Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed an elderly nose limping along with a suitcase.  I caught up with her and started a conversation.


Hey nose, where are you going?

NOSE: I’m outa here. I’m leaving Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road. I need to move on. I don’t know what else is out there for me, but I need to find it. If not now, when?  But…I’m scared.

Scared about what?

NOSE:  About not being blessed.


NOSE: Here’s the thing. I’ve always been around others who know me. They bless me every time I sneeze.  I’ve had so much emotional support in my life Every time I sneeze, someone says “Bless you!” And when I’m stuffed, I hear, “Bless you! Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!” Constantly! I’ve become dependent on it.

I can see how that could happen.

NOSE: But! You know when NO ONE blesses me?  When I’m in a place where I don’t know anybody!  Like, let’s say I’m on a random bus or train, or in an elevator. If I sneeze, no one blesses me because they don’t know me! Or…if I sneeze and people do say “bless you,” they mumble it awkwardly, like they’re not sure if they should have said it in the first place.  I know that’s gonna happen again and again and again if I’m not with others I know!  I won’t be blessed!

Maybe you should trust the silence. And trust your instincts even if you’re not feeling supported or blessed. 

NOSE: What makes you so sure about all this stuff?

Because I’m going through the same thing, but I’m one step ahead of you.  As I’m growing older, when I want to try something new, I’m finding I don’t care as much if other people don’t “bless” what I’m doing or approve of it. Maybe it’s just something that happens with age.

NOSE: You think so?

Maybe. I mean, these days, if someone doesn’t like something I’ve written, or painted, or what I’m wearing, I listen to what that person has to say. But then, I think to myself, “Maybe there’s no right or wrong answer here. Maybe we’re just two different people in two different ‘places’ in the universe at the moment. Our perspectives are different, but there’s room for both in the world.”

NOSE:  I see your point.

If I feel centered in what I’m doing, I’m not as afraid.

NOSE: You must be in therapy.

You know? Maybe you and I are blessed in a different way.

NOSE: How?

Maybe we’re blessed that we have the freedom, time and health to go out in the world and experience it differently.  It’s a privilege.  It’s a different kind of blessing.

NOSE: I can get into that.  Thanks for the suggestion.

You’re very welcome.

NOSE: Haaa-chooooo!

Should I say it?



How are you blessed?


  1. A delight.It set me on a thought spiral of thinking about our reactions to others’ sneezes and why the compulsion to acknowledge it. Or why we stifle our sneezes at times so as to avoid human interaction! It is one of few times of vulnerability when we are in public, a spasm of utter lack of control! Hey I like what you are doing here! Now I will look into the archives and see what I have been missing out on . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ha…a good one here. But I find that I say “bless you” to strangers, any nose in my proximity !

    And yes, for me, with every year that goes by, I care less about the opinion of others, choose to please myself. One of the perks of getting older, I’d say.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hear a sneeze, I bless the person, for whatever it’s worth, and I feel I took care of one of the little things I can do to keep the world in balance, so then we all got something out of it! I agree, getting older, it’s freeing. At least for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. True, there is no right or wrong in many aspects of our lives. My mother had decided that at 50, she was entitled to say what she wanted and didn’t care about other’s opinions anymore. It didn’t always turn out well, as I’m sure you recall, but I guess it freed her!! Hopefully most of us are “blessed” with the wisdom and sense to know what is most appropriate, given our life experiences and learned or inherent sensitivity! “Bless you” is so automatic, whether we believe in a higher power or not! Sneezes cause us to stop breathing, so I’m happy to be blessed to take another breath!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Karen! About determining what’s right or wrong, I think the real challenge is listening to what others have to say, seriously considering it, and finding some kind of balance between meaningful thoughts from others and what works for us. And I agree, we should all be blessed every time we sneeze!! 🙂


  5. Yes, having someone’s blessing is nice, but not at all necessary. The best part of aging is the confidence we get to follow our own instincts and trust our own judgements. (Almost makes up for all those sags and wrinkles….almost!)


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