September 2, 2011

Volcanic Flowers


Cameron's doctor's office is located in an unsavory part of town. We're talking pawn shops and cash advance stores and Asian massage parlors and liquor marts on alternating corners.

There is rarely a time when I'm down there when there isn't a police barricade of some sort, or a news helicopter flying overhead.

You get the idea.

Yesterday, I found myself stuck in traffic in this neighborhood with a car full of kids. As I inched my way forward, I saw that a woman's car had broken down in the middle of the intersection. Other cars were maneuvering around her as she just sat in the seat, paralyzed by her misfortune.

I felt bad for the woman but there was not much that I could do, except call for help. Just as I got close enough where I could talk to her, I noticed a commotion to my right. When I turned my head, I saw a group of 6 young men, who had just come out of a liquor store, start running towards us. Rapidly.

For a split second, I thought I was going to die. At a minimum I figured that I was about to be robbed, or have my car hijacked.

The last thing that I was expecting was for this group of young men to run into the intersection and, without a word, push the woman's car several hundred yards to a strip mall parking lot. Before the woman could roll down her window to thank them, they were gone.

As I watched the group's retreat, I couldn't help but think of something I saw during a hike in New Zealand several years ago.

There is a certain breed of wildflower that grows in volcanic ash. Where little else can survive, these flowers flourish.




72 comments

The Polka Dot Princess said...

Aw! This story gave me chills! Thanks for sharing. I love your blog Jana!

Tracy said...

Nice way to start the long weekend.. Thanks for sharing that!!

Shannon said...

What a great way to be proven wrong! I loved the analogy of the volcanic flowers. Thanks for sharing.

vinobaby said...

It's always nice to hear about the good in people for once. Lovely metaphor...

Holly said...

Beautiful, Jana--as always. Thanks for the reminder!

Christine said...

What a nice reminder that there remains a sense of kindness and right in our world of selfishness.

Crista said...

Christine said it beautifully :).

It reminds me of one time when I was walking into a store and there was a teenaged boy in front of me--random piercings, black leather, chains, the whole bit. When he got to the door he pulled it open all the way and held it for me to walk thru. When I thanked him as I walked in, he replied,"You're welcome, ma'am."
And I silently gave mad props to his momma, who done raised him right :)

Joyful Things said...

This just reminds us not to judge a book by its cover.

Mandy and Alex said...

One of the most profound things you have written so far. Bravo!

Mrs. McAngrypants said...

That was beautiful, Jana. Have a fantastic weekend!

Telley said...

This had me in tears - in a good way. Thanks, Jana.

Melissa said...

beautiful.

Jennifer said...

It's nice to get a pleasant surprise sometimes. Thanks for sharing!

Renee said...

I really liked this story! :)

Destiny said...

Awesome!

Another Piece Of Chocolate said...

Awesome!

ColleenandKendra said...

So, so awesome.

Angie said...

This had me in tears. Thank you!

Bev said...

What a beautiful and most moving post! Thanks!

Sant Family said...

I totally got goosebumps!

Rachel C said...

Goosebumps here too! Thanks for the great story.

Marydon said...

Touching, moving story! Beautiful!

Have a great holiday weekend.
TTFN ~
Hugs,
Marydon

parentingwithpinot.com said...

Sounds like the neighborhood I live in! Obviously, I am the gem.

http://www.parentingwithpinot.com

Katie said...

Thank you for sharing that, good news is rarely shared but always appreciated by those who hear it!

kherbert said...

Thanks for sharing - Most kids are good, we just remember the bad ones we see in public.

I stopped at the walmart near my school one morning. When I left there was a group of teenaged boys in the lot When I approached my car there was a man doing something to my car. I hit the alarm, turned heel and made a bee line towards the teenagers.

They took in what was going and chased the man off. Then they checked out my car. Nothing seemed wrong, but they insisted on following to work.

When I got in I e-mailed the HS principal and athletic director about the boys act of kindness. (They were wearing their letter jackets, and had I heard them talking about football practice inside the store).

Anonymous said...

For all the times you complain about your family and slam your kids, Jana, it was extremely refreshing to read this particular blog entry of yours.

Your softer side is so much more palatable, kind and endearing.
Thanks for showing that you do have a human side.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
If you think that Jana complains about and slams her children perhaps you should not read her blog. She is only sharing her experiences as a mother, wife, and person. She is not alone in how she feels, others go through the same thing and it is nice to know, that we as moms are not alone in what we go through as mothers and in life.

Jana, I love your blog. Thanks for sharing you blog with many strangers.

Melisa

Corrine said...

Thanks for giving me hope for the world. I posted this http://curlygirlstimes3.blogspot.com/2011/09/do-good-turn-daily.html yesterday. Mine happened in Salt Lake County. Land of Saints & happy, helpful people, right? Glad there's a good kid out there somewhere!

A Glimpse into JulieWorld said...

What a wonderful story. I saw something similar in south Miami twenty years ago (after some major street flooding) which I still remember to this day.

Mindy said...

People are so interesting! There is lots of "good" going on in the world today..thanks for sharing some of it!

TrinityLane said...

Love it! So happy to hear this story. I grew up in a neighborhood like that, and there were always "volcanic flowers" peppering the ashes. They tempered my experience, and created many fond memories for me. Thanks for sharing:)

Brittany Hoggard said...

Beautiful story!

Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful post.

Tracie said...

Thank You for the beautiful post and for sharing your life with us. I don't think you blog is in anyway negative. It is something I think most mom's can relate to. Anonymous, If you have a problem with her blog then don't read it. If you are looking for flowers and roses all the time good luck finding it because every rose has its thorns. But they only add to the beauty.

Liz said...

Awesome!!!! What a fabulous post! Hope ya don't mind that I'm going to share it on Facebook!

Rene said...

What a beautiful story of the goodness that everyone of us have and a reminder that sometimes we need to look beyond ourselves to see it.

Anonymous said...

Jana - I love your posts - this one and all the others as well. No need to
change a thing that you are doing. I read most posts to my children and they think they are hilarious. Truth, humor and the facts of life....it's fun to share them.

Anna said...

Wonderful. Thank you for this anecdote.

the emily said...

So sweet! Your description sounds like my old neighborhood in Clearfield, UT. I'm not even kidding. But the nicest, best people lived there. Way nicer and friendlier than those in my nicer neighborhood now. Thanks for the sweet story!

Anonymous said...

This is one of your best blogs. You are truly gifted.

Mom of 12 said...

There's good everywhere in the world. We just have to look for it.
Love this post.
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

Melanie said...

Thanks Jana - it's nice to be reminded that there is true good in the world!

Chrissy Jo said...

I always want to believe that at the heart of things most people are good. Love the thought.

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny said...

This is such a touching post. Reminded me of this verse: "People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7b

Thanks for sharing.

Katie said...

What a nice story! It even gave me chills :)

Donna said...

That is wonderful. Thanks for sharing the beauty of the human spirit.

Toni Marie said...

hmmmm...how could you spin that into a 'talk' for sunday...

Marissa said...

What a wonderful story and how amazing that you were able to witness and glean so much from it. Thanks for sharing!

Lissa @ MyThriftyTreasures said...

How cool! I got goosebumps while reading it. Stories like this remind us of all the good in a world that seems to be going to pot. And a good reminder to not judge someone by their appearance or where they live.

C-Dub said...

I needed this today. Thank you for posting it. :) A truly beautiful entry.

Robin said...

thanks for this post.

Ang and Rick said...

That is an awesome story. Thanks for sharing!

[Stacia] said...

SUCH a good story! Thanks for sharing.

Dacia said...

I love that there are good people everywhere! Thanks for sharing that story!

Shells said...

I just have to say that your blog is honestly my favorite blog to read. This is an awesome post, and I love all your others as well. I always find myself nodding and laughing with tears rolling down my cheeks. I LOVE IT, seriously my favorite blog ever!

Christie said...

Thanks, for sharing this nice story!

jenj22 said...

great story

Tania S said...

Thanks for a cool blog! Those volcanic flowers - did you take that photo on Rangitoto in Auckland? (my home city... yes I'm reading your blog in litte ol' rugby-mad NZ :) Awesome blog, makes me laugh every day :)

Jensamom23 said...

There are good people all around us, aren't there.

Isabel said...

Love this post. Thanks.

Mrs. Tuna said...

I feel that way about dandelions, weeds to some, wishes for children for others.

Colette said...

that makes me so happy, to think of strangers helping strangers. I love it!

Nancy Sabina said...

Awwww - and who said you were a meanie?

John Green said...

Beautiful, Thanks for sharing...Someone is always watching out for us

Angela McBride said...

I needed to read this today..thank you! My husband's job brought us to a small border town in AZ just 7 blocks from Mexico. Some days I get so frustrated with all the nastiness I see around me and I worry about our children. I worry about what they see, hear and who they are influenced by. It's scary and my heart aches for them! We tell our oldest son every day to be the example..be the change we want to see in our community. At the end of the day we can only hope we've done our job and he knows right from wrong. I can raise volcanic flowers..Im SURE of it!! Thanks! ~Angela

Sheila said...

Wow, love this post!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so refreshing to me Thank you for sharing. Don't let anyone discourage you from writing. You make me chuckle each entry you make! Thanks again.

Mariah said...

Woohoo! Nice shout out to New Zealand!

Mal said...

What a great story. I've often found myself in similar situations: seeing someone and making a not-altogether-irrational but quick judgment about them and then finding that I have been proven very wrong! It reminds me of a line in a hymn:

"How can it please the human pride/ To prove humanity but base?/ No, let us reach a higher mood,/ A nobler estimate of man;/ Be earnest in the search for good"

Anonymous said...

Awesome story!

Mawiyah said...

I grew up in Oakland, California where it was common to hear "ghetto birds" (that's code for police helicopters) and crack heads were permanent fixtures on each corner... I lived there until I went to college at age 16.

I can truly attest to the fact that awesome kids and grown-ups for that matter reside in these kinds of areas too - the truth is it is a few REALLY bad apples that spoil the bunch... Most folks regardless of where they happen to live are just plain decent :)

However, I don't blame for being momentarily terrified - LOL - I just found your blog tonight!