It is Sunday morning and I am sitting in my lanai. I relished a short lie-in this morning after our trip home yesterday afternoon, unpacking and sorting out clothes and getting them washed and put away. It is good to be home in familiar surroundings. We had a great week in Orlando and it was good to be away from the usual routines. But it’s always lovely to come home.
It is a gorgeous day. Another one of those sparkling “Princess Di” days. The sun is shining brilliantly from a clear blue sky and there is a slight breeze sighing through the pine trees out back. Everything is gently moving and I can see all the individual needles on the pine trees fluttering in the breeze and shimmering in the sunlight.
I sit back in my chair and breathe in the soft, warm air. Yes, it’s warm here in sunny Florida at the end of November, although I hear that temperatures are going to dip down later on this week. In the meantime, I am enjoying this “Indian summer” and feel very happy and content. In fact my heart is full joy right now as I look at the beauty that God has placed right here in my back yard.
I notice that the small brown birds, I believe they are sparrows, are back again as they pass through on their way to who-knows-where and they are clustering on the feeders. There’s a flash of red as a colorful cardinal claims his place and the sparrows flutter away until he is done. I can hear the squirrels barking in the trees as they playfully, or maybe not, fuss at each other. Mokka, our cat, sits in the sun, her tail slowly swishing as she thinks her cat-thoughts about the birds.
But even as I am aware of the joy that I feel I am also aware that there is sadness punching and poking at my heart. It feels as though one ventricle is full of joy and the other is full of sadness. My life is blessed in so many ways and I am truly grateful for that. Yet I have a longing for a healed relationship with my sister who I miss so very much, and another longing for a happy, satisfying relationship with my daughter who I also miss very much.
And I am reminded of one of my favorite authors, Kahlil Gibran, who, when asked in his book The Prophet to speak about Joy and Sorrow, responds with these wise and wonderful words of wisdom:
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.”…………..
“Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?”……………
“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”………..
”Together they come [Joy and Sorrow], and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
And so hangs the balance of all life. One moment we are in joy, and the next we are in sorrow. And sometimes we carry them together. And I can only learn to surrender to what is, to accept the gift of my emotions no matter what they are. As a character in the movie Shirley Valentine said, “If I can feel it means I am alive.”
I always enjoy sharing some of my favorite quotations. They are usually words that have helped me through a situation or two. Sometimes they have presented themselves as words of comfort and encouragement, sometimes as words of inspiration. Frequently they have improved my understanding of a particular set of circumstances. More often that not they have been “light bulb” words; words that have given me that “ah-ha” moment.
No matter what the moment may have been, these words have been important enough to me to have caused me to write them down for future reference. I hope you may find some gems of wisdom among the following quotations that will enlighten your heart and your day.
- You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. (Kahlil Gibran)
- Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. (Jesus Christ)
- Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
- Faith is a desperate dive out of the sinking boat of human effort and a prayer that God will be there to pull us out of the water. (Max Lucado)
- Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. (American Indian Proverb)
- As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. (Marian Anderson)
- If you love yourself, you love everybody else as you do yourself. As long as you love another person less than you love yourself, you will not really succeed in loving yourself, but if you love all alike, including yourself, you will love them as one person and that person is both God and man. Thus he is a great and righteous person who, loving himself, loves all others equally. (Meister Eckhart)
- Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Encouragement is awesome. It has the capacity .. to actually change the course of another human being’s day, week, or life. (Charles Swindoll)
- I have found that when I am willing to trust and follow my energy it leads me into relationships with people from whom I have the most to learn……. I don’t need to enter or stay in a relationship that is not good for me, but if I choose to leave I can still acknowledge the gift and the teaching I received. (Shakti Gawain)
- One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. (Goethe)
- Death seems so wrong, dear Lord
Couldn’t You have remedied it?
Have you forgotten, dear child?
There is Easter!! (Ruth Harms Calkin)
- The uncertainties of the present always give way to the enchanted possibilities of the future. (Gelsey Kirkland)
- If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one. (Mother Teresa)
- Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive – it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything. (Lucy Maud Montgomery)
And one final quotation to carry with you through the day, which also links with the posting I did yesterday Self Nurturing- Program Yourself Positive.
- Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. (William James)
Have a wonderful and blessed day!