Stories From Casey & Julie
Some stories from our lives to share for fun.
Dandelions in the Sun, Breeze in the Flowers
I just love dandelions. Brew them into tea, watch the bees play in the yellow pollen, blowing the seeds to float in the wind. I am so glad that Brisa also enjoys them so!
My Dandelion Story
As a child, I used to mow lawns for cash. One customer just told me to cut the lawn when I felt it needed to be cut. I watched that lawn grow into this vast field of dandelions; it was a sea of yellow gold. Every day I was true to my customer’s request and would inspect and look carefully at the lawn to see if it needed to be mowed. Every day, the lawn just got more beautiful, becoming a sea of dandelions, complete with waves of yellow flowers in the wind. It didn’t need mowing; it was a miracle of nature. Which was too bad cause I could use the cash. Yet it just got more beautiful: one day it became a sea of dandelion seed clouds. The sea was a stormy expanse now of literally thousands of white globes releasing to the current of floating futures (it was a big lawn, over an acre). The next day the customer had some other kid cut the lawn. For one month that lawn was supremely beautiful. Then one afternoon about a month and a half after I took on the job: it became this vast boring, unused, one-inch high wasteland of grass.
In retrospect, I am surprised they waited for me for over a month to mow that lawn. But at the same time, the lawn owners did say, only to cut it when I felt it was needed. And they never did come to me asking me to do it, so I assume they agreed with my assessment. It surprised me when they did get someone else to cut it, but I shrugged and smiled since for a month it was the perfect sea of dandelions to swim within.
Even as a child being a Taoist was interesting 🙂
I wouldn’t float thru life any other way.
The first quarter of our life is a time of exploration through adventure. When I was twenty-two I traveled to Botswana through the Student Project for Amity among Nations. During my summer in Botswana I hitchhiked with a friend from the capital city of Gaborone to the largest inland delta on the Earth called The Okavango Delta.
We hired a guide to take us out for two nights and three days for 200 Pula. I love that the Tswana people call their currency rain, the English meaning of Pula. James, our mokoro poler, patiently and expertly navigated us through the Okavango in a wooden canoe with a long wooden pole.
At this age, I was inexperienced when it came to basic survival yet I had immense trust! One example of this, is that we had only packed a Sprite, a Coke and an apple for food. While it was fun to act out Coke commercials in a wooden canoe in the middle of the Okavango, delirious from laughter, I don’t remember ever considering going back. Fearlessly, we ventured forward.
The beauty of such trust and flowing fearlessly forward was that we were able to continue our adventure as well as be fed. James caught and cooked the best fish we’d ever tasted. At night, he stoked the fire and kept us safe in our tent. In the morning, he awakened us early and tracked zebra, cape buffalo and elephants for us to see.
On the final day we ventured out on foot early, taking our shoes off to cross wet swampy areas. Eventually, James stopped and pointed, showing us a herd of elephants crossing the swamp in the distance. It was amazing to watch the elephants crossing the Delta.
Suddenly, a loud thrashing and stomping came up on us from behind in the bushes. James took off running! And, we looked back to see a big elephant charging at us through the brush! We took off running too!
There are many experiences from this adventure but this particular one sticks in my being moreso than the others. It is one of those moments that comes up at parties when you have to list things that have really happened to you and trick people into picking the one that didn’t. One thing on my list is always “I’ve been chased by an elephant.”
I realized at a deep level that this elephant being could have easily killed us all. It chose not to. It knew we were there, knew we were watching its relatives, snuck up on us and chased us away.
This realization of compassionate action on the part of an elephant towards me has impacted me greatly.
My Okavango adventures left me with a deeper love of elephants and a stronger connection to my wild self.