Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Seasons of Our Lives

Yes, I am among those not looking forward to winter with its rising costs to heat the home, the morning battles with shoveling snow from the sidewalk and chipping away the windshield ice.  I hear  others complain, too, and threaten to move to warmer, more sunny climates.

It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.   Having lived in Vermont where there are two seasons--July
Fourth and winter, the cold months here seem  downright balmy. Well, not really balmy.  Perhaps not so frigid that your hands stick to the steering wheel of your car and you try to drive yourself out of a two-foot snow drift.

But the seasons also provide a certain rhythm to your life, from the silent whiteness of the falling snow to
the first flowers bursting from the ground, announcing the return of  new life   No  wonder  Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional Sherlock Holmes could say that flowers are nature's surest sign of providence.

When he composed poetry in the noise and busyness of London, the poet Wordsworth would recall days spent walking up the hill behind Tintern Abbey in Wales.  In similar fashion, enjoy the quiet winter snow but remember the flowers of spring.

Our lives also follow seasons, from the early to the later years.  While the body may age, I wonder if the mind does.  Or, can one store within a Spring that can be recalled even in the coldest winter days?  It may not be the number of years lived but the quality of the memories stored within which really matter,

Friday, November 25, 2016

Every Day Counts

As I was thinking about what I would write the title of this blog stood upand demanded I pay attention like an eight column newspaper headline:

                         E V E R Y  D A Y  C O U N T S

It's easy to forget this simple truth because most of us are so wrapped up  in busy schedules, we forget to take  a moment to say thank you for the most  precious gift of all--a single day.  Every morning signals another chance to get it right.

I know some days  are more difficult than others.  We  just make it through waking hours. feeling weighed down by sadness.  Other days, however, we  feel easy, sensing the  incredible lightness of being.  And if we are wise, we are able to take the long view and understand the seasons of our lives as the best wisdom.

Once upon a time (with a new master's degree in philosophy in hand) I found few  employers wanted to hire a philosopher, except  a local newspaper, deciding  I could read and write and gave me a job as an editor and at-large reporter  (which meant I got to cover stories about urban riots and prison breaks and
tornados),  It got the long winded academic verbiage laden with footnotes  out of my system and taught me to tell a story simply.  It also provided me a very dim view of humanity, the unwritten rule being all the news that's fit to scare.

During my newspaper days, I kept a slogan above my desk to keep myself' humble:  Today's newspaper is tomorrow's kitty litter ,  In other  words, nothing remains the same, certainly not ink on a page.  I wish I had thought to add another slogan: Therefore, make every day count.

Beyond the bad news some good news breaks in some corner of the world, perhaps your own, where people love one another, good deeds are  done, and peace reigns.  If this describes your corner of the world today  toss a word of thanks back to the universe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Giving Thanks

In the times in which we live there are many fearful and discouraging signs.
Which is why it is more important to give thanks  to help us live hopefully.

If I asked myself or you to make a list of things or people that bug you, I
bet it wouldn't be difficult.  But if I asked you to make a list of people or
events for which you feel grateful, the list might not be as long.  But I
would guess your list, like my list, would be revealing, perhaps showing
that for which you are thankful might be closer to home than you might
think.  For example, you might give thanks for family and friends, food
and shelter, community and religious groups to which you belong, health,
learning opportunities, heat and light, animal companions, trees and
flowers, mountains and oceans, a cup of morning coffee, books and
places of work, friendly neighbors, and places to walk where you can

Try making a gratitude list and keep it handy when you feel discouraged.
Or, make it a ritual whenever you  or your family sits down for a meal to
light a candle and say for what or whom you are thankful.  This simple act
may not change the world, but it will change how you feel about the world
and others.