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Friday, October 3, 2014


                    By: Erin Mann

Everyone has their oasis;  their happy place, their place of peace.  Some find solace on a walk down a busy street lined with the neon and fluorescent signs that breathe life into the emptiness of a blackened avenue polluted with the noises of stray animals knocking over garbage and car horns.
 Some find it in the songs of chirping birds and amongst the green seas of forested landscape.  Some in the powdery white sand beneath their feet absorbing the salt into their pores amongst the concert of crashing waves hitting the shore.   Some are found in the embrace of a lover’s arms or in the softness of a kiss.  Some are breathed, some are heard, and some can only be found in the mind’s eye.  
    In a world of chaos, stress, responsibility, fear, obligation and monotony this oasis is all too often the only thing that keeps us sane.
 It is the small quiet echo in our mind that reassures us of the beauty that exists underneath the dirty ashes that we have allowed to be shoveled into mountains- but they exist.  We know, we feel and have faith that it lays patiently beneath the filth waiting to be discovered and revealed.  And bit by bit, as we uncover and dig past the negativity that engulfs our spirits we see that slight glow from the rainbow that exists there in the bottom of the pile, promising new chances, opportunities for new love, and the rebirth that comes from a simple decision.  
Sometimes it is hard to see past the gray powder that stains are fingertips, the blackened dust that coats our lungs and leaves our faces camouflaged in grime.  But the beautiful simplicity of ash, the basic knowledge that is so often overlooked and forgotten is that it is no more that a weightless powder.
 It is easily dissolved into nothing with a cleansing rain or a swift and determined breath that will blow it off into the wind of somewhere far away.  A spirit that never gives up and continues to see the sparkling silver instead of the flat grays, one that sees the colors of hope beneath the gloom. THOSE are the spirits reveal the beauty and strength that hide amongst the destruction that surrounds us.  Their sweat and tears water the seeds left behind by death and refuse to accept the defeat and finality of loss, instead reigniting the pulse of new beauty in their growth and bloom.  
We, as warriors or this generation, and the next are the sole determining factor of how colorful or how bland will be .  It is in our mind, hearts, attitude, ambition and fortitude what this will become.  It is all too easy to be swept away by the negative forces that surround us and to roll around in those ashes- to blend in with the uniformity of the shadows who have given into conformity.  But it is our responsibility to not numb ourselves to the hope that still lives in those private oasis’, to breathe in the color of optimism and find the positivity in the things and people that surround us, even when it’s hidden.  
So today and every day, make it a part of your plan, your routine, your daily goals, to visit your oasis, even if you only go there for a fleeting moment or thought and allow it to rain over the ash of the every day calamity and wash it clean away to start new.  See the colors peek through and share them with another through a kind word or a smile.  If enough of us do this, maybe, just maybe, our oasis won’t be such a journey to get to, it will become more of a part of everyday life, and we will see it is as we stroll along, able to capture the moments that we bask in it more frequently. We will be excited and inspired by the opportunity to help those too blinded by pain and hopelessness to see it for themselves, and maybe even then we can offer a glimpse of it through a compliment or kind and unexpected gesture - enable to see that there is a new day filled with shades of pastels and fluorescents that dance together to music of laughter still to be had.
 And then the magic will happen, the dominoes will fall, the infection of positivity, hope and selflessness will spread like an epidemic - an infection that doesn't ail, but cures instead.  Dark will turn to light, noise will turn to peace, gray to color, resentments to forgiveness, judgment to forgiveness, sorrow into hope, tears into laughter, and then the potential of the dreamer will be realized, and our oasis will no longer be our escape but it will become our home.  

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