Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Thought

“Are you ready for Christmas?” is a question we use to initiate small talk this time of year as commonly as we greet each other with “Merry Christmas”.  Usually we get a pretty standard answer and on our way we go.  But I got an answer Friday that took me by surprise.

As I was being wheeled out to my transportation home by a rather somber hospital employee, I couldn't take the silence and offered up the question.  But instead of the standard “Almost” or “Just about”, I got “I don't celebrate Christmas.”  Momentary awkward silence.  Thankfully she let me off the hook pretty quickly and followed up with “If people treated each other the way they do on Christmas the other 364 days of the year, the world would be a much better place, so I choose to celebrate life every day.”  Well, I couldn't argue with that, even though I felt like somehow I should.

My mind whirled with all kinds of thoughts about Christmas, life in general, and the profound or clever things I might say in response.  But I sat there in silence as we descended to the ground floor in the elevator.  As she rolled me out, I offered up some lame response that I don't even remember now.  The only thing I did say in response that might bear repeating was that some of us needed a day like Christmas to remind us of how we should treat each other the other 364 days of the year.

I know that a little baby boy was born in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago and lived a life that we can only hope to come close to duplicating.  He died on a cross, and more importantly, rose from the dead on the third day in order to give us the opportunity to have everlasting life.  I bet that little baby boy feels a lot like the somber hospital employee does.  If we care only about ourselves for 364 days and spend lots of money on each other and pretend we care for only one day, then we make a mockery out of his sacrifice on that cross.  So let's make sure we celebrate his resurrected life (and ours) every day and treat each other with kindness and consideration.  Let's make sure Christmas day is the day we just pause to remember why we celebrate life the other 364 days of the year!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A "Peace" of Writing

Life seems like it takes you by the coat tails sometimes and just spins you around, keeping you from doing the things that bring you the most pleasure and contentment in life. That's how it's been with my writing lately. So many things have crossed my mind that I've wanted to sit down and write about, but somehow, there just hasn't been time to do so or when there was time, the other pieces of the puzzle eluded me. So today, I have a few minutes and what am I doing? I'm writing about absolutely nothing except the fact that I wish that I'd had more time and opportunity to write in the past few months.

It's amazing to me how the simple act of putting my thoughts into words and down on “paper” can clear my own mind and give me a sense of peace. The world we live in is so “noisy”. Televisions, radios, billboards, traffic, children, pets, jobs, bills – all of these things screaming for our attention. Sometimes it's necessary for my sanity to step away from all that and pick up the “pen” and just write. Anything, it doesn't matter what, just anything that unites me with my thoughts alone is a suitable subject to help me feel at peace with myself again.

It's nice if what I write brings a smile to someone else or perhaps provokes them to deeper thought about some subject. But if the only thing I accomplish is to bring a bit of peace to my own tired and weary soul, then that is accomplishment enough. I don't know if that's how other writers feel, but it is how I feel and perhaps the foremost reason I write – to give a moment of peace to myself in this noisy, busy world that I live in. Maybe you might want to try it too the next time you're feeling the need to “get away from it all”.

Peace to you all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Own Personal Mardi Gras Parade... of a sort!

Mardi Gras has begun and many Mobilians have moonpies, beads, and the procession of floats down the streets of Mobile on their minds. But this afternoon I am sitting here on the banks of Steele Creek watching my family fish while a parade of a different sort is going on just on the other side of the creek. The wintry weather has given way to warmer days this week and spring fever has infected many of us. It is compelling us to get outside into the warm sunshine and fresh air. Too long we've been help captive inside the four walls of the stale houses where we take our refuge from winter.  This is evident by the number of boaters waiting to launch while others await their turn to leave having already enjoyed their turn at freedom.
It's a beautiful sight in its own right. Boats of all different colors, boats of many sizes, old boats, new boats, some that aren't boats at all, but rather they are deemed personal watercraft instead, all gracefully sitting on the water, carrying their passengers to one destination to another and making a parade of their own today.
And in this parade, instead of the sounds of the revelers crying "throw me something Mister", it's the various fisherman calling to each other "Are they bitin' for ya' today?" Instead of the sounds of the marching bands, it is the music of the boat engines I hear. Some idling smoothly while others spit and sputter in stark contrast to the peaceful sounds of the birds chirping in the trees behind me.
Interspersed with the boats in today's parade there are the beautifully feathered ducks gracefully, seemingly effortlessly, gliding past.
It may not yield the moonpies, doubloons, and other trinkets that make Mardi Gras so much fun. But sharing this parade with my family is a treasure I wouldn't trade for all the Mardi Gras haul in the world!