Joni Mitchell may have been originally inspired to lament over environmental loss in her 1970 hit, “Big Yellow Taxi” but by the end of the song she turns away from the paved over wilderness and sees what is missing in her personal life as well. That same recognition hit me hard this week as I watched all three of my kids head off to school. For the first time in over 11 years, I have a chunk of time between the coming and going of the big yellow school bus that I can devote to me.
Instead of only happiness and freedom, the big yellow school bus has also brought a bit of angst to this week, if you have to know the truth.
Raise your hand if you can relate to any of the following. A high school student saving for a car, or saving for college. A college student. A single parent trying to make ends meet. A parent trying to pay for a kid’s braces or college tuition. A retiree trying to live on only a retirement check. Go on, raise your hand if you’ve ever had a reason to work a job that paid the minimum wage. Can you relate? Good, because that ability to relate is the foundation of this post.
Last summer when the blackberries were thick here in the Pacific Northwest, the seasonal milkshake and lemonade at Burgerville reflected those luscious beauties. I was standing among the milieu of hungry folks and the man behind me orders a blackberry shake.