Comparisons!

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I could barely believe my luck when I located a new magazine that featured a newly published and incomplete work by Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women. I was sold on this Strand Magazine and anxiously started reading her Aunt Nellie’s Diary when I got home.

It is an account of Aunt Nellie’s observations of her orphaned niece, Annie Ellerton and her friend, Isabel Loving. She notices how the two young women interact with each other while they visit her home. She has warm and protective feelings towards Annie who is amiable, unassuming and possesses a warm heart.

Isabel, however, causes Aunt Nellie quite a bit of discomfort because she sees a darker, competitive spirit. When the dashing Edward Clifford, enters the picture, Isabel’s need for attention becomes even more apparent because he is more drawn to Annie.

The short piece reminded me of the two stepsisters in Wives and Daughters by the British author, Elizabeth Gaskell. There is the lighter cheerful Molly and her beautiful but deceptive stepsister, Cynthia. whose secret liaisons almost cost the unsuspecting Molly her reputation in their small town. Both novels were written in the mid-1800’s when life moved much slower. Onlookers had more time to observe and watch every nuance and choice that people made in their daily lives.  The authors lived on different sides of the pond, but human nature is the same.

Though Louisa May Alcott did not finish Aunt Nellie’s Diary, I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting her writings again. As it closed, I can see the naïve Annie headed for trouble as she harbors a secret about Isabel’s ties to a Mr. Herbert Ainslie. Life!

Lynn M.                                                 May 23, 2020

Remnants!

Gleaming Strand of PearlsYears ago, there was a song called, Pick up the Pieces by AWB. As we walk through the scattered debris left from the current pandemic, we must follow suit and sort through what is left behind. In Biblical times, these remnants were known as spoils.

Some soldiers were designated to go through the heaps and mounds of carnage and look for the hidden treasures.  They were often abandoned by those that took flight.

Though life may never look, feel nor be the same for many of us, we must make the most of what is still available to us. We may be facing a new frontier, but we should gather up the essentials for our survival kits and play it forward.

It is much like collecting seashells by the seashore. We may initially overlook a few but after getting on our knees and taking a closer look, we might notice the beauty in a few cracked shells. So, we brush them off and put them in our keeper bin while having a silent, aha moment.

Now that we have been forced to curtail our busyness, our grasping at straws and our hoarding, we can pause and look through our personal collections. We can more clearly see what we have already acquired and find a few gems.  They can soothe us during those quiet feelings of brokenness.

As we wash our hands, spray down our counters and distance ourselves from others, we can mindfully rinse the dirt from those items what we have around us. And just perhaps, we may have enough remnants to create a new string of pearls!

Lynn M.                                                                 May 16, 2020

 

 

 

Mothers Breathe!

pink rosesOur maternal mothers breathe as Mother Earth breathes. On Earth Day, a beautiful rainbow appeared after the smog cleared from the skies while the stay-at-home was in effect during the pandemic.

Mother Earth sighed, “Aha.  I can breathe freely again.”  She thought. No factory smoke, no car nor truck emissions are congesting my lungs.  There are no zillions of people’s feet stomping all over me and those fewer human breaths are not polluting my already toxic air.

“Ah,” she sighs again.  “A peak into normalcy.  I had forgotten what it felt like!  I feel calm, still and reflective as I slowly rotate on axis with a natural rhythm.”

And while Mother Earth breathes and sighs with relief, so do our maternal mothers. They have been coerced to be in the same quarters with their children. In many instances, it is for the first time and now they are taking a closer look at them.

They, too, are sighing, “A-ha or ah.”  They are thinking, I never knew he laughed that way or I did not realize that she did not like noise.  They are really seeing  their children for the first and some are slowly admitting that they do not really know their own children.

There’s no school, no babysitter, no nanny, no ballet classes, nor soccer practice.  No,nothing. Nada.  They now see that, yes, he does need more help with math and yes, her handwriting does need improvement.  Or, yes, he does tend to be a wise guy and yes, she does talk all of the time.  All of those irritating messages from those batty teachers now have some merit.

So, while Mother Earth relishes her break from the madness, the maternal mothers have been reunited or introduced to the quirks, idiosyncrasies and the loving touches from those that the Creator entrusted into their care.

           Happy Mother’s Day!

Lynn M.                                                               May 9, 2020

 

Splendid May!

Flowers 5-20The fresh beauty of splendid May,
Soft pastels make us sigh and say,

It’s here at last! We deeply breathe,
Palms upturned; ready to receive.

Long strolls in the welcoming sun,
Frolicking, smiling. So much fun!

Lynn M.                                         May 2, 2020

Fair-Weather Friends

FriendsAccording to the dictionary, a fair -weather friend is a person who stops being a friend in times of difficulty.

Difficulties come but difficulties always go. That is a promise that we can stand on if we are able to hold on and hold out. But sometimes, the storms may last longer and come down on our heads with a force that feels unbearable to us all.

However, if we rock steady, we will weather it if we are grounded in our faith. Deep adverse circumstances will make us latch on to something strong and well-rooted like the strength of a ship’s anchor.

During these times, we may feel exhausted and our bank of friends may deplete itself as well. They might simply leave or abandon us, go far away or call less frequently. Or they may behave like the Cheshire cat that vanishes slowly while still wearing a smile.

Those can easily be defined as fair-weather friends or as one elder-mentor called them- half-assed friends. He was blunt and a tad profane, but his description perfectly matched the one from the dictionary.

Those types of friends may be harder to contact during a crisis, but over time we will find that we can lean on our sure and steady rock of faith. It is always right there, waiting for our recognition. It will never leave us just as the sun still shines behind the clouds. We cannot see it, but it sees us.

When the sun does reveal itself again, we will see more clearly. We will understand that gaudy things, puffed-up egos and metallic nothings can all evaporate in the twinkling of an eye.  We will not only see the light, but we will walk in the light.

Once those fair-weather friends see that new glow, they might start crawling out of the woodwork from obscurity.  If we see them coming, we can just smile and say, “Hey there.” And after we have briefly fellow-shipped and parted ways, we can bravely head  in our new directions with a quiet knowing and a remembrance.

Lynn M.                                                  April 25, 2020

Tossed to and Fro’

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As we daily grieve our losses,
And life continues to toss us,

We are being made to look up,
In the morning, noon and at sup.

We plead for mercy from above,
Watch for the flight of a small dove.

Offering us glimmers of hope,
So we can breathe and stop the mope.

And know the Master has a plan,
In His time, He will heal the land.

Lynn M.                                                                     April 18, 2020

( In honor of National Poetry Month)

The Storm is Passing Over!

INS594ThisTooShallPass-ConvertedThe Storm is Passing Over is the title of a memorable spiritual song that fits these times during the pandemic that is sweeping our world. We must remember that there is nothing new under the sun and others have survived times like these in the past. But, obviously, the storm did indeed pass over because we only know about other plagues from the history books.

I had a two-fold dream and as in days of old, dreams still serve to guide, warn and inform us. I woke up surrounded by others out in the park. People were ecstatic as they bended their knees, exercised, jumped and played on the grass. It was like a scene out of The Wiz after the people had been freed from their years of darkness and captivity. They came to life both renewed and changed as the light poured in!

To many, the stay-at-home order has felt like a form of imprisonment. Many are trying to stay focused as cabin fever sets in and the walls seem to close in on us. We are reminded of our limitations and powerlessness. We wonder if we will ever enjoy the sun again. A woman on tv recently said, “When this is over, we won’t take anything for granted again. We will not take our city for granted again,” she added as she reflected on the city’s normally vibrant life which has come to a temporary standstill.

In the other part of my dream, I woke up and found that my students were stilling there patiently waiting for me to give them instructions. I wondered if they had seen me dozing off, but I checked the clock, directed them to put up their iPads and told them to get ready for recess. This was a sure indicator that things would return to normal again, but we must wait.

We will live again, and I believe that we will come out of this dark period as better and more improved beings. We will remember to check on our loved ones, be kinder to our neighbors and colleagues, say gentler things to one another and live as we were taught as small children.

We will emerge from underneath this heavy fog being more mindful, more spiritual and more cognizant in our daily dealings with each other. We will thank our Creator for another opportunity to live and see another tomorrow. As we stream forward, we can softly hum a tune like, “It is well in my soul.”

Lynn M.                                                                April 11, 2020

Holding On!

HopeIn these times of quarantine, fear and loss of life, we must not lose hope. We must do what we can to find some semblance of everyday normalcy amid drastic and sudden changes.

Though we are shaken by the shock waves of constant unknowns, we must seek ways to hold on. Like Aretha Franklin, we can try to ‘Rock Steady,’ as we are thrust to and fro by the news reports.

Rather becoming petrified by the onslaught of dire predictions, we must decide how much we can take or even should take of the minute-by-minute updates. Then, we can find ways to create our own calm, sane environment. We can limit the viewing of the latest news, escape by looking at old movies or reruns that make us feel lighter or listen to some soothing music.

We can luxuriate ourselves with enhanced self-care and simply stop trying to fix things that are out of our control. It’s simple- we cannot. So, we can lean on some good encouraging quotes, verses, hymns, songs and if possible, read a good book.

When it is all said and done, Max Erhmann ‘s Desiderata says it best, “…in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Strive to be happy.”

Lynn M.                                                                               April 4, 2020

 

Where is Your Faith?

Calm sea

We must calmly advance ahead,
Using mindful steps in full stead.

Raging waters rock to and fro,
We must become still and just know.

Events will set themselves aright,
If we do not give in to fright.

The Master has an unknown plan,
Has us wondering if He can.

Remember us in times like these,
Trust. In His time, he will appease.


Lynn M.                                                March 21, 2020


New Directions!

thinking

During these trying times of forced self-quarantines, it is a perfect time to become still. It is a proverbial, perfect storm. Many of us are unable to turn down the noise, mute our devises or come to our senses after being overly indulged daily.

Every waking hour requires some type of hype and outer stimulation. The amped-up voices, yelling, screaming and even on-line trolling of people we have never met have become the new normal for many.

But now, the corona virus has brought us to a screeching halt. We are being made to take a break and pause as we realize that we are not the center of the universe. We do not make the world go around. Each of us is quite dispensable and if we do not wake up tomorrow, the dawn will still roll in, the sun will still rise, and the earth will continue to rotate on its axis.

Once we realize that, this is a good time to slow down or even come to a complete halt. After the shock of the swift changes wears off, we can return to our senses, emerge from the fog and see with greater clarity.

We are being given another chance to reassess our values and possibly change our paths going forward. For all we know, when things get back to normal, we may have crossed over into a new precipice. Our perspectives may be changed, and we may approach life in a different way.

The future is uncertain, but one thing is certain. We still have life so there is something or things that we are to do while here. We should get quiet, listen closely for guidance and return to some of the basics that have worked for eons. In calm, quiet trust, we will come through this phase with a more revered sense of direction.

Lynn M.                                                                       March 14, 2020