The Wonder Is Worth the Wait


With a vibrant garden just outside my door, I’m privy to many of nature’s magnificent miracles.  A special patch of milkweed beckons a certain kind of caterpillar so we can enjoy the beauty of the Monarchs soon to arrive; but, as many of you know – it’s quite the process.  Now as a teacher and life science fanatic, I do think there’s something neat about caterpillars.  However, in my old age, I can’t say that I’m nearly as eager to have them crawling on my finger as I was as a 7 yr. old.  I leave that to the zealous second graders, and they’re in full supply.

I am far more intrigued as an adult about – the process.  At select times of year, the leaves are replete with caterpillars of all sizes, feasting and gorging in preparation for the most transformative experience of their lives.  I marvel at their instinct; their ability to survive the deadliest of odds; the simplicity and forthrightness of their objectives – and their commitment.  Despite the many movies I watched on PBS and countless animal books I read as a little girl, witnessing firsthand the creation of a chrysalis is incomparable to any recording – live or otherwise.  Even when I’m the only member of the audience, sitting on the grassy front row – I still hold my breath.

I was reminded of how fascinating this process was on our last trip to the garden.  I peeked over into a small container and saw this tiny chrysalis and remembered how I always liked the ornamental specs of gold that graced the verdant green exterior – I assumed because it seemed reminiscent of royalty.  Enter Epiphany of Brown.  As I peered intently into the digital photograph last night, I recalled a conversation I had yesterday with a seasoned educator, for whom I have high regard.  She wanted me to know she’d finished reading my latest posts, and among her favorites was – “The One in the Back.

As the conversation progressed, we began to talk about the many people we know; and how numerous talented people work tirelessly at doing a wonderful job, in whatever field, but still seem to get passed over.  This can occur for so many different reasons….but, I’d like to speak to those of you who have and continue to work tirelessly, but are doing so with an end in mind.  You are working toward something.  You are feeding your passion daily.  You might be discouraged because you feel like you’re still doing so much “ground” work, but don’t be burdened because you’ve invested so much time and effort into your pursuit.  You are building a foundation.

Maybe you feel overwhelmed by all of the other “caterpillars” in your space – noticing that you are not the only one on your grind; perturbed that there’s only so much milkweed, and you’re competing for what you need to survive.  Even still, a transformative experience awaits…  When you finally reach that perfect moment, you will see everything come together that needs to in order for you to be in that appointed place.  Things that must be in sync will allow you to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing – if you are prepared.  Don’t despise the grind.  Embrace it.  Those efforts that you make to be committed to your cause will be the very fodder you need for your chrysalis.

Despite the amount of time it will take to prepare; no matter how long it takes you to transform, the end result – will be simply spectacular.  We know most people don’t stare at caterpillars and come away with a warm, fuzzy feeling; but, they do seem to be quite smitten with the picturesque butterflies they become.  I was once told by an optimist that, “My latter would be greater than my former.”  I believe that.  For those of you who are putting in the work that seems so tedious on many days, don’t stop feeding your passion.  Ignore the naysayers and do what you do best – invest in yourself and in your dreams.  That chrysalis is coming.  You may step in a caterpillar, but the wonder into which you’ll transform in the end will be well worth the wait.

#pursueyourpassion, #catchyourdreams, #betheone


Mexican Apple Pie & Revelations for the Mind

mexican apple pie

While Houston’s Apple Walnut Cobbler is clearly at the top of my favorite desserts list, the Mexican Apple Pie at Cantina Laredo on Westheimer is easily a contender.  The decadent pie filled with sauteed apples anchored  by a perfectly textured crust is rivaled only by the brandy butter poured around its iron skillet base that sizzles like the most scintillating fajitas.  It seems the steam sings its glories as it races to the heavens, broadcasting its intoxicating caramel like smells.  It sharply contrasts the perfectly cooled cinnamon ice cream that races for its rendezvous with the pie beneath.

As I found myself pleasantly lost in the abyss of things that please my palate, it occurred to me that we often can distinguish many things that tickle our passions in life (for me, FOOD, writing, church work, family).  That is, we can readily gush about things in which we find the most joy.  That being said, do our passions align with our professions?  We spend most of our days (for those of us in the workforce) spending hours at a job that just might consume us.  Often seeing co-workers more than family, we live and breathe in our respective industries.  My question is, how’s the air?  Is it fresh and invigorating?  Do you wake up ready to go to work with a smile on your face, eagerly anticipating the day’s adventures?

Or do you dread it?  Run from it?  Sometimes ignore it, with the hope that the doom and gloom of the darkness will somehow fade away?  Even if you “like” your job, are you fulfilled?  Make sure that what you enjoy most, is what you pursue – because life isn’t just about working, it’s about fulfilling your purpose.  I’m reminded of a treasured friend whose acquaintance I met in the teaching profession.  While talking about our daily affairs we began discussing one of my favorite topics – food.  She vibrantly articulated her passion for baking, and her face lit up like a Christmas tree in the winter.  I could see her passion was clearly at the forefront…now, she’s pursuing it to the fullest degree.  So much so, that her signature lemon bars are distinctly featured at regal giant Nordstroms in the Woodlands and Galleria (see

I said all of that to say, it’s a New Year.  In addition to our resolutions, let’s  share some revelations.  Life’s too short to drown in drudgery.  If you have a dream that’s been tucked away in the back of your mind, brush the dust off of it and write it down.  It may be worth pursuing, no matter how challenging the journey.  If your position is misaligned with your passion, perhaps it’s time to find a delectable detour into your destiny.  In essence, if you’re not fulfilled – what are you going to do about it?  Your future awaits…  Share your plans – and stick to them!