Being a White House Fellow can be a life-altering experience. For one thing, doors open that lead to rare opportunities. So I prepared diligently. For weeks I did background research on 30 national issues so I could speak intelligently about almost anything they could ask me.
My interviews went very well, and I was optimistic. But 1979 wasn't the year they were looking for white male military officers. For a while, I felt disappointed, but that passed quickly and I'm delighted with the way my life turned out. If I had been selected, my life would have played out differently. I wouldn't have learned what I know now, I wouldn't be involved in my current business, I wouldn't be married to my wonderful wife, Kathleen, and - horrors - I wouldn't be telling you about this in a blog post.
One of the benefits of the Fellowship selection process was the opportunity to spend time with the Commissioners who interviewed us. One of these was Lady Bird Johnson. I asked her what she had been doing since her time in Washington, and she said she was trying to get some bills through the Texas legislature. One of the bills had to do with the beautification of Texas. She wanted wildflowers to be planted along the roads and highways of Texas.
In the end, she got her way. Today, one of the validations of spring in Texas is the appearance of a diversity of native wildflowers along state roads and highways. This time of year, Texans everywhere get in their cars and drive along country roads to view amazing vistas of wildflowers. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin carries on the tradition of research and proliferation of wildflowers in Texas.
One of the first wildflowers to appear is the the bluebonnet, the Texas State Flower. Right now and for the next couple of weeks, we'll see them everywhere in the Hill Country. My wife took these photos yesterday. The first is a single bluebonnet stalk:
And a field of them...
With this kind of glorious display going on, it's so much easier to be in the moment, mindful and aware of what's around me. If you don't have spring yet where you are, trust me, it's on its way.
Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., , Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .