Archive for May 2009

WHY FIRE?

May 31, 2009

It is Pentecost.   Looks like…   Sounds like…   Feels like….

Fireplace Best Web

Our fireplace looks so hot, and when the fire is  intense, it sounds like flames and hot wind roaring up the chimney;  and it feels like we’ve got something powerfully dangerous just barely contained in its place.

Fire is  intense, insatiable, burning, consuming;  encompassing everything in its area of influence.    In a human it would be called “fervent.”    That is what the in-coming of the Spirit of God looked like and felt like to the eyewitnesses at Pentecost.

First there was sound.   I like to think of it as the nearing-approach of the power of the spiritual realm  ripping into the physical, material realm.    It sounds like the force of a 60 mile an hour wind roaring through tall trees overhead.

But it feels not like wind.   It feels like holy power.  Those in the Upper Room and those outside near the Upper Room could sense something had arrived, something that was going to make a difference.

And then there was the appearance.   This coming of the Holy Spirit, coming where He wanted to be, to the witnesses looks like Tongue-Shaped Flames of fire.

WHY FIRE?   Because God’s desire for the people he made is a powerful, intense, burning Love,  to the point where He was willing to be consumed as a Holy Oblation for them.     When He said on the Cross, “I thirst,”  it was not just His physical body speaking, it was the fervent, all-consuming desire of God for the return of allsouls back to Him.   If  His  heart on the Cross were an animated drawing, It would be erupting in Flames of Love.

And now, at Pentecost,  the Holy spirit “connects” Himself to the souls that choose to return to Him.   It is a fervent, actual, very real potentionally powerful connection.  If you choose to follow Christ, this Power is bigger than you are.

When my ancestors accepted this Flame, it changed them from barbarians who spread out to go a-viking into a civilized people who spread out to civilize other parts of the world.        A powerful Spiritual Force indeed.

NOT A FLOOD

May 29, 2009

In the Spruce Tunnel, floodplains are part of the ecology:

Spr Flood 2

Technically, it is not a “flood”  because it was  designed to work this way;  intelligently designed.

Spr Flood 1

Floodplains flood;  trees bend;  glaciers flow;  waves crash and subside;  earthquakes relieve their pressure without blowing up the earth. . . .

Humans “roll with the punches”   and “take the long view”  and “bounce back  after a crisis”   and somehow “recover after tragedy.”

That’s the way the Creator made it:   renewable, recoverable, rearrangeable,  recyclable. . . until one’s Time is up.

SWEDISH PINES AND PRAYERS

May 29, 2009

A thought to my Viking ancestors for whom this blog is written:

Scots Pine Sweden

A thousand years ago my ancestors could have seen this scene, a path leading into a stand of pines, anywhere in northern Sweden eastward through Finland and into western Russia.

There is something so clean and refreshing about a pine forest.

A thousand years ago my ancestors would have said those same Latin words that I put in my last post.    From Sweden to Russia, they would have known those same prayers, appropriate for a Friday.      Miserere nobis.

There is a connection among people who have the same Faith, the same prayers, the same practices.    (“One faith, one Lord, one baptism.”)

If any of my ancestors are looking down on this world I live in, they see clearly what happens when we sever our connections with the past.   Each new century can try to reinvent the wheel, but what they come up with won’t be a wheel.  It will be a device that merely reflects the desires of their own mind. 

I don’t think a car can run very well on four devices that resemble a wheel.

INFLICTING PAIN

May 29, 2009

This week’s lineup:

Pills less

My job is to sort these out each morning, distribute the medication into little cups that are then used three times a day.   

But this week there is an addition:    the syringes on the right, all lined up, ready to go.   To carefully regulate the condition of the blood before doctors get to work, sometimes the medication is delivered by syringe.

Uh….that’s also where I come in.    I don’t mind getting shots.   But try giving a shot to a loved one.   You KNOW you are going to hurt him.   No matter what he says.  Twice a day you stick a needle in….

It’s FRIDAY.     So the idea of INFLICTING PAIN is on my mind.   By my actions and by my inactions.    Thought, word, and deed.

Cross TinyConfiteor Deo Omnipotenti….quia peccavi nimis….mea culpla, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…      Miserere nobis.

Domine, exaudi orationem meam.

Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

WHEN NOT SEEING IS BELIEVING

May 27, 2009

 An octave marked out – with a little help from the fruit basket:

Octave

I’m so grateful for the Octaves.   These are the EIGHT days after a major feast day given to us in which to contemplate  and more fully realize the feast day that was just commemorated.   Today is officially  “The Wednesday Within the Octave of the Ascension.”

So I ask:  Why, oh, why did Jesus have to leave us and go into Heaven?    I know all the things about “so then the Holy Spirit could come…”   All the good reasons.   But like a child, or like a small lamb waiting for the Good Shepherd to return,     Why….why else?

Pope St. Leo the Great has an answer;  he wrote it about 1,550 years ago.   It’s included in the studies for today.

His answer is something like this:  When the Redeemer was here among the disciples,  they saw Him and watched the work He did.    They didn’t need inner faith  because they had Him there, among them.  In a sense, their faith was stunted by His Presence.   They could still think about Him and wonder and meditate and grow to understand His divinity;   but this in intellectual activity.   Important as it is, it is not faith.

And then….He went away from them,  returned to Heaven,   “seated at the right hand of the Father.”      And now, in the words of Leo the Great,  “…the whole energy of the soul’s contemplation was raised up to Jesus’ divinity….the vigour of the mind’s eye was no longer dulled by bodily vision,  and they came to the clear view of the Mystery, namely, that He neither left the Father when he descended upon the Earth,  nor left His diciples when He ascended to the Father.”

Notice how much doctrine is embedded in that statement! ?   There is much more in this paragraph, but the portion about faith is enough right now.

It is Faith which pleases God.   (Hebrews 11:6)     The Gift of Faith which we receive  is for us to live and use and grow in;   and then as we do this, our capacity to receive  Faith increases even more.   We grow in Faith;  we receive more Faith.   Our Faith attaches us with certainty to our Redeemer.

He had to go away so our souls would not be dulled by “bodily vision.”     He went away for our sakes.

MEMORIAL DAY – COMPLETION

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 would not be complete without the mention of the third war in the 20th century which a member of my family took part in.     

Viet Nam, 1968:

Drew 1968

What would you do if you were young, strong, and capable, and on the other side of the world?     You would be there;   you would do your duty;  and you would do the best soldiering you could, because that is what your country asked of you.

How many tens of thousands of good decent men were our soldiers in the years of the Viet Nam War!    How many of these men returned home  and became the good decent citizens of the second half of the 20th century!     They added their strength  and  ability to carry out their duties to our national character,  without drawing a lot of attention to themselves.    They are the  solid citizens  a nation can rely upon.

We didn’t know then that the Anti-American entertainment and news media would continue to show this war in the worst possible light.     Actual history provides the evidence that  when we allowed the Communists to overrun Southeast Asia, they did indeed murder the citizens and cruelly oppress the survivors.

I’ll never forget my surprise at hearing a North Vietnamese general say, in an interview long after the war, that all the North Vietnamese commanders knew that they had lost the war after the Tet Offensive.    They had given it their all, and the American soldiers were too tough for them.   He said they were all discussing how best to negotiate their own defeat — until they heard the big names in the Anti-American news media begin to talk about an American defeat.      This was a politically-motivated misrepresentation of what had just happened.  

Our Viet Nam Veterans soldiered on with the strength and  the will to win — until we told them not to.        They stand in a long line of those  who have been called on to fight to protect our country.   They make our daily freedoms possible.

Our Founding Fathers said we would have to always fight for these freedoms, against external enemies and enemies from within.    Thanks to God, Deo gratias, that so far we have won.

ALL WAR IS CONTEMPORARY

May 25, 2009

Within my lifetime… I knew someone who served on her: 

USS Utah

The  U.S.S. Utah, commissioned in 1906,  one of several battleships ready for World War I. 

My grandfather began serving on her in 1918 during that War.  I didn’t ask enough questions of him, but I do know it took him to Paris.     There was not too  much else he thought a little girl would be interested in.  

USS Utah Getting bombed

Between World War I and World War II, the Utah was decommissioned and sent to Pearl Harbor,   for use as target practice.

But the picture at the right is not target  practice.      An enemy  is doing  this to as many ships as possible on December 7, 1941.    Many ships were destroyed and damaged, many men lost their lives. My uncle, a Marine,  was then stationed at Pearl Harbor.

So in my lifetime I have men in my family, grandfather, father, and uncle, who served in these two  World Wars.    Men I could talk to;  my “contemporaries,”  in a sense.  They were alive when I was alive.     War – and the lessons from war – is contemporary.

USS Utah Enemy did it

 

Once a proud and capable battleship, now listing to one side after the attack.    She escaped the attack of one set of enemies, but she was not set to defend herself against the next set of enemy attacks.

 

Ancient Wisdom is also  “contemporary.”     2,500 years ago, a man named Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War in which he set down principles that are as useful and important for today as it was for his world.    The principles can be applied not only to war but also to business, to social relationships, to any place where human interaction should be guided by open-mnded, objective reasoning.

Try out this quotation from Sun Tzu in your life:   “To not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues.”  As soon as I think of some area of my life where that does not apply — then I think a little more deeply and realize, as a general principle, this should be the underlying motivation of any of my endeavors.    

What else is  life here on Earth but a preparation for  future existence in Eternity?        

As the say, sic transit gloria mundi —  “so passes the glory of this world” —    There is so much more to human life than the material world we see.     Here is the end of the U.S.S.  Utah:

USS Utah  sic transit

REMEMBERING

May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

Among those  who served:       

Marine Dress Blues

We remember those who gave a portion of their lifetimes to be our soldiers, sailors, and Marines.   

I also like to  remember what they actually did as soldiers, sailors, and Marines,  during that portion of their lives that they served our country and stood ready to protect us civilians.   

Ask a veteran about boot camp, about training, about his MOS, about what he thought he might be called upon to do, about why he was trained to be ready to do it….about his buddies who didn’t make it.

Ask him how much he loves the country he protected with his readiness and  skills.   Ask him how much he loves to live in a time of general peace.

Marine uniform I am a daughter of a Marine.  I belong to this one.   Same man who was in his Dress Blues in the first photo.  I did ask him a lot of questions as I grew up.    I’d ask him even more if we were near enough to visit each other.     But he gave me his uniform, his medals, some documents and photos, and I cherish each one of them.   

I also cherish the freedom he and his friends gave me, through their efforts, to write a blog like this, and to contribute, freely, my point of view.     We have Peace — through their Strength.

THE COMING INTOLERANCE

May 23, 2009

John 16:3,4   Those on Earth who do not know the Father attack those on Earth who do know.

Earth Under Heaven ovaled

All life comes from the Living One-God,  and all life returns back to Him.   The Living One-God creates, in Love, and bestows life.

We are told that mankind born after the time of Paradise receives biological life, but also needs to receive spiritual life from the Person of the One-God Who is True God and True Man:  Jesus, come from the Father.

On this Sunday during the Octave of the Ascension Jesus tells us that there  are humans who do not yet have this understanding.     These humans seek to do all kinds of harm to those who do:   calumniate;  criminalize;  imprison;  kill.       “And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father, nor me.”

So each man chooses to accept or reject.   But if a man chooses to accept God, then he can no longer be his own god.    Who will be God?    Sounds like sides are being chosen;  teams are being formed.  And the ones who reject God cannot tolerate the ones who accept God.

“But these things I have told you, that when the hour of them is come, you may remember that I told you.”

Viking DignityTime to check our armour — and our spiritual armour!

That’s what the Paraclete is for.

Come, Pentecost.

O’HARE AND THE PRAIRIE VIEW

May 22, 2009

This is a story from my childhood, growing up in happy times, not knowing what was on the horizon.Delta with lines

I spent a large part of my childhood growing up on the edge of a military air base, O’Hare Air Force Base, to be precise.   The base had a small section assigned to civilian commercial flights, but the most exciting planes were the Air Force planes that flew in and out of the base many times a day.  It was the days before there were rules againstg jet afterburners roaring across residential skies.    And, oh, did they ROAR!

Because we were close to the air base, the jets came in really, really low.   As the jets approached, we kids would often stop our play and stand face to face with our friends; and then as the jet screamed close overhead with an impossibly high amount of decibels,   we would look at each other, nose to nose, and scream at the top of our lungs.  We were trying to see if we could hear each other’s screams over the roar of the jet overhead.   Wow!   That was fun!   I usually couldn’t hear my friend’s or my own scream.

Delta FIGHTER 125Sometimes we would lie down on the grass and watch the jet fly over and feel the roar of the jet vibrating up through the ground until our bodies seemed encased in the sound of the roar.  Daily.  Several times a day.  We used to play Monopoly oudoors under a tree, finding shade from the hot prairie sun and sometimes a light breeze.  Often our games were interrupted as we waited for the jet roar overhead to subside so we could continue playing – and arguing – our games.

And then there were the sonic booms when the jets really took off and broke the sound barrier.    You really couldn’t tell when one was coming.   It just blindsided you with a WHAM!   — a boom that hit right into your body and before you realized what happened, your ears would be ringing and the last of the glasses in the cabinet would be  slowing down their rattling.    What fun!   But sometimes we imitated the adults and shook our heads in annoyance — and searched for broken dishes or mirrors.

(Note for a later posting:    We kids were familiar with every kind of contrails that all the planes ever made.    Even the funny ones that showed up in  western movies that shouldn’t have been there above the stage coach!)

We were familiar with the sky, but here is what we weren’t looking at: 

Prairie 400x177

We kids, living at the edge of O’Hare, knew we also lived on the edge of the Great American Prairie.    Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles to our west the prairie stretched out, further than our minds could comprehend.    I knew it was there.  We studied it in school.   My friends lived on “Prairie View Drive”   and  “Prairie Avenue.”

A praire offers large vistas, open spaces and possibilities, the opportunity to move on at the natural pace of a human life.

O’Hare Air Base, then O’Hare Airport, then O’Hare International Airport reminded us kids that we were at the height of technical-scientific-industrial progress.  WE were the generation that the world had been waiting for.    Mickey Mouse Club told us that WE were the leaders of the 21st Century!

The excitement of  “scientific progress”  drove our attention onward and upward to the Modern Age.   What was obscured for us was all the history and wisdom of past ages.   The prairie was only on the edge of my consciousness.      It holds a different pace, a different kind of human life, and a different kind of Truth.

A CARDINAL DISTRACTION

May 19, 2009

Just thought I’d show you what I often see as I rest my eyes from all my computer work:

Cardinal in Dish

Just over my shoulder, four feet away from me.    He’s so beautiful.     And a BIG distraction he is!   

But as I learned in my last two postings, going into and out of  The Spruce Tunnel,  a distraction can be a heaven-sent gift to help you see things in the right perspective.

Goal-oriented, high-achieving, accomplish-driven thinking is manmade.     The created world and all its creatures is the world the Creator intended us to live in.

We will find the object of our love in the created world.   And we’ll also find its Source.   

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”     

(And, yes, I love my little visitor sitting in his feed dish.)

SPRUCE TUNNEL EXIT

May 17, 2009

EXITING THE TUNNEL:     Sometimes The Spruce Tunnel invites a person to exit.  See that inviting green Exit up ahead?

Spr Grn at end of tunnel

Yesterday I thought I needed a quiet interlude in the Tunnel to find some inner solitude and peace.   And what was I given?   All that tumult and commotion and noise, grabbing my attention from everywhere!

Yes.    Well, smack me on the head!    (That will be my job, thank you.)    The whole POINT of that experience in the Spruce Tunnel yesterday was….that experience.

How do I know that was the point?     Today is the Fifth Sunday After Easter.    The Gospel read on this day includes the verse:   “Ask and you shall receive;  that your joy may be full.” (John 16)

It’s better in Latin:   “…ut gaudium vestrum sit plenum.”    Gaudium, of course, is joy, and do you see the plenum?     That’s plenitude.    That’s what I got yesterday.     A plenitude of good, interesting things to keep me busy.     Such abundance rains down from the Good God.     And I was about to run away from it all! 

And that inviting green exit leads to another kind of plenitude.  It won’t be just birds and fences and flowers and flood plains.   It will be all the people and activity and duties and problems of my life out there.    A plenitude of joy — if I take it that way.

Ruins Cross BorderedNow how “odd.”   

 For how many centuries have Christians read that particular Gospel passage on this particular Sunday!    

But it came for me today….just at the right time.

THE SPRUCE TUMULT

May 17, 2009

Oh, this is the Spruce Tunnel again.   On Saturday:

Spruce Tunnel summer entry

I left a bright sunny day to enter the Tunnel for a peaceful interlude between two sets of happy, busy activities.   I was looking forward to getting in touch with my Lord, the Creator of all, and, actually, to pray a bit.  I came out of the Tunnel practically holding my hands over my ears – and all my other senses.

First, there was the noise, high up in the trees.   Look way, way up there.   It was the sound of the trees themselves, creaking, groaning, screeching…communicating with each other — physicially.     Just imagine the sound of a creaky wooden gate, slowly opening and closing, over and over again.   Slow footsteps upstairs on a creaky attic floor.   Grandma’s wooden rocking chair,  creaking back and forth, back and forth.  Throw in the eerie sound of cattle lowing — in tree tops.   Now think of all those noises at the same time!   And turn the volume way up!   And punctuate all that with the occasional sound of crashing limbs…..

My “soul” was not at ease…

There were birds rushing out of the trees, and flock of cardinals, of all things, fluttering by.    I’d show you a picture of them but “the Flutter was quicker than the Shutter.”  I didn’t even know that cardinals flew in flocks.    There is so little I know about nature and created things, but I reached out to  it all, testing myself, but it made me tired thinking about all the stuff I didn’t know.

And…..more I’ll talk about later.   Hoofprints.   Water everywhere.    Floods.    River plains.     Two polar-bear sized doglike creatures.       Skis/no skis.      Bridges.    Barriers.    Flower petals…..colors….shapes….sizes….Pathways.      Choices.      All the birds.    All the branches……creaking……crashing.

And what is that BLACK THING lying down over there with its ears up?

SPr BlackThing

After an hour I hadn’t found any quiet thoughts.

 And the only prayer I managed was:   “Lord,  can You see all this ?!!!”

ALONE

May 16, 2009

My family has gone away for a few days. 

FLightTracker

That’s my computer screen, keeping me “with them”  during one leg of their journey.

The technology of the Evil Ones keep me home….

Congratulations to Daughter with a new MBA from Berkeley.   She has impressed me!

NOTING THE PRICE

May 15, 2009

Christianity  isn’t  free.

cross feet at 160

 Fridays are a good day to remember the price.

Just a salute….or something.

CROWNS: GAINING AND LOSING

May 14, 2009

Miss California’s mildly stated opinion concerning her Christian faith got me to thinking about losing crowns, losing heads, and gaining crowns.

Crowns cropped 2

When Christianity was decriminalized in the early 4th century, the Christians who had been carefully collecting and preserving relics from the martyrs were now able to incorporate the relics in the church buildings they were allowed to build.   The honor paid to the earlier martyr saints was always part of Christian history, but now the honor and the stories attached to each martyr could be even more widespread.

A few centuries later it became common to read what is called the Martyrology for the day.  This wonderful book, which is still part of daily devotions for many,  gives a list of names of those who died on each day, along with, sometimes, a short note about how they died.   

Over the days and months and years the impact  of the reading of the Martyrology begins to strengthen one’s own faith and determination to remain faithful, no matter what.

Here are two names for today, May 14:    In Syria, the holy martyrs Victor and Corona, under the Emperor Antoninus.   Victor was subjected to diverse and horrible torments by the judge Sebastian.   Just then, as Corona,  the wife of a Roman soldier, proclaimed him blessed for his constancy in his sufferings,  she saw TWO CROWNS FALLING FROM HEAVEN, one for Victor and one for herself.   She related this to all present, and was torn to pieces between two trees, while Victor was beheaded.

These two, Victor and Corona, then joined that “great cloud of witnesses in heaven”  that is mentioned in Hebrews 12:1.    They witness…..us.

KRONOS

May 13, 2009

KRONOS – CHRONOS – CRONOS   The god of Time;  time passing;   time gobbling up opportunity.   

kronos

This is a classic representation of the god Kronos with his wife Rhea and their newest baby.   I hate to tell you what Kronos does to his offspring.

Today we like to fuss about how fast time is passing.  “Time flies.”    “Time waits for no man.”    As I observe my family and friends, I hear them talk about problems with so little time, and I see them try to juggle all the repsonsibilities and duties they have on their schedules.    It’s easy to recognize their struggles because I have the same struggle.   I sympathize because I can empathize.

Even  people who don’t have much on their daily schedule remark how quickly the weeks and months are passing.

From the 1800s onwards I notice this in historical writings and journals.   It wasn’t too common at first, but now, a few generations later, it is a very common chracteristic of our own society.     If time is a “gift from God,”   then who is stealing our gift?

A person can ask why.  A person can analyze how this came about.   A person can point out the consequences.

But one thing I know:   We do not have the time to address the dangerous problems that are facing us today.    And we do not even have the time to oppose  those who are responsible for the dangers we face.

Kronos must be very pleased.    It is we who are being gobbled.

The “old gods” are with us today, of course.

TRAIN SPEEDING BY

May 12, 2009

Train Coming

This is a train speeding by at top speed.    I was standing off to the side and still felt the turbulent suction of the air-dynamics as it sped by.    Immediately behind it is a bright white dot which is another train.  This one may not miss me.

It’s too early in the morning.   I haven’t had time to talk myself out of all the dangers  the citizens of this country are in.   I haven’t had time to convince myself that “it can’t be that bad.”

Give me a few hours and I can be cheerful again.

When Caligula seized control of the Roman government he needed to control everything in order to maintain his position.   He needed to increase his control in order to maintain his control.   He needed to know everything in order to control everything.

In the time-proven practice of all dictators, he also maintained an elaborate system of spies and information gathering.   Even ordinary citizens  were encouraged to notify the authorities of any deviation from the will of Caesar.

Roman Jackboot (Caliga)

Roman Jackboot (Caliga)

Caliga and the Little Caligulas wish to command what kind of light bulbs we use, what kind of and how much toilet paper we use, what kind of food we eat, how many children we have, how our children get trained for the Empire, what our religious leaders can and cannot say, what is acceptable speech for its citizens to use, what is acceptable content to send over the radio waves,  who gets medical treatment and for how long,  and….now this one:   they would like to command and control from their remote central authority how high or low your thermostat is set, year round.

Space  prevents me from continuing this list.  

The next train on the track is coming smack towards us.

SAREK

May 10, 2009

My fantasy for the 4th Sunday of Easter:

sarek

If I could choose anyone in the universe to have a conversation with, without hesitation I would choose the dignified, ancient, ascetic Ambassador Sarek.      Provided he would deign to sit with me.

I have long thought the universe is a better place for the existence of this person.    The force of such a calm, impassive presence directs one’s attention to Wisdom, Knowledge,  and long experience with attentive,  analytical Observation of other creatures. 

Sarek Salute“Modern” humans have been mistakenly taught to think of themselves in terms of economic utility.      But Sarek has consistently shown, by his words and his actions, that humans have unique value and dignity as individuals … though mystifyingly “human.”

One time when he was among humans,  there was a crisis of some sort.    A typically immature human reacted with an outburst of fear and anger, in the quiet presence of Sarek.   When the crisis resolved, the human came to Sarek, a little embarrassed, to make an apology.   Since I am human too, it doesn’t take too much effort to remember many times when emotions also arose in me more quickly than thought.

I will never forget Sarek’s kind and gracious reply:   “The cause was sufficient.”   

Sufficient!    Sufficient to have caused a human to feel natural emotions!    Sufficient to have overridden logic and maturity in a yet unperfected race.     What an encouraging absolution!

A part of today’s Epistle says this:  “Let every man be swift to hear, but slow to anger and slow to speak”    (James 1)      This is the ideal;   this is the rule,   But while we are yet immature and unperfected,  this rule is given for our measure.    And when we fail, the Epistle goes on to tell us to cast away such imperfections, and let the word of God come into you:   “…receive the ingrafted word of God which is able to save your souls.”

Sarek SittingFor me, Sarek’s life helps me to visualize  the very “logical” love that God has for each of us — unchanging,  knowing, attentive, and forgiving.    What an encouragement to receive Him!

(Acknowledgments to the many sources on the Internet for photos of Sarek, including YouTube and TNG and many forums)

MAKE YOUR MARK !

May 9, 2009

Footprints

Those are my footprints in the sand..  I was just playing around, thinking about that famous picture with one set of footprints in the sand,  and that  poem,  “Footprints in the Sands of  Time. ”      I thought, I can do that too!

That was a couple years ago and my footprints are long gone.   And that, I suppose, is the point of that famous picture and all the poems about how we leave our mark in this world but for a very short time.

Footprints on beachTwo things I remember from that day:    I didn’t have to leave my footprints in a line like that.  I thought about not doing that in public….I could have continued to just leave random footprints as I went from one delightful beach thing  to another, just enjoying everything.   But anyway I deliberately began to plan this line of footprints, practiced,  kept trying to get them to look just the way I wanted them to, and then,   finally,  I  felt satisfied with my efforts.

The second thing I remember is that the circumstances of that day were not really comfortable.   In spite of the powerful, magnificent beauty of the ocean, the heat was unbearable and totally strange to me.   At every moment, no matter where I turned, the sun got behind my sunglasses and pierced my eyes with sharp, deep pricks of pain.  The humid air was hard to breathe in even though there was a steady wind coming from the ocean.   Even that wind was strange, with its slightly fishy smell of unknown decomposing salty ocean material.  Or maybe some sharp, pointy, biting things, or some poisonous colorful  gelatinous blobs?

And just like like the foreboding feeling we get nowadays, there was “something coming” that was going to change everything — a wild electrical deluge perhaps.

Footprint cloudBut I was continuing to make my “mark”  in the sand anyway, despite all these discomforts.   

And there you have it:      Find out how to make your particular mark in this world as you pass through.   Know yourself  (a lifetime endeavor!)  and practice being who you are.   Live deliberately.   It’s worth the effort.  Somehow, even if your world isn’t ideal, it’s worth the effort to live well and leave your own well-made footprints.

By the way, that was a magnificent thunderstorm that rolled in from the south that day!