Yesterday I wore a pair of my favorite shorts for the first time this year. (Yay! They fit!!!) 😁
I was so excited to dig them out of their hiding place and go for a walk in the neighborhood. Then I put my hand in my right pocket and found it.
The lemonade dollar.
For years I have made Lake Harriet my home away from home. I would walk her as soon as the Minnesota snow (mostly) melted and continue through the seasons until the frost came. I know every curve. I have favorite sections that provide beautiful shaded canopies. I can recall my go-to meditation bench with detailed specificity. I have path-danced to countless tunes playing in my earbuds. And I remember the lemonade stand.
Every year a few delightful young girls (supervised by their amazing parents) would occasionally have a cash-only lemonade stand. They smiled sweetly as they hawked their product. As a fellow entrepreneur at heart, I would applaud their gumption and donate to the cause whenever I could. Just so I never had to walk past them and say, “Sorry, I would love to have one, but I didn’t bring any cash with me!”, I made a habit of putting a dollar bill in my pocket just in case. The lemonade dollar was the last thing I checked before leaving my house for my Harriet lake walks.
As I reached into my pocket yesterday and found this crumpled dollar bill, I remembered the girls and got incredibly sad. I got sad for them having to shutter their business this year. I got sad for their parents who need to explain to them why. I got sad for myself for missing out on seeing their faces and the countless others who joined me walking The Pearl of Minneapolis. Mostly I got sad because we are all grieving the loss of what was.
My speaker, standup comedy, theatre, and musical friends are missing stages. Grandparents are missing grandbabies. Servers and bartenders are missing tips. Dancers are missing dance floors. Adventurers are missing the road. Swimmers and splashers are missing the pool. (Truth: I will not miss Marco!! Polo!!) Teenagers are missing their house parties. Foodies are missing their restaurants. And Teeters are missing their Brandons.
This dollar bill represents what was, and that makes me sad.
So today I’ve decided to do what I do with most moments of sadness I encounter: I am going to transmute it into something beautiful. I am going to lovingly uncrumple it, send a quick blast of love to the miniature moguls, and place the dollar bill in my meditation space. It will remind me of good people and good memories. It will represent the power of initiative in creating our successes. And it will give me hope that one day I will bring it on a lake walk again on a beautiful sunny day in Minnesota to purchase a delicious lemonade. And it will be
the best damned cup of lemonade I’ll ever have.
The blessing of endings is that it affords us new beginnings. We will get through this and emerge stronger, smarter, and hopefully sweeter than ever before. In the constant scurrying for facts and postulating future scenarios, we are living so much of our time in our heads. Let’s not forget that our true power lies in our hearts. ❤️ When we stay connected, we stay truly alive.