Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Stalled Friendships and Faltering Dreams

I’ve just finished reading CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese.  This single sentence, “The tragedy of death had to do entirely with what was left unfulfilled.”  His whole book weaves around the irony of the cost of an unrealized dream AND the cost of holding a dream too long and then realizing it.  A dream realized, out of season, is as harmful, or more harmful, than a dream never fulfilled.

My thoughts immediately go to the seeds that are currently soaking in water in our kitchen.

Late last autumn as the last stalwart flowers were holding close to the waning heat of the shortened evenings,
I told my David how much I loved sweet peas as a child. How sweet peas, regardless of how long I’d been lined out
in the back yard, tied to the same empty clothesline by a long rope as my best friend and four-legged sibling, Pete,
always cheered me. It was a happy tale and positive statement from me but I saw the sorrow of it reflected in his eyes.

The day before yesterday, knowing my recent penchant for soaking various seeds to get them to sprout for their nutritional value, my husband warned me not to eat these seeds.

“What are they?”

He smiled. He told me that early last winter he went on a sweet pea seed harvesting journey on this little island of ours. He carefully dried what he had harvested and then stored them away. It’s a good thing I did not encounter them on one of my “banish all unrecongnizable items” dances around our house. I would not have seen their dormant promise. Only their itsy bitsy dusty, inclined to fall all over the floor appearance. Too often we see things for their current state not the promise of their natural core.

Imagine those hopeful Europeans who visited Chicago at the pinnacle of her windy winter. What would they have thought of the stories they’d heard  of lush lakeside living then?

And so my thoughts, heavy laden with the whole notion of friendship (on the cusp of my book on friendship, US, coming to your hands) and dreams, turn to seeds in my kitchen. Where they are getting a jump start for the unlikely journey ahead of them. What cartoonist could have imagined with her hands that from these itsy seeds would come laughing color, dancing form and a flower that has inspired thousands of loved ones to address their partner as “sweet pea?”  And what romantic novelist would have thought to translate one simple childhood confession turned into such a measurable act of love?

So as stalled friendships and faltering dreams go – I take the lesson of the seed. One must have the patience to understand that what appears now is only a portion of the story. The gardener that tries to force a seed to perform its miracle is rewarded with a broken seed. The gardener that understands that all have things have cycles. All things wither and appear to die…only to stagger our sights later by a riotous explosion of color. The trick lies in understanding that,

“There is no death, only change.
This is no loss, only difficult gifts. mar”

“The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other and children cling to us.  The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another,: the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.  James Baldwin”

From the movie TOMBSTONE,

Hired guns out to protect Wyatt Earp to a dying Doc Holladay, “What’re you doin’ here, Doc?”

“Wyatt’s my friend,” he explains.

They said, “Heck, we got lotsa friends.”

Doc pauses.  And piercingly assesses,”I don’t.”

“The whole of life lies in the verb to see.  Teilhard de Chardin”

“There are three classes of people.  Those who see; those who see when they are shown; those who do not see.  Leonardo Da Vinci”

LIVE BOLDLY

Kate Middleton’s New Role – Army Wife

The new Princess may have more in common with thousands of American women than is first evident.

After all the fuss and flurry of an exceptionally celebrated Royal Wedding…she returns to a small town to fulfill a serious calling, that of an Army wife. An Army Officer’s wife.  It means that her immediate community is made up of people who are serving their country by waiting and acting on behalf of two – but doing so alone.

I have heard from many wives of Service Members that they consider their entire family to be in the Service.  The service of the spouse who is not active military is tireless and rarely touted.  Each day, particularly  if the spouse who remains at home (sometimes it’s a man serving in the home while the woman of the house is deployed) has children to tend, the load is a 200% load.  For in staying at home they are doing their best to fulfill both roles.

One military family I know took a holiday this summer with a life size replica of their Service Man…they called him “flat daddy” and he traveled everywhere with them.  American service wives will perhaps understand a Princess who considers her first priority not all the “royal obligations” but making sure she first fulfills her role as the member of the household who stays behind, and endures the implications of waiting.

Technology makes it possible for us to peer into the Royal Couple’s lives and have a better understanding of what is ahead for Kate Middleton in her new role as an Army Wife.  Technology serves many other viable roles in the lives of the American “princesses” who serve their country by supporting the homefront world of the one who is deployed.  Thankfully technology eases the tension of waiting. It allows family members a view into life in a deployed location unlike any other time in military history.  This goes a long way toward reducing the anxiety of being a spouse or a family eager to have their soldier whole and home

When the news calls attention toward this one lovely Army wife living in a small town on the other side world…let it call our attention and appreciation to all the military spouses on our own soil who quietly serve our country by remaining at home, and waiting.

 

“The government is the strongest of which every man feels a part. Thomas Jefferson”

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  Mother Teresa”

“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. George Washington”

“The time is always right to do what is right.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

“I leave you hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.  Abraham Lincoln”

“Pessimism never won any battle. Dwight Eisenhower”

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. Nelson Mandela”

“We stand for freedom.  That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others. John F. Kennedy”

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week

Miss Albers. Mrs. Burbano. Mrs. Schatz, Mrs. Haygarth, Mr. O’Brien, Ms. Newell, Mr. Hammock, Mrs. Sparks, Mrs.  Schukart, Ms. Disney…

Name them.  Go ahead.  Just recollect the teachers that steered you, directed you, challenged you into becoming the WHO that you are today.

In this, National Teacher Appreciation Week, absent the opportunity to speak to your teachers directly, notice what and how YOU teach others.  For, in some way, we are all teachers of something to someone.

Enjoy this piece that the folks at maryanneradmacher.com let me post!  And these quotes on teaching:

“Those who cannot rememer clearly their own childhood are poor educators. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1893)

“It is always easier…to manipulate the child to fit the theory than to adjust the theory to suite the child – provided, of course, one is very careful not to look at the child.  Judith Groch, The Right To Create, (1969)”

“We already have so much pressure towards sameness through radio, film and comic outside the school, that we can’t afford to do a thing inside that is not toward individual development. Sylvia Ashton-Warner, Teacher, (1963)”

“Intellectual freedom,of course, implies intellectual diversity.  Frances FitzGerald, Fire In The Lake, (1972)”

“The trouble with education is that we always read everything when we’re too young to know what it means.  And tthe trouble with life is that we’re always too busy to re-read it later. Margaret Barnes, Years of Grace (1930)”

“The world of education is like an island where people, cut off from the world, are prepared for life by exclusion from it.  Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind (1949)”

 

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