MLC and Maui Mommy, June 2006. "The wheel keeps on turning and turning and turning and... nothing's disturbing the way it goes around." ---Edie Brickell. I know, I'm a cheeseball for continuing to listen to albums I had in college. But I love the Edie! Paul Simon has great taste in women. Indeed, the planet has a way of keepin' on without any concern about my wanting it to slow the hell down. I'm turning it over, my inner workings like a compost heap getting hot and buggy. All that comes in gets recycled and with hope, I learn something in the process. This week's big whoop is about natural consequences. When I fall down, I feel the cold sting of the concrete right up on my cheek, solid and unforgiving as it is. I like to fall, and I do it quite a bit. When I am allowed to make my own choices, gravity and other natural laws are quick to greet me. Bear with the Mighty Queen of Metaphors a moment: In childrearing and other pursuits deemed to require careful nurturing and protection, we might safeguard with protective gear, insurance, helmets or cautioning words. It is known that we cannot wholly protect our loved ones from what results from bad manners, poor judgement, lacking hygiene, daredevil impulses. Beyond a wish to ensure physical safety often lies the desire to protect our dears from what others might think. But what can also be noted is that when we parent ourselves or others from fear, we deprive them or ourselves of curiosity and inevitably the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own. What I mean is, by allowing the natural course of things, say, people to make choices without giving unsolicited advice, warnings, suggestions or fear based requests, we give them the gift of learning whether they would make the same choice again, a remarkable tool for learning that cannot be underestimated. I catch myself giving such words out for free and have a strong desire to STOP doing this. I have been warned by well meaning friends that I flirt with flames at times. Call it the daredevil implulses or a blatant disregard for authority figures. I want to pursue my own learning and lessons- my own way, even if it means getting burned. Because there is nothing that exfoliates the dead cells quite like a cement facial, ya'll.