Friday, November 28, 2008
...can be a very good thing. Perhaps, it is time again for a soft whisper.
The holidays (Thanksgiving through New Years) have begun. It's hunting season for DH. There are two deer hanging under the back steps - skinning and cutting will be done today and tomorrow, I expect. Our upright freezer died, so we need to be a bit more creative about storing meat. That may mean more cold-packed jars of venison; not a bad chore if someone else cleans and cubes the meat. We have out eye out for means of shipping the meat off to descendants soon.
I thought I would get out the water colors while DH hunted, but so far, no opportunity or mood. Chose instead to play with crumbs, bind a quilt, read and crochet in leisure time. No guilt there - I'm getting very independent about spending leisure somewhat selfishly, no doubt.
We did Thanksgiving with a roast hen and dinner for two. Quite pleasant with a houseful of memories and love of fuller thanksgivings to keep us company. The hen was tough - but will make good rice soup and pot pie for us and shut-ins.
Along with the holidays can be lonely theme, an October verse is offered for consideration:
WHAT IS THAT IN THY HAND?
PART I - LONELINESS:
With the passage of time, changes quickly decree
The reshaping confinement of life no more free.
Age limits our motion - heart, body and soul,
And the rigor of youth moves beyond our control.
We shift into strange corridors, no more our own
As if time has now vanquished our empire and throne.
And if by good Grace, our abode is the same
None remain who may lovingly call out our name.
The walls may be cheerful, the hall lit with care
Yet backed in the corner, we learn how to bear
Time and memory frozen in blind, empty space
Without voice of connection or comrade of face.
PART II - LIBERATION:
Take up arms, gentle pilgrims, let not loneliness stand
As a curse of confinement — we have in our hand
The simple solutions to chase gloom of night,
The power to turn desperation to light.
A phone call, a letter, a cookie, a song,
A timely reminder they’re loved all along...
And even a stranger is blessed by a smile —
With no cost to the giver, the joy spreads a mile!
“What is that in your hand?” —the meek prophet of old
Found the power of blessings more precious than gold.
So we hold in our hand means of spreading abroad
The compassion and love of our merciful God.
I have long thought the scourge of the aged is loneliness...emptiness is more dreadful than poverty or pain. We recently visited a sweet 96-year old man in Clendenin. He is shut in by ill health, well tended by family that lives next door and yet alone in a house with only memories and time for company most times. We rarely take anything when we visit - lending only a short stay, a kind ear and warm smiles. (He has wonderful clarity of mind/speech so listening to him is a joy for us, really.) As I cradle his cheek in my hand before we leave, there are tears in his eyes - precious gratitude for what cost us nothing except the expenditure of a bit of the day that belonged to the Lord anyway.
Let's fill our holidays with sharing....