Saturday, February 7, 2009

Warm Evening Thoughts After Today's Peace Vigil, No Matter How Cold My Feet Were Today*

There's been a little warming up today, temperature's been in the 30's-40's & that's a wow for sure in these here hills.  Today I stood with friends at"Our Town's Mini- Green", it's a major road way intersection, right in front of a Catholic Church & within walking distance of an Episcopal & a Congregational Church too.  Down the road & around the bend from where we stand is a Jewish Temple & also a private school founded by people of the Muslim faith.  For a small New England community many of us have a strong interfaith take on the world & feel strongly that peace & only peace is the way & a lasting solution to the problems that have plagued & continue to plague our societies at large.  With that said we chose to switch our day of the week when we gather to "Stand For Peace" at our corner, for just about 2 years now it's been on a Thursday in the early evening, today for the first time we stood on a Saturday at noon.  It was a good switch, for though it was bone chilling cold on the feet today, the sunlight overall felt good.  The response from the people who drove by was mostly positive with waves & beeps of acknowledgement, smiles & good will. There were perhaps 2 thumbs down, but that never phases a peace activist, as none of us will ever be able to please, "all of the people, all of the time." A true reminder, as we approach Abraham Lincoln's 200th anniversary of his birth in just a few days.  I, as many a school child had always been fascinated with Lincoln, a fascination that has remained a strong inspiration all of my life.  When I became a mom for the very first time almost 36 years ago, & our then only child was presented with challenges of dyslexia at a time when public school systems were totally ignoring these situations & challenges-- I just used my imagination to solve this delima, for in my mind I would picture Lincoln's stepmother reading to him by candlelight in that log cabin out there in the Kentucky woods, it became my source of strength.  I could imagine her love & devotion to this child & I thought-- my husband & I possess this enduring love without the challenges of candlelight, & would find a way for him to learn in his own time & way which he did.  Our son's story is an inspiration to this day as he is now part of the educational system that at one time gave many a signal that it would be more convenient for them to write such a student off.  Yes, he became a teacher such a fitting career move to be sure.   

Last night the son I mentioned above traveled a bit with his Dad to Boston.  They were to visit with our youngest, our 23 year old son, his youngest brother, & I for the very first time had our grandchildren experience their first sleep over here.  We had great conversations, made dinner together, pizza a true favorite, we pretended, joked around & ended the evening watching one of my favorite movies "The Snowman", as it's music is expressively grand & mystical. Bedtime was a great adventure as they camped out in their Uncle's room in sleeping bags on the floor of which I told them that's who their Dad & Poppy were visiting tonight.  They seemed to think that it was pretty cool to be sleeping in the room where their Uncle grew up, I pretty much thought so too.  It's the simple things that bring my heart home in thought & spirit, feeling the absolute glee & surprise & being told that this "Nana did a very great thing indeed", surprising my 6 year old grandson & my 4 year old {so very soon to be 5} granddaughter with the most perfect Valentines of all-- "Kung Fu Panda" for him & "Disney Princesses" for her.  It won't always be as simple & uncomplicated in their worlds, but I want to savor it for as long as I can, to be a soft & familiar reassurance of love & support for them when their worlds open up, & life becomes a bit less simple, & perhaps more complicated & even demanding, as living in this world one step in front of the next, with all of the tides that come in & go out, nothing is a given, & we must take care to watchfully guide the young who we love so very much, even if as an example this was not provided for us, we can think, listen to our hearts & know what is the right thing to do. This is part of the unspoken parental promise, those of us who love so deeply know that we have learned invaluable lessons by listening to that "small, still, voice".  God's gift to us, an interfaith prayer.


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