How beautiful, when a whole tree is like one great scarlet fruit full of ripe juices, every leaf from lowest limb to topmost spire, all aglow, especially if you look toward the sun! What more remarkable object can there be in the landscape? Thoreau
New England has seen its fair share of uncharacteristic weather in 2008. Spring strolled in, returning as it has not done in several years. It behaved in traditional fashion; you know, March - in like a lion out like a lamb. April showers bring may flowers. May and June ushered in warmer than normal days. Many of them. But then again, the word normal is seldom used when describing New England weather. As they say, if you don't like the weather, just wait ten minutes. There have been more days of rain in July and August than there have been beach and concerts days. The tourist economy has taken a big hit.
I sat out on the porch last night for a smoke with my new "wizard's pipe" and had to wear a heavy sweatshirt. I live on a three state interstate roadway that can be quite busy. These days it is darkened by the lack of streetlights that usually illuminate the sidewalks and home fronts. Although the Town Manager (we're not big enough for a mayor) makes almost as much as the governor (and he also lives in another town) we are a cash strapped community and are losing services as well as the good weather.
It can be difficult to find contentment . Nothing is ever simple. It's far too simple to get caught up in the daily affairs of the world. Too many of us believe that if we don't foster opinions on the character of China or wherein lies the true man, Obama or McCain, we aren't plugged into the important issues of the world. I often think that our religion and our politics should consist of nothing more than loving your neighbor as yourself. Not in that dogmatic way that the church mom or the preacher would lead you to believe. It's much more simple than that.
When you see the opportunity to do good, do it. Then just continue on your way.
Sometimes the call to do good may be something big. Something on a grand scale. But more often than not it is a comforting word. It may be giving a sick friend some of your time. It may be just an encouraging word and a smile to everyone you meet.
I knew a preacher once (remember - I used to be a driver for a traveling evangelist) that would oft quote from the old testament book of the Songs of Solomon. "It's the little foxes that spoil the vine". Well, the reverse is also true. Its the little seen and unsung heroes that really make the world turn. Those that stand forward in the fullness of the cult of personality are the ones that are taking us down. One peg at a time.
I sit on my porch and gaze upon the flag of the thirteen colonies and I feel a wave of patriotism well up within me. But that sort of America has not existed in over one hundred years. The worms of greed have infiltrated all that was ever good in this country.
Have I lost hope? Of course not!
But I am not silly enough to bad mouth China while our elected officials continue the tradition of selling their souls and lining their pockets while doing all that they can to help fleece the citizens of the United States. We are just sheep. Its been that ways since before the civil war. Any man such as Thoreau or yes, even John Brown, that stood on opposite poles as conscientious objectors to the increasingly loud sucking sound upon our necks of liberty, were brushed aside as romantics or as lunatics. These gentleman were neither.
As my fifty fourth autumn begins to shine it's bittersweet light upon the hills of New England, I hope to have a few moments to bask in my favorite time of the year. It should be that simple. I want the warmth of a close companion to share in the beauty of the delightfully warm and colorful days and someone to gaze at the crisp and clear dark night with. And I realize that I am lonely. Perhaps that is why I cherish a kind word; a smile.
I need one too.