Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Looking Up, Through the Gray

The morning is quiet and hushed as the sun rises. It's not one of those "bright glorious sunrise" days, but a gray one. The skies went from dark to light as if gradually turning up the brightness button on a grayscale photo. The silvery sky is covered by blotchy clouds. As the large trees stand firm, the smaller ones are rustling, nervously awaiting whatever the day will bring. The wind chimes are clanging, as if sending out a warning.

The weather forecast isn't pretty, promising a chilly day with periods of drizzle, a wintery mix, and gusts. It's a typical late winter day, not a favorite forecast, but certainly not the worst.

Despite the gloom outside, as I watched the sky lighten, revealing the familiar once again, I felt a sense of protection, and of being blessed. There have been dark moments in my life, when sadness and worry overtook my soul, ignoring the brightness surrounding me Thinking of that as I watched the sky, I was reminded, "Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil..." and thought of the many, many times when I have been protected and comforted by God.

Yes, we have gray days, in "real life" and in our minds. But they are not permanent, and even serve a purpose. As the rain nourishes our gardens, allowing the ground to soak up needed moisture in order to send up colorful plants, the quiet times of reflection, when we draw closer to God, nourish our souls, calming and soothing us... it reminds us to keep going in order to see the good that is coming.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8  These words were spoken by Moses, speaking to Joshua. We need the reminder at times, just as the Hebrew people did. Yes, God is with us, even on gray days.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Yin and Yang = the balance

It's been a night of reflection. It wasn't intentional, but the TV was never put on, so it has been quiet, both the result of, and reason for, the musing.

It is my birthday - I'm 55. I consider that a good thing. It is cold and dreary outside, as it often is on my birthday, but other parts of the country are dealing with life-threatening blizzards. This got me to thinking about how I'd grumbled, even though I had it better than thousands of others.

Next thing you knew, I thought about some people I'd come in contact with recently, and their lives. It led me to the thought of yin and yang, the ancient symbol that reminds us of good and bad, hot and cold, male and female... in other words, the balance within life.

And you know how it is once I get to thinking... I start writing. It got so long that even "I" decided it was too long! It was supposed to be here, on this blog, but my thoughts developed as I wrote and it soon let me know it was not just a comment on life. It was a part of my Lenten Journey, so there it shall go. It will be interesting to see how this leads me, whether just to grow, or perhaps, to do.

You'll be "grateful" to learn that I divided it into two parts. They are scheduled to be posted on Saturday and Sunday. I hope you'll read and consider what I share, as perhaps it might influence you to do some thoughtful musing as well.

You can go to my Lenten Journey via this link or using the tab at the top of the page under the header.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Maybe "New and Improved" Really Isn't

One of my friends posted one of those, "Remember When" pictures that those of us in the grandparent age group relate to so well. It showed children sitting on the floor, saying to the old man in the chair, "Grandpa, tell us about the days when you had to buy the whole album even when you only wanted one song."

 It reminded me of something though.... all of us "old-timers" that had to buy the whole album remember we always discovered songs we really liked on the album that we hadn't heard before. Just as the "Side B" of a 45 occasionally became the big hit, I remember many, many favorite songs I loved on albums that I didn't hear until I had the whole thing.

Modern folks miss that now by downloading just the one they want. Their new precise searches and seizures limit their scope at times. It is the same way when it comes to doing research now. People miss out being exposed to a lot of random information now by the way they look things up. They want to know about collies? They do a search and get information about only collies.

"Back in the day," when we wanted to know about collies, we'd look in the encyclopedia and as you looked for "dogs" you would stumble across Denmark, dinosaurs, and diamonds on the way. You know you paused to at least look at the pictures and picked up interesting facts along the way. Then, once you found "dogs," you saw working dogs, etc. and all sorts of breeds, and finally got to collie.  I miss that and younger people never even got to experience it.

One of my favorite parts of our World Book encyclopedia was the section about the human body. It had clear plastic pictures that worked together, each one overlaying the other. You could look at just the muscle page, then lift it up and see the internal organs underneath! It was very cool. 

I remember when the man came from World Book to our house. He showed my parents the books and they talked. Even as a child, I realized that this was something very expensive and very special. It was a hardship for my parents, and I have no idea how they pulled it off (probably paid on it for years!) but they bought a set for our home. I thought it was beautiful! We also got the "Childcraft" set which was awesome as well. There were volumes of fairy tales, and poetry, and all sorts of magical things to discover.

We had a set for our children growing up as well, but they soon turned to computers for their information. Sure, you can get the most up-to-date facts online, but seriously, just how much have dinosaurs changed lately? If you want to know about colonial times, they are still the same as they were when the book was published.

It hadn't occurred to me at all until I saw my friend's comic, and thought of these things, but maybe it would not be a bad idea to get a set for our grandchildren to read here at our house? They're all being raised by techie parents, and even the toddlers are fluent in the use of the I-pad type things. It is unlikely that they'll discover the magic of unplanned discovery in their technological world. Perhaps this is something to consider...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Is THAT all?

Slow getting going this morning, sore, stiff, kinda yucky, just not feeling good.  My chest hurt when breathing all night, and it was hard to sleep, so tired too.I got up anyway, 'cause that's just what has to be done. 

Then after getting out and about, realized I have a headache too, leading to the thought, "Could I just be getting sick?" 

Smile. "Oh! is THAT all? Well, that's good!" - such is life with chronic illness.  I don't even remember the year I last had energy. I can do this! No problem.

When you deal with stuff all the time, getting sick is good because it's something temporary - it can be fixed and will go away. It's like the feeling of relief when you find out the crushing chest pain is "just" pneumonia, which can be cured, instead of another heart attack.

Don't worry, be happy! So, either way, it's good. I've been up a while now... might just be the normal slow start, not sick. If it continues, I'll take something for it. Either way - life goes on!