Do you: Swoon 59
My sister’s garden at Fire Island is a mix of beds, trellises…English garden meets sandbar chic. Flowers bloom (on schedule, so there is no clashing) for a 3 season display of lovely. Cut flowers become one beautiful still life after another allowing some inside joy. My brother and sister-in-law recently added a vegetable garden, housed in a structure he built himself…hinged door, walls made of cedar, able to be converted to a winter greenhouse, it is the real deal. Their garden out front is a mix of plants, bushes and flowering trees…offset with light brown mulch, in the back the little gardens are offset with a dark brown mulch…they coordinate their mulch with their plants, which when you think about it, makes perfect sense. “My” garden is a work in progress (thanks to mom), made up of the leftover gardens of the previous owners, new plantings of eclectic flowers, and my favorite…potted bursts of color. The new addition of four metal vegetable beds surrounded by a bunny proof fence, is both laid back and impressive all at once.
We were raised in the same home, our gardens could not be more different. You could say the same thing about our clothing, our grocery lists, our music choices, and our homes.
The thing is, I never question their different choices, I embrace them and I learn from them and I must admit, I sometimes envy them. Our differences make us a mini superhero group, the sibling Avengers, all with our own powers. My sister is the researcher, the study, the brains. Master of pro and con lists, knowledgable on medical conditions and financial issues, she is a Google search away from any answer to any question. Guru on all things food, design, and style, she is a visual master, curating every aspect of her life. My brother embodies charm and acceptance, he can walk in any room and bring calm, understanding, and love. He can make any group cohesive and united. He has the ability to talk to anyone, about anything, and it is genuine. He brings out the best in people, it is a rare gift. I tend to be the one who does the connecting, keeping the family together for holidays and celebrations. I am the nurturer, the family archiver, the roll up the sleeves and doer, I am the memory of all things past and the planner for most things future.
I do not mean to paint a picture of perfect sibling harmony. We have more flaws than gifts. Our gifts clash almost as much as they compliment. But even when clashing, I really believe there is a respect for our differences. We see how our differences make us stronger as a unit.
I am finding certain FB posts kind of numbing lately. “My husband puts salt on everything, I hate salt.” “Why do people miss beauty parlors so much, I like my gray.” “My downstairs neighbor listens to really bad music.” “I don’t like messy sidewalks, why do kids need to put chalk everywhere”.
Maybe we should all just chill a bit.
It is ok if someone else likes to get their hair done, it is not a reflection on you. It is ok to just look up while walking if you choose to ignore the utterly glorious and joyous art below your feet. Maybe your neighbor thinks your music is really bad! Maybe differences (except fact-based science of course, facts always are facts) should be used as a way to enjoy something that does not come naturally to you. Maybe if we embrace our differences we can spend more time living life.
Enjoy each other. Embrace differences. Be happy with your choices and… do you.