Sometimes we do hesitate between blog entries, perhaps too long. The last entry of "Stop, Look and Listen" was one of those articles which needs to just linger there and allow for you to read it again, and perhaps again, and gather in the substance. However, it is time to press along with more thoughts.
Many blog entries are meant to answer direct questions from the "soon to be married," or "the just got married," or from "parents wondering what is the best route for planning." Those may or may not interest every recipient, whereas the "Stop, Look, and Listen" entry of February 4, 2011 has merit for everyone. In fact it was written to remind ME to self-reflect, and allow you to share.
So - forgive us if we don't provide a stimulating read each time to interest every one, but over the course of time, we hope our efforts will be considered as personal notes between friends. Perhaps something said will apply as you advise friends, family, children and grandchildren. Remember - this cycle of life is continuous, and the older you get, the more that YOU are the keeper of lessons to be shared. We hope in some small way to offer a few pertinent ideas, while sharing the thoughts of very real people who have graced our lives.
Memorial Weekend ...
It's Saturday afternoon as I write, just prior to driving over to our Community Garden plots in Palmyra along Route 53, which is Jefferson Parkway. It's just a 2-lane highway which is the same road which Mr. Jefferson used to travel from Monticello to Richmond and on to Washington. His travel took days, whereas our frequent trips to Richmond and DC only takes 1-2 hours. I suspect that Mr. Jefferson would have really appreciated a paved road in his days along Route 53.
I've been writing to individual friends about coming to visit, and enticing them with thoughts of cherry-picking, peach donuts, cold apple cider, and picnics out in a local orchard. We will do almost anything to attract friends and OUR children to come and visit. It is especially lovely today with so much growth occurring . So - I enclosed the websites of two lovely locations to instigate that desire to leave home for a day or two and join us in our garden or perhaps more appealing gardens in the Charlottesville area. After all, our own garden requires getting "deeply" involved.
Living on Highway 53 near Monticello already has its appeal, but meeting in locations where you can pick fruit already in season and lay back in the grass ...well ...that is appealing, so we pull out the stops with vivid descriptions.
Open the two websites in this paragraph which Mrs. Chiles sends me every few weeks. You will see why we enjoy sharing our location and opportunities. Check out www.CarterMountainOrchard.com and www.SpringValleyOrchard.com. Carter Mountain is the highest point and is the nearest to us, and provides marvelous views of our area. A site worth seeing!
Back to my more emotional thoughts for this weekend
All of this sweet growth around me does not deter my sadness regarding the devastating path which nature has dealt in Tuscaloosa, Joplin, and so many smaller places. My days as a child riding my bike through the Forest Lake area of Tuscaloosa keeps flooding back in my fondest memories, for it is one of those areas so destroyed that the landscape is only left to memories.
As I sit in a place of calmness today, the reality is that nature and its whims can bring a stop to life as we know it. It is why I tend to squeeze Elisheva more as life continues, and send out frequent notes to entice family gatherings, even if right there in their own homes.
I also remember those who have served and are serving in military and civilian roles, and those who have died or received terrible injuries. Whether by the winds of war or weather, the losses bring such a sense of finality.
I awoke this morning with my window open and a cool breeze delaying my ability to move. My sleep was shattered by two small birds carrying on so loudly as they spoke to each other about their day. I started laughing as I listened, aroused by the sounds and feel of nature coming into my day... another wonderful opportunity. Initially, I wanted to shout "Shut up!" but instead my only thought was, "Thank you!"
I took several deep breaths and remembered those who were anticipating this same joy I was feeling, but are with us no more. The joy of their being, my appreciation of their being, and my appreciation for my being can be overwhelming at times. I know that you know the feelings of which I speak.
Take a moment to review all that is given, and all that we can give, and move into your day, and those to come, with giving more and sharing more. It will lead to healing of others ... and healing of self.
Blessings ... Rev. T. Wade Clegg III