Monthly Archives: March 2016

That Freeing Light!

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Have you ever heard that it is darkest just before dawn? In the middle of the tunnel, it may be hard to remember that there is still light. Light always exists, even behind the clouds.

Though we can’t see it, it is still there. And then, just when we are about to give up or resign ourselves to eternal doom, something happens.  We sigh.  We breathe. We take in one more hopeful breath to fill our lungs, our minds and our hearts. As in a magical wave, the clouds break up. They disperse.

The sky appears again. The gloom dissipates. We see the good speedily coming our way. We have fought the good fight. We have stayed the course and the trumpeters take their position to play a song of triumph and make an announcement of great things to come. They sound out a victory song.

The sky is now filled with beautiful pastels as if painted by an artist’s brushstrokes. Rainbows bounce off of prisms and are reflected on inanimate objects. Hope revives us as we graciously and gently move forward. We walk with a new pep in our steps. We feel like going on.

Some of us may be inspired to write down something that matches these precious moments such as The Irish Blessing. We hang it in a place where we can be reminded that the light is always there, if we simply hold on and wait.  It reads:

‘May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face.
The rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.’

Lynn M.
March 27, 2016

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Listen!

Listen to the early morning birds sing,
Yes. They are the true signs of spring!

Await and hear the rooster’s crow,
Dawn is breaking; surely he will know.

Listen to the rain sputter against the window seal,
The rain’s causing growth to do its deal,

Listen to the harmony and heartbeat of the earth,
That warmth is settling upon your sacred hearth.

Lynn M.
March 20, 2016

Healing Pens!

The other day I started reading a biography about Laura Ingalls Wilder to a group of fourth graders.  We did not finish the book, but I could immediately see why Laura picked up her pen and paper.  Her pioneer family went through many hardships and struggles.

In their attempt to move westward, they faced constant upheaval.  They moved from farm to farm in the Midwest and eventually on into the Great Plains States.  This was in the late 1800’s and wars with Native Americans were still quite common.

Also, there was the threat of diseases which had no cures.  Her youngest brother, Charles, died when he was nine months old and later their entire family caught scarlet fever with the exception of Laura and her Pa.  Her sister, Mary, was left blind after the sickness.

Those experiences were enough to make a natural-born writer find a pen and some paper.  In times of great peril, many that have gone before us have found solace in writing.

It is a silent friend that lets the writer do the talking and it is a great way to air concerns. Alice Walker wrote, “I think writing really helps you heal yourself.  I think if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person.”

Diaries and personal accounts have served as sounding boards for  writers. Yet, they have also left a wonderful record for readers to understand times gone by.

We see the universality of the human emotions.  We see others afraid; we see them happy and we see them mourn.  In this case, we get a peek into what life was like on the prairie in this country.

Laura Ingalls Wilder left this poignant saga about her family. Her Little House on the Prairie Series has entertained young readers for years.   Wilder reminds us that, “A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing!”

 

Lynn M.                                                                                                       March 15, 2016ink pen

Being Moved!

Have you ever whined and moaned when you lost a particular job or a relationship was no longer salvageable?  Perhaps some large entity was removed from your life and you felt as if you could not go on?  You cried and said, “Why meWhat did I do to deserve this?” And the rants go on and on.

Years ago, I wrote a few lines which could be called a hymn.  I sing it at my lowest times and it says, “That’s the Lord working in your favor.  So just cool out and thank the Lord.”

Once you have survived that unsolicited upheaval and you are breathing again, you will see that it was really for your good. You were just removed from an Egypt experience and a part of a forced exodus.  You dodged the danger.  You did not see it coming but your guiding angels did.

When the dust has settled from the movement, you may sigh, “Oh my! Thank goodness!”  Your burden has been lifted and you feel lighter!

So, the next time you are being moved to make a move, lean in.  Don’t always pull back on the reins and hold on. Loosen your grip and gently ride with the tides of change.

I recently read a book called Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia by Jeanette Winter, to a group of first graders.  Luis, the main character, loved books and his wife complained that there was no more room in the house for them.

He decided to use his two burros to carry some of the books to the children over in the mountains. One burro or donkey pulled back and refused to budge when he saw a stream of water while they were in route.

Donkeys are credited for being great pack animals, but they can also be quite stubborn  if there is something that they don’t want to do. There is an illustration of the burro pulling back as Luis is pulling forward. The donkey was not comfortable crossing the stream and was probably reacting out of fear.

In life, we often act like the burro.  We defy situations because we are afraid of the unknown and the untested. Ultimately, the donkey stopped resisting and Luis was able to transport his treasured books to the awaiting children.

When we lean in and stop pulling back, we may find that we like where we end up. We may later look in our rear view mirror and truly thank our lucky stars!

stubborn mule 2

 

Lynn M.                                                             March 11, 2016

 

A Room of One’s Own

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” 

Years ago, I read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.  This nifty book is small yet power-packed.  It is filtered with so much food for thought and a copy should by in every woman writer’s library!

She talks about the need for women to have their own space to create, write and explore what they are thinking and feeling.  However, she was very realistic and realized that women writers need a way to sustain themselves so that they can write freely. Woolf said, So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.” 

Yet, no one can think clearly if they are worried about money and resources. I always remembered her advice and I have worked diligently to maintain a space to let those ideas flow on paper as they come.  She added, “It is remarkable…what a change of temper a fixed income will bring about.” 

I liked the fact that she talked about a room of one’s own. She did not talk about a mansion or the need for lavish possessions.  She spoke of a place that was affordable so that when the muses start to flow, monetary worries would not impede the process.

Clarity of thought is key to good writing.  Nathaniel Hawthorne called female writers ‘those scribbling women.’  Well, Virginia Woolf noted that those scribblers needed a haven to do what they do and they also need a full belly to put pen to paper.  She wrote,One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

I am quite certain that I have purchased this book more than once.  It has been a staple in my personal library over the years.  It is the type of book that may easily become tattered and torn from everyday use.  The pages may be marked up and the binding may have to taped together.

Or, it may end up in the hands of a fellow writer who needs the information and words of encouragement. But, a replacement copy should be ordered as soon as possible, because it is a book that can be referenced over and over again.

This gem of a book still speaks to women today. Musicians and painters need studios, but women writers truly need a room of their own so the muses can have their way!

A Room of One's Own

Lynn M.                                                                                                   March 4, 2016

Clementine Churchill

It’s Women’s History Month!  There is no way that this month which notes the contributions of women can be ignored. So, I will begin my tribute by focusing on Clementine Churchill.

This remarkable woman was a force to be reckoned with during her lifetime and during the years that her historic husband, Winston Churchill, held office in the United Kingdom. He once said, “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”

She put all of her energy behind him and his career. She attended to his every nuance and need.  Clementine was the only one who knew how to deal with his idiosyncrasies and when she chose to take reprieves from it all, he sorely missed her. Sometimes, she would take lengthy vacations on the countryside which helped to sustain her.

There were many letters shared between the two of them during their times apart.  He confided in her and they were great friends.  He trusted her opinions and she often stood in for him when he was traveling or too ill to attend important meetings.

And how do I know this?  I recently finished reading Sonia Purnell’s new book entitled Clementine:  The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill.   This is a detailed and highly researched account of Mrs. Churchill’s life.

Author Purnell begins with Clementine’s birth and follows her life every step of the way. Readers get a chance to see the many factors that shaped her, her way of thinking and her views on life.  As I read, I felt as if I was perched on the mantle of their fireplace watching the events unfold.

As a team, the Churchills lived through two World Wars and she was his greatest confidant.  He trusted her completely and wholeheartedly.  Pick up a copy of this astonishing account of the lives of the Churchills.  Pack a blanket of patience and settle in for a real treat!

Clementine Churchill

Lynn M.                                                                                  March 2, 2016

March Greenery

1798-yellow-tulips-flower

It’s March! Listen to the birds sing,
They signal the coming of spring!

Trees and shrubs turning into green,
Milder weather both felt and seen.

Honoring women who’ve achieved.
Who’ve kept a strong faith and believed.

Tulips budding in the fresh air,
Breathe out and walk with a new flair!

Lynn M.
March 1, 2016