How often, growing up, did Mom remind me "beauty comes from the inside," and I would just roll my eyes because she really didn't understand. Easy for her to say, because she had been born beautiful on the outside, and given (who decides that stuff, anyway?) a fantastic personality that could boost her right up over the top of things. Those advantages stood her good her whole life.
Then, somewhere during that teenage gangly stage, when I was convinced the deepest mysteries of life were beauty secrets, I heard something really crazy about Marilyn Monroe. She said her "magnetism" came from inside her, and she didn't need to wear make-up, or be dressed to kill just to turn it on. She could turn it on and off at will. She was even known to enjoy demonstrating this out in public, occasionally, before she got to the studio where they would fix her up for the set. She could literally stop people in the streets, but it didn't impress me. What -- are you kidding? It wasn't like Marilyn Monroe wasn't born with a few jump-starts, either.
All that was the same sort of stuff rich people tell you when they say, "Money doesn't bring you happiness." But to that I could only quote what James Stewart said in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, after he had just tried to kill himself… "Well, it comes in pretty handy down here, bub!" Back then, it seemed to me that people who were -- shall I say -- blessed with certain advantages (we have-nots would have given our souls for, and often did), hardly even valued them. However, I began to notice they could be just as obsessed as we were over other things they didn't have. Hmmm…
Not long after that, I ran into a cosmic life change. An infusion of energy so strong it poured through all by itself, sparking anyone I looked at or touched along the way. What's more, this stuff was like radio-activity, because it has been years and years since that happened, and it has not lost its power to this day. Is it beautiful? Yes. Magnetic? Like you wouldn't believe. Has it changed me? You bet. I am now convinced that my mother and Marilyn were absolutely right.
Whatever you have on the inside, shines out.
What's happening on the farm today… No let-up on the heat (107 in the shade by 10am this morning), and now wildfires. The last one was only 10 miles away, and we could smell the smoke. What would I take if we had to leave in a hurry? What should I take? Last time during a tornado scare, I tried to stash the family heirloom coffee set, that belonged to Ulysses S. Grant, into a suitcase and busted one of the legs off the sugar bowl. Fixed it with super glue (not taking it on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, anyway) and definitely not telling my mother. So, now I don't do that, anymore. One file of important papers and our passports, and we're out of here. Still, I don't know how many times I woke up last night having to step out onto the porch and try to judge by the smell how much closer it was. But -- hey -- it's out, now, and all's well. Glory!