My backyard is a dog poop minefield, each mound buried under a thin layer of snow, just waiting to be rolled up into a snowman or imbedded into the treads of a winter boot. Every morning, as I stand by the sink, listening to my coffee maker gurgle and sputter, and counting the seconds to sweet, caffeinated goodness, I look out the window and think about the poop. It is impossible to think of anything else, since Buster the Schnauzer is in my range of vision, performing his morning rituals at the same time as I am performing mine.
I like winter. ..hearty stews and soups; cosy sweaters and fuzzy socks; fires in the fireplace and snuggling under blankets while you watch TV. There are lots of good things. But it’s still cold. And there’s something about the cold that makes it just a little harder not to be annoyed about things; big things like the horrible happenings of the world and little things like the dog poop.
This week has been REALLY cold and so I have been REALLY annoyed. My normally witty repartee with telemarketers has been replaced with a string of expletives and the slamming of the phone. I have begun ranting to the dog about articles I read in the morning newspaper (because the world is filled with stupid people who need to stop doing stupid things!). And yesterday morning, I lost my cool with an obnoxious man who brought the grocery store checkout to a grinding halt while he complained about the quality of the produce (Honestly…is there any possibility that a teenage cashier at the Superstore might hold the power to improve the condition of the melons?!?!)
After suggesting that he place his over-ripe melon in a rather uncomfortable (and physically challenging) location, I politely removed myself from the line up and took a moment to mentally regroup (aka “hide”) in the health food section. That’s when I saw them… tulips… an entire row of beautiful blooms in pink and yellow and that weird not-red-but-not-purple colour. And they spoke to me. They said, “You’re right, Kim. That fool in the express lane had it coming. You should reward yourself for using your grown- up-girl words instead of lobbing an apple at his head.”
And so I bought myself a beautiful, congratulatory bouquet. They were the first thing I saw when I walked downstairs this morning; a happy little bunch of flowers, basking in the morning sun, oblivious to the outside temperature. I smiled at them as I let the dog out and put on the coffee.
There is still dog poop in the backyard. The telemarkers will undoubtedly call me again at some point in the day and the stupid people of the world will continue doing stupid things. But today I have a table filled with tulips and I feel less annoyed. I think I will keep the flowers coming, even if it costs me a few bucks every week, because a little bit of beauty has a habit of spreading. And I would rather smile at the tulips than grimace at the dog poop.