April Whimsy and learning from others

“Perhaps it’s because April is so full of dazzling sunlight. Perhaps it’s because the earth seems greener. Perhaps it’s because resurrection is this month’s signature. Is this why our spirits start to soar? Now the season of darkness diminishes as the season of Light increases in strength. In the garden, primroses, pansies, violets, tulips, and lilacs burst with color. Each flower, plant, and bough bears profound witness to the power of authenticity. This month we continue to grow gracefully, creatively, and joyously into our authentic selves, awakening to our own beauty.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach ‘Simple Abundance’

Painting of Red Robin by Elizabeth Blaylock
Art by Elizabeth Blaylock

“Remind yourself what it’s like to have fun on All Fool’s Day. Surprise your loved ones and co-workers with whimsy. . . not practical jokes that embarrass. Instead, devise comical, absurd, and amazing surprises. At home, turn everything topsy-turvy: serve bagel, pita, or English muffin pizzas for breakfast. And pancakes or waffles for supper. After school tell them you’ve got to take them to a doctor or dentist appointment and then head for the ice cream parlor.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach ‘Simple Abundance’

A warm thank you today to the wise and creative writer Sarah Ban Breathnach. Her writings shared in celebration of April help bring me to the computer with encouragement to copy them out here.

Copying. Plagiarizing. These are generally unpleasant and emotion-filled words. However I am reminded of an important childhood memory, at the tender age of seven, when I spent two weeks camping in a trailer with my mom and creating some of the best memories her and I made together. I enjoyed swimming daily at the campground’s outdoor pool. . . splashing around like a frog, pretending I was a dolphin. One day, upon waking earlier than usual, I felt inspired to go hold my nose and jump in again. Away I ran barefoot through the early morning sunlight, clad in my little girl’s one-piece with towel in hand. It was exciting to be there earlier than usual… it was so quiet! The doors were unlocked and I walked through the empty showers to the pool area.

There were people at the other end that I paid no mind to as I dropped my towel, held my nose and bombed into the deep end of the pool to joyfully splash and scramble with terrifying excitement to clutch the side of the pool. I swam around a bit before noticing that I was being called over. The grown-up of the group at the other end of the pool was asking if I was part of the lesson? No? I had no idea what he was talking about? At last I understood what he was saying: Terribly sorry but the pool is closed and you’ll have to leave.

I remember feeling embarrassed for a couple of moments, but also curious. What were they learning? What else was there to know about swimming other than jumping in and dashing to the side to bravely survive not-drowning? I clutched my towel around me and walked around to the outside of the chain-link fence. I watched. I listened to what the instructor was telling everyone. And it made sense. No one had ever told me that before. I stood there, getting a lesson without ever signing up, by watching and soaking it in. I became a much stronger swimmer that day. Less clumsy frog-like movements and smoother dolphin-like movements (in my mind anyways). I began to understand the concept of holding my breath better, and practiced all I’d seen once the pool opened for everyone at 9am.

Art by Marion Rose

I feel a similar rush of copied excitement this morning. Lately I’ve ‘fallen off the horse’ of writing regularly. Feeling inspired to copy out and share Ms. Breathnach’s writings is like a gentle ‘leg up’. I feel encouraged by typing what she wrote years ago, wisdom that’s inspired me for years and does again this morning. It feels like newness. And growth. And spring!

Copying others isn’t always a bad thing. Copying others and saying it was our own idea is terribly uncool and creates bad karma. But copying others and sharing who it’s from and being thankful for the inspiration is completely different. We all feel honored when we can inspire another. Imitation is the finest form of flattery. Thanks Sarah… for helping me to get back up on that horse!

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy
Elizabeth Blaylock – Painting of robin
Marion Rose “One of the boys”

Author: Gina Day

I enjoy gathering uplifting things for sharing, with hopes of brightening the day.

20 thoughts on “April Whimsy and learning from others”

  1. What a lovely post.. have I been missing something or have you taken a short sabbatical?? Whichever nice to see your inspiring post again, better go and check my notifications to make sure I get your posts.. loved this one…

    1. Thank you BD ~ and yes… I guess you could say I’ve taken an unintentional sabbatical from blogging lately. Now I feel better to be ‘back up on this horse’ as it brings me joy to connect with friends around the world such as yourself 🙂 Thanks so much for this lovely comment! Cheers, Gina

  2. I think Sarah B was an early introduction to me of mindfulness though I don’t think we used that word then and I certainly didn’t realise it….
    I often re read and re write the words that inspire from others…..they are like a shot in the arm and why not indeed…..

    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment from a kindred Sarah B aficionado. She certainly helped introduce us to the concept of mindfulness years ago and her works continue to inspire. A shot in the arm indeed. Thanks again!

  3. I’ve missed seeing your thoughtful, creative posts, Gina. As always, this post brings a positive message and makes me want to work harder to become a better person. Glad you’re back on the blogosphere. 🙂

    1. Lillian, thank you for brightening my heart as I check here before heading to a 10pm bedtime. Bless your generous heart. Your kind comment means SO much to me. I am glad to be back and look forward to more visits with you. Hugs 😀

  4. Aww I know what you mean about being bummed about missing friends’ posts on certain days when we were browsing and would’ve loved to have seen it, rather than discovering it later, as I’ve had happen with your amazing posts. I too have had posts not display in my reader but they’re doing all they can as this platform continues to grow, so I still love it. I adore that you copied scenes.. what a great idea! Camera angles, all of it. Yes so much of life is about walking in another’s footsteps, if it helps our own pathway, and especially if we acknowledge their trail-blazing for us. Here’s to ongoing inspiration! Hurray for April indeed! Joyful hugs, Gina

  5. Nothing is destroyed in the world it only changes form.
    There is nothing new in the world. Every thing has been said before.
    It is debatable who we should attribute a saying to, most of the wisest sayings are rephrased and credit is given to a leader or famous person of a favoured group.
    If a sailor said to the captain some thing wise and the captain repeated this to the armorial and it was written into the log. Would it be attributed to the cabin boy who first made the statement.
    As you say we should not wilfully take the credit away from others.
    Still we all stand on the shoulders of giants and it is important to pass on this wisdom and forget ego. Keep giving us the message Gina.

    1. Bless your wise and generous heart Jack. This comment is a wonderfully wise post in and of itself. I adore your example of a seafaring group, and if a lower-ranked member had a helpful idea that ended up saving the ship and the crew, would it go down in the books as having been from a cabin-boy? Likely not, but would that really matter.. in the end? Of course we all do need to give credit where credit is due but how wise is your point that we stand on the shoulders of each other, holding on together like those amazing rafts of ants in the floods, hanging on and becoming stronger as a whole for the effort.
      Thank you so much for your cheer of support. In this blogging world it is supportive comments from people like you who help keep us going. I thank you deeply. Best wishes and be well. Gina

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