Sunday, July 22, 2012
First, he had some rain! Hurray! I wish that I could share with you the joy it brought. It wasn't really enough to do any good, but it was so pleasant to hear the rain falling upon the roof, Jamie and I went out and stood in the middle of the yard with our faces uplifted to the heavens, just rejoicing in it. And after the rain. it was as though the world rejoiced also. The birds came out and started chattering excitedly and flitting back and forth. Mr. Rabbit came out from his abode under the raspberry bushes and hopped about the yard. He was so cute, I forgave him for eating all my beans and cabbages. I wish I could have taped it for you. I would have entitled it Joy!
All that are fans of Tasha Tudor are familiar with this quote:
The gloom of the world is but a shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take Joy!
~ Fra Giovanni~
I always try to live each day like this. I have to admit there are some days that it is easier said than done. As a matter of fact, during one dark period of my life, the only good I could find in the day was that I awoke. And on some days, I rather hoped I wouldn't. But like the warmth returning after a too long winter, ever so slowly I was able to once again find joy in the simple little things that make a life.
So how does one climb out from a deep dark depression to become what some may think of as a bit of a frivolous , happy-go- lucky person? One word - faith. Now, my faith, may not be the same as yours, you may not even worship the same God as I, but I truly believe that to live life without some sort of faith in something bigger than our own little selves must be a to live a life without hope.
Isn't religion a funny thing? Everyone is so sure that their way is the only way? I used to feel so inadequate, when I talked to or read blogs from Bible scholars. Some people are just so knowledgeable and can quote scripture for hours at a time. They always know just how to pray and can give a verse for any situation. I could study until Kingdom come (and I may very well do) but I'll never be one of these types. Just never been any good at memorization. But I get the gist of the Bible. And that's is to love thy neighbor and follow the commandments and to not judge people to harshly. And to be thankful for all the He has given us.
My mother is always arguing that I need to attend a church. I do not, by the way. I understand the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy, but I fail to see, how attending a church that I do not feel part of, that has made no effort to make me feel a part of, makes the Sabbath holy. She argues that it isn't supposed to be about me, but what is the purpose of a church but to bring its parishioners closer to God? So that they can have a personal relationship with Him? Cannot my family by ourselves, worship and praise the Lord without the aid of a minister or a church building? I may be wrong, but this I do know, no amount of church attendance (and I attended every week, plus twice during the holy seasons for thirty years) every brought me closer to the Lord. But hey, if you find church a solace or a prerequisite to being allowed into Heaven, I will not argue with you. Just being honest here about my faith and I will freely admit, I do not have the answers.
In catechism we were taught to love, honor and fear the Lord. I always got the fear part, and even the honor part. But the love part was difficult. I could say I loved God, but I didn't really feel it. It wasn't until I went on my own journey of discovery that I learned to think of Him as a loving parent, that really wants the best for us. Now I would say, I have the faith of a small child. A child doesn't second guess it's parent, just accepts what they are given. It's simple, there aren't a lot of rules to my faith. I just am thankful for all that is given and TRUST.
So each day I rejoice in the little things, like wayside flowers, and send up thanks to the Creator. I have conversations with Him all day long. "Just look at that beautiful sunset, God, thank you for sending it my way!'' "Well I really messed up there didn't I? Will You please show me how to fix it?" Some may think that this is too simplistic and some make think it is disrepectful, but that is how I have a personal relationship with Him.
So here I arrive at the subject of personal relationships. Recently my son and I had a conversation about a friend of his that had committed suicide when he was in high school. He said, "You remember her don't you? She was always hanging out at our house, because she liked to feel part of the family." I'm ashamed to say, that I vaguely remember the girl, there were always so many children running about our home back then. I wish I had known her situation, I would have given her extra attention. We had a rather unconventional home life. There were always gangs of kids hanging around. I allowed them pretty much free range of the place. The math geeks were allowed to write out a complicated math equation on the upstairs hallway wall (it had ugly wallpaper I was going to strip anyhow), the musicians played in the garage, and it was sort of a home for the broken hearted girls that had a case of unrequited love for either one of our own boys or one of the other boys that were always there. Many an afternoon some sweet little girl and I would sit together on the settee in my bedroom watching an old movie, knowing that I was tending to a love lorn little soul. My neighbor, who was a teacher, always felt it was her duty to warn me that so-and-so didn't come from the right family or that they had a substance abuse problem. But they never had any problems while they were at our house and who knows? Maybe just hanging about a "normal" family and eating cookies fresh from the oven was what they needed. I never regretted that I didn't shelter my children from the unsavory facts of life; that some people have problems. They all grew up to be wonderfully compassionate people. It didn't keep them from accomplishing much in their young lives, from attending good universities, and none has ever gotten into trouble with drugs or alcohol, so I guess it all turned out OK. As they say the proof is in the pudding. I loved my little adopted wayfarers and think of them often. I gained so much from them being in my life. I hope they look back on those days fondly, when crazy Mrs. Z. used to let them camp out on her hard old Victorian sofa, when their parents kicked them out of the house.
Since we are the subject of friendships, I would like to talk about blogging friendships. I hope everyone that visits here, feels welcome. Some of us may not have much in common, except for the fact that we both read blogs. But if you leave a comment, I will do my best to answer it, and if you'd like to talk about something different, don't be afraid to mention it. If it's personal you can always send me an e-mail. If you feel that you are out of the loop, I'm sorry. Sometimes, it just happens that a post isn't relevant to everyone. It's not deliberate that I'm leaving you out,. Being an outsider all my life, the very last thing I would want to do is to make anyone feel like they are standing on the outside looking in. Everyone is welcome to join the party here. Just leave a comment. If you leave comments regularly, don't be surprised to find your blog listed over in my blog roll. Speaking of which, I don't follow blogs because of two simple facts. One, I don't know how, and secondly, ever since Comcast switched to Xfinity, my e-mail is so slow, that I try to eliminate as much of it going to the mailbox as possible. So if the number of followers is something you value, and I comment often on your blog, or you see your blog listed on my blog roll to the right, just mentally add one more to your followers -me!