The Night the Tree Fell

Tonight I sat and watched an old tree being felled.  It was dead, I was told, and could have damaged something or hurt someone, so I understand.  In my mind, I get it.  But my heart was breaking.

IMG_7473

Death and endings make me sad.

And I was thinking about this–

If we don’t plant more trees than we cut down,

if we don’t praise more than we criticize, listen more than we speak,

if we don’t hug more than we point fingers, create more than we destroy,

if we don’t stand up for what we believe to be right more than we stand back and watch things happen,

 

we have done our children, our world, and indeed ourselves a great disservice.

 

I have a sweet friend who rescues daffodils from construction sites.

Think about that for a second.

Some might say, Oh they’re just flowers.  You can always plant some more.

But not her.

And I think that’s such a precious story–her love for things that grow is akin to sacred to me.  She is a good steward of the land.  And people.  She sure knows how to love on folks too.  It’s her gift.

She’s a gift.

 

I guess that’s what I was thinking about while I sat in my roost watching the tree that wasn’t mine being prepped to fall to the ground with a mighty crack and thud.  The gift of life.  The tenderness of it.  How frail it is.

Tonight I’m thankful for those, like my friend, who care so much for all life that they go the extra mile to protect it.  For those who plant more than they destroy, for those who share kind words easily, I give thanks.  And I’m also thankful for some precious little baby trees my Uncle gave me.   When he gave them to me, I had no idea how much they would soothe my soul, knowing they would be in the ground as the mighty tree fell not far from their new home.  New life is always filled with hope, isn’t it?

And tonight I’m most thankful for that.

May we all find a way to leave the world a better place when we lay down our heads to sleep than it was when we awoke that morning.

Love and happy planting season to all.

 

 

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You can read more about my sweet friend and her adventures in loving living things here.  Y’all go say hello.  She’s good people.  

Because It Looks Like Y’all Have it All Together

Some days I feel like I have a good grasp on this journey, this life.  It’s not an everyday thing by any means, but there are days when I feel like I’m headed in the right direction, down the right path–in raising my family, educating them, taking care of things around the house, and in figuring out what I’m going to be when I grow up.

And then there are all the other days, where I count myself lucky if the littles are fed, the math is mostly done, the dog doesn’t have an accident indoors, and the house is still standing.  Even if we have to get creative on clothing choices because the laundry needs doing, I call it a win and move on.

Oh so many days like that.

It seems like everyone else has it all together sometimes, you know?  My Daddy used to say, “You compare, you lose,” and I know he’s right, but sometimes it’s hard not to.  You all look like things are trucking along just fine for you.

And then there’s me and the cacophony of ideas and thoughts and emotions running through my heart, mind, and soul.

So not together.

I picked up a book to read about men who changed the world.  I am interested to see who their examples are, as this is a book for young people.  Since I have been concerned, wanting to be sure I’m sharing good stories and role models with Cooter like I do with our Princess, I did some searching and found this particular book.

As I flipped through for a quick minute today, I came across this quote from Badshah Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Muslim leader who led the world’s largest nonviolent force–100,000 people–for social reform in his country.

From "Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-Six Men Who Changed the World" by Cynthia Chin-Lee  http://www.amazon.com/Akira-Zoltan-Twenty-six-Changed-World/dp/1570915806/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1W3CXFY2R8FTYB8C2KTB

From “Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-Six Men Who Changed the World” by Cynthia Chin-Lee
http://www.amazon.com/Akira-Zoltan-Twenty-six-Changed-World/dp/1570915806/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1W3CXFY2R8FTYB8C2KTB

“No true effort is in vain.  Look at the fields over there.  The grain sown therein has to remain

in the earth for a certain time, then it sprouts, and in due time yields hundreds of its kind.

The same is the case with every effort in a good cause.” 

–Badshah Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1890-1988)

Oh these words.  How they touched me–had my soul doing an about-face.  Picking myself up, dusting my britches off, and saying, Okay, maybe I can do this.

One more reminder that things won’t necessarily happen in my time, according to my “script.”  One more reminder that things won’t always be this way. One more reminder to take a chill pill and be where I am, who I am.  Making true efforts for a good cause.

Tonight I am thankful for the words of others that I write on my heart.  The ones that others say, I don’t suppose I will always know the why of their words, but I do know what they do for me.  I wish I could have words like these and others that touch my being painted all over the walls and mirrors of my house.  Where I could see them and be reminded–keep up the good efforts.  Keep planting.  You may not see the harvest right away, if ever, but it’s there.  So much going on within, even though we can’t see it.  Growing under the ground…..growing strong and one day will yield “hundreds of its kind.”

What a beautiful picture that paints for me.

Y’all, let’s go out and sow some good stuff.  What does that look like?  I’m not sure.  How about we start with smiling at someone who looks like they could use it?  Take the time to text or call or email a friend with a meaningful, truthful message about how they are loved.  Or with a joke that you know they’ll love.  Even greater things will come from it one day–maybe not on our timeline, not when we had planned, but one day greater things will come because of it.  And until then, we just keep making those true efforts in a good cause, even if that means sitting quietly.  And waiting.  *sigh* Did someone ask for patience?

Love and best wishes to all.

With all respect, to the adults in my child’s life

Disclaimer: I have had a headache today, and I really did need a nap.  Alas, it did not happen.  So I apologize for the following.  Maybe. NOTE: Filter broken.

Dear Adults in my child’s life,

Here lately I’ve been thinking on some situations that have left me shaking my head.  As I listen to my teenager tell me what’s happened, and she asks, “Why?” or “How?” I struggle to find an answer to give her about these folks who are grownup and making these choices.

Fo the times you let things get out of hand when you are in charge, let her peers rattle her cage and wait to stop it, thank you.  She now knows where you stand, as do I.  We know better now.

Thank you for saying, “Well she never calls me.”  YOU never call her.  And who is the grownup here?  (Oh, that’s right, it may very well be her. Hmmmm.) The same goes with complaining that she never comes to see you.  Do you come see her?

And to the grownups that see her and then ignore her, but make sure you each see her–yes, there have been awkward moments in your relationship, but sitting and whispering and pointing and NEVER speaking? Yeah, that didn’t make things more awkward at all.

If you promise to do something, I’d suggest you do it.  Or have a phenomenal reason why you didn’t. She’s written folks off for less than that.  Just FYI.

And finally to those who label today’s teenagers the “instant gratification” generation while complaining that the wifi is too slow or that the drive-thru line is too long, ummm, well, you’re on your own.

Here’s the thing, I am tired of people knocking teenagers and complaining about how they are.  I know quite a few, and most of them I think pretty highly of.  I know young adults with integrity and a great sense of humor, who take time to serve and help others; not because their schools require a paper signed saying they’ve “served” so many hours, but because they really, genuinely care.  I know teenagers who choose to spend their time with people who are homeless, with young children in need, who travel on their school breaks to serve folks in another country.  These “kids” don’t need role models.  They ARE role models.

But for those who could use someone to watch, someone to guide them, here’s a thought.  Could we, AS ADULTS, check our behavior and make sure it’s role model worthy?  I’m looking in the mirror as I say this as well.  I need some polishing, quite a bit actually.   I just think we are all a bit hypocritical when we say, “I wish they’d act more adult-like…..I wish he’d grow up…..Why isn’t she being more mature?”  From what I’ve seen up close and personal and in the media, I think that young people may be out of luck.  We’re bickering over who’s right, who’s wrong, what other people should do or say and how they should live.  We tell young people to get things done, and then we spend hours in front of all kinds of foolishness on the computer, our laptops, our smart phones.  (Oh boy, that one hurt, Tara! I say to myself. I know, I know) We are so busy pointing fingers or staring at screens that we forget who is watching us.

In the past few weeks, I have seen more behavior from ADULTS that I don’t want my children emulating.  I don’t want my children to judge others.  I want them to be okay with being the first to forgive and offer grace.  I want them to have their priorities straight.  I want them to continue to grow and learn.  I want them to love all, and do love.  That’s the bottom line–I want them to grow and to love.

The irises brightening our days and our spirits

The irises brightening our days and our spirits

This week our yard has been graced by these beautiful irises.  These are from some bulbs I found on clearance at Wal-Mart at the end of the season a few years back, and I let my little bitty ones plant them.  Pretty much, they dug, and they threw them in some not very deep holes.  The whole thing was, quite honestly, not very intentional.  However, look at them!  Each year, just when I’ve almost forgotten about them, they burst out with the most beautiful blossoms.  And what a sight to behold!

I think that it is important for me to remember that my behavior and attitude are like those bulbs.  I may not be putting an example out there intentionally, but I am planting a bulb.  It may stay in the ground for quite a while, but eventually, that thing’s gonna grow.  And because I want to grow beauty and grace in the world, I’d better be real careful about what I’m dropping into the soil of their souls.  Because whether I intend to plant it or not, if I drop it, eventually it will grow.

Thank you for sticking with me through my headache-induced rant.  Tonight I give thanks for those adults who ARE planting beautiful bulbs of love and grace with my children.  Those who are careful with their words, those who encourage and empower our children to help and to shine brighter.  I am thankful for those who are patient and listen, and who give the most precious gifts of time and respect.  You may not see the beauty come to full fruition any time in the near future, but know that one day, it will, and I thank you for that.