Tulip. Beautiful Bouquet Of Tulips. Colorful Tulips.People who look through keyholes are apt to get the idea that most things are keyhole shaped.

~Author Unknown~


The tulips in my back yard have started to pop up. The tulips are a sign of life from the cold ground, a good sign that spring will indeed come this year, despite the cold temperatures leading up to this moment.

I look at the tulips and think a little, on how they represent life, and the human spirit in so many ways. Over the past eight months, I’ve experienced the winter of my life. And much like the bulbs beneath the ground, my quiet and painful winter is beginning to subside, and I am starting to feel ready for the sunshine on my face again.

I feel mighty proud as I reflect and look at the greenery shooting from the ground. Boy, I am deep, and wise.

And then I see it.

In the corner of my eye, as I gaze on the tulips, I see rising steam. At first, I am confused, knowing that the dryer vent is on the other side of the house. But, on closer inspection, I see it. Steaming on the ground, it is Rudy’s own creation, left strategically in front of my window, so I may watch the steam billow up into the morning sky.

Gee, thanks Rudy.

I laugh, as I look at the two focal points from this different perspective. And then I realize. Rudy unknowingly completed the picture. Did I mention he is a Wonder Dog?

Life is like the tulip for me, new life emerging, slowly and tentatively, not knowing what will happen when you break through to the other side. My life and the tulip endure, even though we may only show our beauty and bravery with the right season, and retract when it gets too cold and unbearable. Life and the tulip are meant to be lived, even in the harshest of circumstances. I think about the tulip bulb, beneath the ground, living life within a contained shell that would ensure its survival, and it sounds like how I have lived since Stephen’s death. Protecting my broken heart, living in my shell for months. But as with the tulip, I knew, in my broken heart, that I would find a way to blossom once again.

Truly, real life is more like the complete picture I see out my window, with Rudy’s oh so generous addition to the canvas.

You can reemerge from the winter of your life, just as the tulip. But, no matter what you’ve been through, or how hard the winter was, when you reemerge, there it is.


Crap is a part of life. No matter how you try to change it, you will always have the balance of good and bad in life. There will always be people and situations that will hurt you, anger you, irritate, and raise your blood pressure.

The key to happiness is in how you look at it.

I like to think of life as a photograph and I am the photographer.  As the photographer, what do I see through my lens? The tulip? Or the steaming dog crap? Will I be so disgusted that Rudy ruined the picture, that I lose sight of the tulip completely? Or worse, do I throw my hands up in the air and say, “There’s no point in taking the picture because it’s not perfect!”


There will always be people and situations that will hurt you, anger you, or break you. The key to happiness is in how you look at it. Share on X

I choose to realize that the balance of the two is what makes the tulip more beautiful. I choose to see the miracle of the tulip, being able to break through the cold ground and exist even though the environment may not be perfect for its survival. I choose to focus my lens on the tulip, and realize that Rudy’s contribution will eventually serve as fertilizer to make next year’s blooms more colorful and resilient.

Life is all in how you look at it. A life lived well is a life that understands that the good and the bad go together and both are our teachers on the journey.

Look for the blossoms in your life today,