldier forward feels healthier and happier.
Can I choose positive emotions over negative? Sure. Is it an easy choice? For some, yes. For others, not necessarily.
In the face of hardship, illness, unkindness, hurt, abuse, loss, suffering or setbacks, choosing the plus side takes audacity. It requires mettle to move forward, keep trying, be kind anyway, turn the other cheek, forgive, smile or to look at the alternate path as a new adventure.
Yes, I know. Not too many people like the idea of eating snails, no matter how wonderful a delicacy. But, you never know until you try if you’re gonna like ’em or not. Or maybe you don’t mind the slime trails and flower bed destruction. More power to you for being so resilient and easy-going.
Either way, life is full of surprises good and bad. How we weather those surprises, as gifts or troubles, makes all the difference.