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Let’s see, when I was 10, I thought I would grow up and be a ballerina. I watched all the programs on TV, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and others. I just knew I was destined for this role.
I tried valiantly to be this image of perfection. I had some of the requirements, long legs and slim body. But real talent, that was needed for this very disciplined life – now as a Grandmother, a million light years away, it does not even bother me to say, not even close. So, I learned how to reinvent myself at the age of about 12. I had a short dream of being a horse back rider in some Wild West show. I had the horse, that I loved dearly, but once again my talent for this was also lacking. The positive side, I learned what athletes gymnasts, dancers, equestrians are. And a very helpful survival skill was learned; the necessity in life of being creative in reinventing ourselves.
I went on from this dream, to another, to another. Each time quite certain this would be my life’s calling. I look back now and marvel at the things I did not put in my dream pot. Things that now I would tell my Granddaughter are lofty ambitions. Careers in medicine and science to help heal our planet. Engineering to design a planet that we can all live on and leave to the future generations to love and cherish. I am quite sure Skyelar, my grand daughter will be far more grounded in the real world when she sets her goals.
But I did learn that life is about reinventing at almost every step. We can choose our thoughts to take us on to another exploration. We can choose to try to find the positive or we can sink into darkness. Many things are out of our control and yet can destroy us. I remember reading the book, “Why bad things happen to good people.” This was a very low point for me. But fortunately for me, the little girl inside me, who, along with her good friend, was asked to leave the Church Choir, for being too much of a giggler, would surface and say, I just don’t want to hate, or be mad at the world. Like Martin Luther King would say, “hate is too big a burden to bear.” Before Martin Luther King, I was impressed by Anne Frank, expressing she still felt that humanity was still basically good. This in the midst of pure evil.
Each day we hear about some new evil striking our fellow human beings. Each day I say, “let me be an instrument of peace.” I know the vast, vast majority of us are wanting the very same thing. We need to take our reinvention challenges as a chance to look for, and at, worlds we might never have known, and see how we might add our creative genius to make it better.
A Quieter 4th of July
The three day weekend is drawing to a close. Lots of fireworks and barbecues. Last night was the big show for us. The Country Club, which is close, always puts on a big fireworks extravaganza . We go out on the patio, get comfortable chairs, cool drinks and really have front row seats to a fabulous show.
Steve and I felt the mood to be a little more somber this year. It was the first 4th without my Mom. It was just two chairs this year. And none of that delicious food Mom would have insisted we have.
I always put the dogs in the bedroom where they feel safe from all the loud noises. They don’t outright panic, but they are much calmer tucked away in their beds. The cats have never paid a lot of attention to all the happenings. I always make sure they are in the house where they too can feel safe from all the noise. Somehow, this year, we were not paying enough attention because our one cat slipped out the door before the fireworks show. Mew, the cat, was a stray/feral cat that was living in Moms garage when the girls and I moved in. For the most part I can now keep her as an indoor cat, but she does like to race out the door occasionally to have her outside adventure time. She always comes home before bed. That is when we give the two cats a special treat before everyone goes to bed.
We were all set to assume our positions on the patio, when I realized Mew was not in the house. In fact the,first loud booms had begun. Steve being far calmer than me says he is quite sure Mew will find a place to hide during the show and will come home when it is quiet again. The booms just kept get louder and louder and I think of poor Mew, totally overwhelmed, hiding someplace. So instead of sitting in our comfortable chairs, enjoying the show, we were both creeping around the yard calling for Mew. Flashlights, pajamas and bathrobes, Steve and I creep everywhere we can think of. Steve kept telling me,she would be fine, cats are smart, etc. etc.. I said, let’s keep looking. At some point I realized that our sprinkler system was going to start up. We could get drenched and Mew was not going to appear if they were on. We started to head back in the house. No, Mew, and we were a bit wet from the sprinklers. The fireworks show ended. Exhausted, I think it is time for bed. I will leave all the outside lights on so Mew will know how to get in. A few minutes before we turn out the lights in the main house, I hear Mew’s distinctive, I am here and I am not happy, meow! I could see her silhouette through the window. Angry, and a bit wet too she ran in the front door. But, she was home, safe. Today, which is officially the 4th, she has made no attempts to run past us to get outside.
I read an article on Facebook about a town that had invested in “noiseless fireworks”. What a marvelous invention. It was done so as not to cause so much stress on animals and I am sure people too, who might suffer from something like PTSD. I had not paid much attention to how loud the booms were until I was prowling around, flashlight in hand, trying to avoid the sprinklers. Or maybe it was I, knowing Mew was huddled somewhere thinking the world had gone mad.
We all love the 4th of July. Our Independence Day. The recognitions of what a wonderful and blessed country we live in. The barbecues, laughter and fellowship.
My sincere hope is that the quieter fireworks become the rage. We can sit in our lawn chairs, sipping our drinks and watch the light shows. Quieter, yes definitely would be nice.
4th of July weekend
The second holiday of the summer is now happening. When I was little that meant half the summer was officially gone. Bad news for those of us who loved this summer holiday. As my daughters were growing up it seemed the summer holiday kept getting shorter. Less time for families to plan their anticipated vacations.
Now at this phase of life, as a Grandmother, I am back to thinking it would be nice to have nice warm weather as long as possible. Not to avoid the thought of going back to school, but our bones, we feel better! The upside to getting older is we can take the time, enjoy the moments again. The downside, well, let’s just not think about our aches and pains.
The saddest thought of all, it came today, was, as I sat working on my Blog. The tv was on. I leave the volume off. It is mainly on the news – and we all can recite the news forecasts by heart. -More about mans inhumanity to man. In the 1950’s when I was still pretty young, I remember Dad telling me that after the World War II, peace would be established. That now after the horrible Nazi regime had been defeated we could relax and be partners with the rest of the world. Or at least co-exist. Well, those words,lasted only a few moments. The Korean War, Vietnam War etc etc kept happening. At first I thought these wars were just minor blips to that peaceful world Dad was talking about. I am now a Grandmother. My Granddaughter about the age I was when Dad first uttered those words to me. The world today is still battling it out over every imagined difference of opinion. I remember the Peter,Paul and Mary song, “Where have all the flowers gone,” – we know the answer in that song.
I think of all the different countries I reach on my computer. I think I have made contact with all the continents of this earth, most religions, all races. We all share the love of Art and its beauty. I am so amazed at the beauty I see, on a daily basis, from so many different cultures. If I were an international traveler I would I am sure be totally broke by now, living in a house stuffed with beautiful art from all over the planet. Now with Internet shopping we average shoppers can run that same risk. But I am older now, our family home is already stuffed. I am always tempted by what I see, but it is easier to pass things by. I even appreciate when I see all these wonderful items, just as a picture, not where I can buy it. It is like going to the museum of the good things in life and enjoying the scenery.
Watching the news on this 4th of July holiday, I seriously doubt the world that my Dad was hoping for, will be, at least in my lifetime. If only we could all be artists. Or at least see the world as an artist. As gentle and creative souls marveling at all the beauty that both nature,and that we, create. To see each culture for its beauty and its citizens as our friends. With the internet now creating a global community we should all take time to say hello to our fellow travelers from everywhere on this planet. Let us all share in our diversity and beauty. Not with bullets and hatred.
-From one very, very very small voice.