Focusing On The Flowers

Day 30 - Cherry Blossoms Blue Tit Watercolor - Doodlewash

This morning when Philippe and I woke up, instead of the spring rain that had been predicted, the house was suddenly freezing and it was snowing outside. Somewhere overnight, the weather changed its mind sharply and decided to do something else entirely. I really can’t fault it since I tend to do this all of the time. We are still without a car, but were going to go to lunch with my mom and sister who are in town so the weather wasn’t a concern. Until I got a text from my sister shifting those plans to tomorrow instead. The snow shifted back to rain and we were left with another problem-solving exercise of how we were going to get to lunch without getting soaked. We broke down and just took an Uber to get there and our driver was a recent transplant from South Florida.  Though she’ll be fine when the summer humidity arrives, she was still a bit shocked by a spring snow. After taking a leisurely lunch to wait for the rain to stop, we set out to catch a bus home, jumping off to get some flour on the way for pancakes tomorrow morning. After finding CVS out of flour we walked to Walgreens, which is always magically a block or so away and got the last bag they had. Our walk was entirely in the city, not a nature hike by any stretch, but it ended up having some good moments along the way.

As we were walking to Walgreens, we encountered a disheveled gentlemen who was shadow boxing his own reflection in the window of an abandoned store. As we walked past, he turned to us sharply and we flinched as though he might start boxing us, but instead, he just shrugged and lit a cigarette. As we were walked back with our prized bag flour, he was in the same spot, only this time he actually looked at us and said, “the weather is crazy today.” To that, I simply replied, “it sure is!” In my head as I passed the first time, I was only thinking that he was crazy, but on the second pass, we found we had something we could agree upon. Perhaps he was still crazy, but in that moment, there was a bit of a connection. As we ventured on to the bus stop, the only other person there was a woman holding a pizza box, continually stepping to the curb to see if the bus was in view while standing under the digital sign that tells you just how long you have to wait. She seemed agitated, didn’t seem to notice us, and barely looked in our direction. But then, the sun broke through the thick clouds for a moment and the cold air was immediately replaced with the warmer air of spring. We all three looked into the sky at the same time and said, “ahhhhhhhhh!” And then looked at each other and started laughing. The woman’s demeanor changed and she smiled saying, “it snowed this morning! The weather is crazy today!”

I smiled and laughed and said the same thing I’d just said moments ago, “It sure is!” And she smiled back, a bit less agitated and just a touch happier. This was my hike today, and though it didn’t involve any nature, it was a walk through a concrete jungle of personalities. I had nothing in common with any of them save the unique events of this special day. The day the weather was crazy. So, even though it managed to snow in spring and we had a very chilly and windy walk through the city, we made connections with everyone we met along the way. Even struggling to get everything we needed done without a car and with the weather refusing to cooperate, everything was beautiful. It’s very affirming to know that at the end of any day we’re all just people trying to get through it. So, no matter how different we are, we always have something in common. And every bit of stress I was feeling about the lack of car, or anything else, faded to the background. I smiled and nearly skipped as Philippe and I got off the bus to walk back home again. It was unseasonably cold and the sun had disappeared again, but it was a truly wonderful day. That kind of day that is always within reach, when I can just remind myself to keep focusing on the flowers.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Terra Cotta, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Cherry Blossoms Blue Tit Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
30 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 4 months ago

    There’s just something about sharing a smile and a moment of solidarity with a complete stranger that can turn a day around. Beautiful Spring painting!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕Yeah, I love those moments. They always make me feel so happy!

  2. memadtwo 4 months ago

    And the birds too of course! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks!! 😃💕hehe… yeah, our monthly bird happy has gotten me addicted to painting them! Love it!

  3. Sandra Strait 4 months ago

    When I doing ‘it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium’ travel Europe on $10 a day, back in the 70’s, this kind of thing would happen. Neither my friend or I spoke anything but English, but we always managed to communicate while on the trains. It always started with a smile, and then everyone would put their heads together to find words close enough that we could get our ideas across. Everyone had a great time at it, and always left laughing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      That sounds fantastic, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, I love those moments. It shows that no matter who we are or what language we speak, communicating is something much deeper and easier than we can imagine!

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    “A walk through a concrete jungle of personalities.” Perfect comment! I don’t know if the day was all that magical, but you certainly made it seem so in this article. What a fun read, and what a lovely painting of a bird.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 So thrilled you enjoyed this! To be honest, I’ve no idea if any of my days are as magical as they feel to me. But, since I write my feelings, I guess any old day can end up magical!

  5. smzang 4 months ago

    Charlie says “So, even though it managed to snow in spring and we had a very chilly and windy walk through the city, we made connections with everyone we met along the way. Even struggling to get everything we needed done without a car and with the weather refusing to cooperate, everything was beautiful.”

    The painting sets the tone of joy that is so evident throughout the article. Those ‘street people’ will probably go to sleep tonight thinking of your smile and the kindness of your voice. It is funny how the simplest things make the biggest difference.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, I hope those people feel the connection as well. For me it was a beautiful experience and a happy reminder that life is far simpler than I sometimes make it.

  6. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    You painted a beautiful bird and spring flower! Snow in Spring seems kind of magical in a weird way.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe.. yeah… I agree! As much as I want to grumble that it’s snowing in spring, my inner child does little dances and smile every time!

  7. Lisa Cihlar 4 months ago

    One of my best friends called this morning to chat. She lives three hours away. 10 minutes later, there she is at my front door! What a nice Saturday surprise. She and her wife brought lunch and dessert. The weather may have been cold and dreary, but it was warm around our table today!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yay!! That’s such an awesome story, Lisa! 😃💕 I loved being surprised by friends at my door as well! It’s such a wonderful experience!

  8. Jodi 4 months ago

    finding the joy in the simple moments and encounters is what life is all about 🙂 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yay to that, Jodi! 😃💕 I think it’s the only way to get through life sometimes. At least if you want to keep smiling, which of course, I always DO!

  9. Patricia Lacanne 4 months ago

    ses joli

  10. LoriCtoo 4 months ago

    What a lovely bird. We don’t have too many colorful birds out here, a lot of rust colored. Lol, probably from all the rain we get here in Oregon! We had our Spring yesterday, so that meant a day in the yard. 🙁 However I was rewarded with the sight of two hawks soaring over for quite some time. The distraction was welcomed!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, I think cardinals and a few finches are the most colorful birds we get on a regular basis. I saw a book of birds in a shop and always get inspired to research new ones! hehe So awesome you had a day in the yard and even better than you had two hawks come visit! FUN!

  11. Laura Hale 4 months ago

    What a blessing it is to connect with others. Thank you Charlie for providing a place to do just that, through your art and the generosity of your time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so sweet of you to say, Laura! 😃💕 I’m thrilled you enjoy these posts! I just keep on making them, so it makes me happy to know you like them!

  12. creatingincolors 4 months ago

    Isn’t it amazing how uplifting a few words with a stranger can be. Whenever it happens to me, I tell myself we all need to do this more often. Your flowers and bird are definitely uplifting too – love them! I have to say I also love those blue glasses. They awesome, and you look great wearing them. The story behind them makes them even more special. Have a great day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed this! 😃💕hehe… and thrilled you enjoyed my new blue glasses! I’m so happy to wear them. It’s wonderful when something connects you to the past.

  13. June Hadaway 4 months ago

    I love the bird and spring flowers. They look so much alive. Such an uplifting story. Connecting with other people these days can be daunting but I find a smile always seems to break the ice. We never know what the other person is dealing with at the time. I do hope your car is fixed now. It is to fall back to 25 degrees tonight after a light snow last night.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕Ugh… still snow there? I’m definitely done with snow and ready for spring. And also ready for a car again, which will only hopefully be ready tomorrow. But, the walks while waiting have been intriguing! 😉

  14. Karen Howard 4 months ago

    I loved your story today Charlie! many years ago when I was just a little young thing, I saw something that said, “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” That’s what I live by. I love those connections with strangers even when it’s just eye contact and a smile.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 I agree… most of the time any stranger we meet is just waiting for that smile, some chance of connection. It’s a much better world when we just pause and make it.

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