Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Trees in Spring

I think that I shall never see 
 A poem lovely as a tree. 

 A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
 Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast; 

 A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

 A tree that may in summer wear 
 A nest of robins in her hair; 

 Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
 Who intimately lives with rain. 

 Poems are made by fools like me, 
 But only God can make a tree.


-----  Poet Joyce Kilmer, (1886 - 1918)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dancing in the Rain with Joy and Persistence

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

My family lamented the storm.  A lot.  My parents were worriers.  About money, foremost.  But about... well, everything that might happen. 


About car accidents. Ironically, about both illnesses and doctors. About what other people thought of us. About what we thought of them. About succeeding. About not succeeding. About succeeding too much. 

My mother worried incessantly about our Christmas tree catching fire. About concussions at ice-skating birthday parties. That we didn't eat enough cottage cheese. (Seriously. Ask my sister...) Ours was a fearful home, likely borne of my parents' Depression-era upbringings in poor farming families. Unfettered joy was not a "thing" our cautious home.

Until I read the mantra (above) a few years ago, about not waiting for the storm to pass, it never occurred to me to dance in the rain, rather than slogging out the storm before moving forward in joy under perfect skies. 

Today is one of those joyful days, where I witnessed the fruition of dancing in the rain for years without assurances of anything. I pushed ahead in faith to do the right things without waiting for perfect conditions. And I followed my heart's callings, never pondering where they might lead.  Never imagining they might lead to anything at all. 

Then today....

I learned from blood test results that my health has improved substantially over the past year, largely due to more thoughtful food choices.  

After four years of blogging nearly 400 recipes at my pet-project, Lost American Recipes site, I received an inquiry today from Smithsonian Books... yes, THE Smithsonian... about my project as a whole, and asking if I would include material from one of their books at my site.  

After years of me studying our local political scene, the campaign manager of a leading Democratic contender to replace Congressman Ed Royce in upcoming November elections privately emailed to ask me to meet her candidate at a meet-and-greet or one-on-one.  Anytime. Soon. Asking what I need to know. And to please consider endorsing him. 

In all three situations, I sowed seeds by doing the hard work. I moved forward, ignoring naysayers, avoiding toxic influences, and sidestepping storms. I didn't worry, or commiserate, or frankly, anticipate specific results of any sort. 

I moved forward in faith and joy, with persistence and confidence rather than fearing life. Or car accidents, or burning Christmas trees, or doctors, or ice skating concussions, or succeeding or failing. (I do still fear cottage cheese. I detest it to this very day...) 

I learned to dance in the rain, rather than wasting life waiting for the storm to pass.  And after the rain, my fields of endeavor are bearing unexpected blossoms. 

I feel grateful.