some see weeds


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growing up, my great grandmother kept a small track of land behind her apartments littered with dandelions.


she had a plan, I had a dream, others had a problem.


the problem – weeds. messy, ant filled, weeds that invaded the grass, and spread to contaminate any space that would host them.


the dream – crowns of woven stems, perfect enough for any princess attire, and if you could resist picking them, a field of ripe wishes ready to be made.


the plan – wine. when my great grandmother got around to picking them, or most importantly, when she harvested enough – she made wine.


thinking about that small plot of land got me thinking about how people see the world.


i remember it as large, always full of color – yellows, greens, and of course, the highly anticipated white. i spent hours singing and dancing on a stone stage, digging and baking mud pies in the sun, daydreaming and blowing my wishes into the future on the wings of fluffy, little white seeds.


i played on, what in reality was, a small patch of land covered in weeds and broken concrete slabs.


my great grandmother was a business woman. she saw opportunities and capitalized on them. buying the parcels of bank owned land during the depression, she was able, like a game of monopoly, to control her own side of the board. she owned the land, the apartment buildings and surrounding houses – on a few streets. she also owned a store. she was strategic. she created our world.


in reality she neglected this small patch of land. it didn’t bring rental income, or help sell a dress, and wasn’t fertile enough for a garden – so no need to invest in it’s upkeep without a return. as it stood, she made the most of the situation with the least investment possible.


our perspectives were obviously so different. however, neither of us saw a problem. we both saw opportunities.


i have come to realize, this meant our mindset was also the same – one of abundance.


we both made the most of the situation and saw play instead of problems. i was 4, and even at 84, i believe she also viewed the world through a beginners mind. possibilities were endless and there is always a solution. we played. we created our own realities.


we also created our own happiness.

i saw wishes – she saw wine!











The Elephant Ecosystem

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sharon cowley

I make stuff.

Artwork, curriculum, stories, food, friends everywhere – you name it – and I have stories to go along with it! It is a beautiful, chaotic, messy process most times, but that is the beauty of creativity, and I thrive in the process.

Teaching others to thrive as creative beings is my passion. Whether it is in the classroom teaching children, building curriculum or training teachers, writing stories, or developing learning platforms – they all are created to help others build their soft skills of an abundant mindset.

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jamieperry21 Jan 16, 2019 10:21am

This is awesome! Hearing about different perspectives is always so interesting. 🙂

wendy Jan 16, 2019 10:00am

I love this story… makes me want more!

coleenfitch Jan 15, 2019 8:02am

Loved it! Sometimes we see the most beautiful things when we stop looking at only the things we should find lovely, and start opening our eyes to the beauty that can be found in everything.

    sharon cowley Jan 15, 2019 10:26am

    absolutely! i love the way you see the world <3

berg5 Jan 14, 2019 1:36pm

I loved this story of your youth, Sharon! It was so vivid that I had the whole landscape in my head and was ready to blow on the “mature” dandelions and make wishes. Thank you for this beautiful andy thoughtful escape on a cold New England winter day. Can’t wait to read more!

    sharon cowley Jan 15, 2019 10:25am

    thank you – you are so kind! happy winter <3

Susan Jan 12, 2019 10:07am

A beautiful story, Sharon. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to following your blog!

    sharon cowley Jan 13, 2019 8:39pm

    thank you! working on it!!

jesscarney Jan 12, 2019 7:52am

That was awesome – and so are dandelions! You transported me to my own childhood while glimpsing yours and remembering my children’s!!

    sharon cowley Jan 12, 2019 9:23am

    yes.. i love when they start popping up and the kids all pick them in bunches to give to their moms!

hope2o2011 Jan 11, 2019 3:13pm

Just brilliant Sharon.. I wanted to keep reading it..Left me wanting to more..

elainelaureno Jan 11, 2019 1:17pm

Hi Sharon,

Boy this really took me back. It was such a clear and vivid memory since we share that same history…your great grandmother who was my grandmother. I remember the apartments and houses. I remember the store. I remember the empty lot. Thank you for giving me a lovely remembrance of our history. Definitely flowers, not weeds. From one artist to another…well done!

    sharon cowley Jan 11, 2019 3:42pm

    i remember those days fondly… from every skinned knee in that parking lot to swinging on the weeping willow…. thanks for reading!

sally.lashley Jan 10, 2019 7:53pm

Those small patches of yellow with white clovers were woven into a beautiful crown for a princess who might one day grow into a queen… keeping the dream alive…can almost feel the warm sun on my shoulders.. wonderous Sharon

    sharon cowley Jan 11, 2019 5:26am

    i’m good with the tiara of yellow!! and love to say most of all those wishes came true!

colleenmobrien Jan 10, 2019 7:28pm

When confronted with dandelions, I see food for birds, insects, and butterflies. Yellow makes me happy, so dandelions make me smile.

    sharon cowley Jan 11, 2019 5:24am

    🙂 they make me smile too! especially when children have bunches of them in their hands they picked for mom!

ioanna.opidee Jan 10, 2019 7:14pm

When confronted with dandelions…I see dandelions! And they are beautiful, happy, and yellow. Lovely post. Thank you!

    sharon cowley Jan 11, 2019 5:23am

    thank you! yes, i also think they are so happy!

ksantosky Jan 10, 2019 5:33pm

Love it! Thank you for sharing! ❤️

eileencav Jan 10, 2019 11:08am

Wonderful! I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you!

    sharon cowley Jan 10, 2019 12:44pm

    thank you! fun process!

sharon cowley Jan 9, 2019 8:31pm

thank you so much! you are my inspiration!!

leahbomar Jan 9, 2019 8:27pm

WOW truly beautiful and whimsical! Made me think of time spent the same way with my grandmother. LOVE the perspectives.