Myth Buster

I was passing through the room where my boys were watching MythBusters this afternoon. I had to stop, of course, because it involved wildlife.

Today’s myth to bust was whether or not Elephants are really afraid of mice. So the two hosts set out to Africa (according to Henry) to test the elephants in the wild. (I’m not sure though, they could have been at some zoo in Arizona.) Regardless, there were two elephants being tested. The hosts put a live white mouse in a hollowed out dung ball in the elephant’s stomping ground. They then attach some twine to the ball in such a way that when the elephant walks by it trips the twine, tipping over the dung, thereby releasing the mouse.

So what happens? The elephant walks by, trips the twine, turns over the ball and exposes the mouse. Sure enough, the elephant startles and sidesteps the little being, giving it plenty of berth.

The two hosts are incredulous.  How could such a giant elephant beast, be afraid of such a tiny little mouse? They confirm the myth and make their proclamation that indeed, it looks like Elephants are afraid of mice!

Thing is, here’s my take. I was watching, and what I saw wasn’t that the elephant was afraid. What I saw was that the elephant makes way for the little white mouse because he didn’t want to step on him. He didn’t want to harm him. The elephant wasn’t afraid, rather he was being compassionate.

That’s my hypothesis, and I’m going to set out to prove it. But, you be the judge, watch the YouTube video and give us your thoughts.

Synchronicity II

Since I ran across a green grasshopper this past October my world has blossomed. Good fortunes and new beginnings. And with this has come some awesome bits of coincidence. Connections. Synchronicity.

The latest has been the “nexus” of Marion Roach Smith and Gary Taubes.

I can say unequivocally that Gary Taubes has made my life better. I’ve been following Gary since discovering his books via a tiny blurb in Discover magazine toward the end of 2010. I was a totally skeptical 47 year old marathon runner who, because of Gary’s work, converted her diet from bagels and jelly to bacon and eggs. And I feel great!

Gary set me on the primal/paleo path that has rocked my world. I feel better, I think better, I might even look better.

And with that new attitude, I set myself to begin writing again. I understand, for me, that writing has the ability to unlock puzzles, to free ideas, and to play with concepts. I did it a long time ago but somehow, along the way, I came to fear it. What it may reveal. To me. To others. I forgot that it could also be entertaining, and maybe, enlightening. Maybe even necessary.

And so. It turns out that Gary Taubes and Marion Roach are best friends. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I’ve been reading Marion’s book and blog about writing, and I think she is going to have just as great an impact on my life as Gary has.


Hello Facebook and Twitter! Most of you who know me well are having a hardy laugh at that!! Me too! HaHaHa!! But here we are! Not so bad! I am whole-heartedly grateful to Katie and Patti and Lisa and the Sakyong and to the rock and Rebecca Pepper Sinkler.

And so. Today I was going to talk about another amazing bout with synchronicity. But that will have to wait until tomorrow, because I would like to welcome all who are visiting for the first time. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will visit often.

We’ve been talking a lot about bravery, and basic goodness, and birds. And a little boy who planted a seed.

Today during my run, a gaggle of geese flew over me along the lakefront.  It was a triangle of eight or nine. Where were they going? Isn’t it too late to get south? I of course, stopped and watched them hoping they were finding food and shelter and anything else they may need. Be well geese.

Be well. To stop for a moment and to wish others well. It is a practice that has brought me great comfort and openness. Welcome to The Carrot Seed. Give it a try.


Before today I had never heard of Ursula Nordstrom or Rebecca Pepper Sinkler. It’s crazy how the world works, because now I feel like I’m connected to them both. I think these two awesome women may have a hand in changing the course of my life.

I was out for a run yesterday. And feeling pretty jaunty, especially considering the week as it were (see last post). I wandered off the path to have a closer look at the lake. This wandering off the path is new for me. You might already know that I used to be the type of runner who wouldn’t stop for anything. Now I find myself checking out all the nests in the trees and the birds floating on the water.

So anyway, I was sort of just standing there, maybe looking at the Chicago skyline 10 miles out, when the painted boulders at my feet begged for my attention. They line NU’s shore. Keeping the landfill in and the water out I suppose. It is not an exaggeration to say that I have run past these rocks thousands of times. Maybe once in awhile I would glance over and grab some energy from their brightness or smile when there was a marriage proposal or a celebration of a championship or graduation.

So, yesterday was a surprise. This giant rock (I can’t believe I don’t recall the colors!) calls out and speaks to me,

“The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius,” it says.

Ok. I stand there for a bit longer. Staring at this rock to soak it in.

I chant the quote all the way home, and it makes me smile and then laugh, and then do some fartleks.

And, it convinced me that it was time to sign on to Facebook and Twitter. So I did!

Rebecca Pepper Sinkler makes this statement about Ursula Nordstrom in her discussion of the book, Dear Genius, The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom.

Ursula Nordstrom was the editor of many, many beloved children’s books. Among them, The Carrot Seed.

Being Open

A lot of things did not go the way I was hoping yesterday. I think it might have had to do with the space hurricane.  But who can tell really.

Mind you, I did not have my house blown away by a tornado like so many did in Mobile, Alabama. There was nothing colossal or earthshattering about the things that did not go my way. They were very mundane, sort of Monday things.The internet was down. My phone was out. Max was home sick. The printer wouldn’t work, I had to go to a meeting I didn’t want to. It was ugly, ugly weather. Blah, blah blah. That is not on par with losing your house.

The things is. You don’t need to lose your house and you can still feel shitty about the day you’re having. And weirdly, that makes it just a little bit better. Just admitting that you are not perfect, and your day is not perfect and that things bug you that you wish you would not let bug you, makes it better. (I am going to also admit that I should be able to write a better sentence than that….I feel better!)

Weren’t you taught to do the opposite though? Weren’t you told to suck it up, because people four states away are having a much worse day than you?  And then you feel guilty about how you’re feeling, instead of just feeling what you’re feeling. Then your day gets all the more worse. Because not only are you having a bad day, but now, on top of it,  you’re a bad person because you aren’t even good enough to realize that your day is nothing compared to everyone in Mobile.

And so. If we were to reflect on basic goodness. What does it mean in this regard?  To be open. Being open to all your emotions, to all that arises. To accept being human, being sad and mad, and petty, and small sometimes. We have been so dehumanized, so afraid to look at all our shortcomings and imperfections, expecting ourselves and everyone else to be perfect. To allow our basic goodness to arise, means to be open. To not be perfect.