Tag Archives: inspirational

17 Seconds

With all the changes that are happening all over the world, I remembered this post.  It seemed appropriate and the memory made me smile.  Originally posted in August 2019.

17 Seconds

 

That’s it, 17 seconds.  Count them, go ahead: 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, 4-1000, 5-1000 ………Done? All of them? Well, now guess what, phfst, snap, whoosh.  Those 17 seconds no longer exist except perhaps in your memory and even that will fade.

Now a length of time measured in seconds doesn’t seem all that noteworthy, at least not to those who have a potential life span well into 90 years.   Mayflies only live for 24 hours so 17 seconds would be important.  And it should be to you and me as well.  Minds can be changed in 17 seconds, wars can be initiated in 17 seconds, a lingering kiss can . . . Well you get the picture.  A lot can happen in 17 seconds.

It takes much less time for a life to pass on, for love to bloom (ok maybe in some cases it’s only lust but it is ‘a blooming!).  We spend so much time organizing, planning and cajoling and yet sometimes it is the unexpected hiccups that are the most memorable.

I once had several guns pointed directly at me.  It seemed to last for a lifetime as visions of my oh so young life flashed brightly across my mind’s eye.  It probably only lasted for a few seconds but OH MY WORD!!!

It was a dark and stormy night . . . Ok, ok, yes, it was dark and cold.  I was on my way to a night class in Anthropology.  Mid-eighties, winter. I was minding my own business, head down, when out of the corner of my eye I see dozens of huge men with drawn guns racing towards me, directly towards me.  Someone screamed “FREEZE” and I froze, solid.  I don’t think I dared to breathe.

Now I am told that memory is a fragile thing, often tempered by television, movies, news articles, even suggestions from other people. Well, that may be true but I am here to tell you my truth.  I wasn’t afraid.  Honestly.  I don’t think I had the time to consciously form a thought.  I was frozen, remember.  The officers (only 3 or 4) raced past me and into the building I was adjacent to.  Fortunately, one of them came back to release me from my frozen state.  I continued on to my class and only later discovered what had happened.  It seemed some unsavoury characters were hiding in plain sight on my University Campus. Pretty smart when you think about it.  The police were smarter.

Many years later I joined a Police Department.  Did that encounter unconsciously point me in that direction?  17 seconds can change your life.

And one thing can be counted on to be absolutely true:  Those 17 seconds will never come again.  So, use them wisely.

Trust

I Trust in the Lord

His word it is good

To pray every day

I know that I should

 

But I am at fault

In the eyes of the church

A silly old sinner

Who continues to search

 

I want to know truth

To believe what is said

Then life interferes

Too many lies am I fed

 

But faith is a given

Sent from above

I just must believe

In the power of love

 

I trust in my Lord

And believe in His word

I pray every day

May my sins be deferred

 

Religion for Seniors

 

Lord I have a problem,

I pray you’ll lend a hand!

It seems I’ve lost my way again.

I don’t know where I stand!

 

I can’t remember where I am,

Or what I need to do.

I am sitting in a church,

As I was drawn to you.

 

I’m afraid I have to say dear Lord,

That book we use each day?

The print is now so very small,

I don’t know what to say.

 

My memory is getting fuzzy,

I forget some things, you know.

Perhaps a little help is needed,

Before it’s time to go.

 

As a child I knelt with glee,

And said your prayers each day.

But now my knees are aching,

For relief is what I pray!

 

I live by your commandments,

I learned when I was young.

I sing your songs of praise,

But it sounds like devil’s tongue!

 

Soon will be my time to rest.

I pray it’s at your feet,

There is one more tiny thing,

Let’s not be quick to meet!

Lovers’ Lane

Adeline sat quietly, enjoying the warm sun on her face. It was one of those rare moments when she could sit on her porch with no interruptions and reminisce quietly.

“Grandma, grandma!”

“Gran!”

“Oh wait me!  Not fair!  Grandma I coming!”

The silence of a few moments ago was shattered by the arrival of three tow haired children of varying ages and variable vocal capabilities.  They had several things in common: hair colour, freckles, parents and an innate ability to force the world to focus on them.

Adeline may have been jolted out of her reverie but she looked with fondness on the three grandchildren approaching her at a run.  They arrived windblown and excited.  Once all three had wrapped themselves around their grandmother and kissed her at least a dozen times each, they settle down and with one voice asked one question: “Story Gran?”

The three children were not the only ones out of breath. Adeline smoothed her tousled hair and sat back with a grin.  She knew exactly where this was headed.

“Well now I don’t know if I should tell you a story.  I’m quite sure it would be beneficial to have an in-depth political discussion on what is happening in the world today.”  She looked at the puzzled faces in front of her.

“No Gran we want you to tell us the story of how you met grandpa.”

Adeline looked at the eldest of the three children.  She wondered how she had thought to ask that question.  Elizabeth was intelligent and very sure of herself.  It was an odd trait to have in a child that was only twelve years old.  Her sister Anne and brother Stuart were ten and five respectively.  And both of them were looking on eagerly waiting for their grandmother’s reply.

“Well now I don’t know . . .” started Adeline.

“Daddy said it was one for the books.  Did he mean you should write about it and let everybody know?”

Adeline eyes opened wide, “I’m sure that’s not what he meant!”  She whispered to herself.  To the children she spoke clearly, deftly ignoring the question.

“Well, I’ll tell you a story about your grandfather and me.  It’s about how we met, umm, but you know I can’t tell you everything.  Your grandfather and I have to keep some secrets from you three.  At least until you’re older.”  Adeline was smiling; she hoped the children didn’t notice that she was also blushing.

” Well, it all started when your grandfather arrested me.”  Before she could utter another word, the children erupted.

“Oh, Gran you were a criminal!”

“I’ll bet you robbed a bank!  Mama says they’re the criminals!”

“Grandma were you a prostate…, a prosta, a Protestant!”

Adeline smiled and calmed the children. She thought it best that she not tell Stuart the word he was looking for was a prostitute.

“Absolutely not!  It wasn’t that kind of arrest. Now if you want me to continue you must be very quiet.”

Three fair heads nodded vigorously.

“Your grandfather was a Ranger. It’s like a policeman.  He worked the local parks and made sure there were no criminals or any criminal activity.  He also made sure that those who came to enjoy the parks were not harassed.  Unfortunately, I was in the park to harass someone.”

It was at this point that Adeline stopped to think.  Should she tell the three rapt faces the complete truth or should she perhaps edit the circumstances to fit her audience’s age group?  Edit, it was the adult thing to do.

“I had recently broken up with my boyfriend.  Actually, I was about to break up with my boyfriend.  You see he was at the park with another girl.  She was supposed to be my best friend but she had stolen my boyfriend.  It was my intent to catch them together and embarrass them.  You see the particular spot they had gone to was known as Lover’s Lane.  It’s where everybody went when they were dating.  It was secluded and quiet.  Aaahhhh, it was a great spot to watch the stars.”

Adeline paused for a moment to remember the circumstances.  She had left out the bit about the can of black paint she had planned to pour on her boyfriend’s car.  That would definitely have been illegal so she really didn’t think it was a good idea to tell the children that part.

“Grandpa Oliver stopped me from making a very terrible mistake.  It was wrong of me to try and get revenge for my hurt feelings.”

“So, is that when he arrested you?”  Elizabeth always got to the point quickly.

“He really didn’t arrest me.  He just threatened to.  He let me tell my story and he let me cry and rant.  He bought me a soda and we had a wonderful evening just talking. We’ve been together ever since.”

Adeline sat back and wondered if she could get away with that being the end of the story.  The children’s reactions were typical for their age and sex: Elizabeth pretended to swoon, Anne made a declaration, “Boys are not to be trusted!” And Stuart was all curled up in a ball with his thumb firmly embedded between his lips.  He made the cutest little sucking noises that for a moment everyone concentrated on.

The moment was shattered when the front door was opened by the one person they had all been thinking about.  His booming voice roused even sleeping Stuart.

“And what are you all doing out here?”  His smile belied his apparently harsh words.

Stuart merely sat up and rubbed his eyes but the two girls attached themselves to their Grandfather’s open arms.

“Oh, Grandpa, you arrested Grandma!  Did you frisk her?”

“Did you throw her in the clink Grandpa?  Does she have an arrest record?”

Oliver looked at Adeline over the top of children’s heads.  He raised an eyebrow.  She quickly shook her head, blushed and looked down.  Oliver nodded his head and heaved a sigh of relief.

“I think it’s time all three of you were in washing your hands for dinner.  Otherwise I’m going to have to arrest you and put you in the shed without your supper!” Oliver smiled as he said the words.  No one believed his threats but all three immediately jumped up and ran into the house.

“You didn’t tell the whole truth did you my love?”

“Oliver there are some things that are no one else’s business.  Besides I think I would like to be arrested tonight. Are you up for it? I could meet you later in the shed?”

The two old friends sat side-by-side holding hands.  Forty-three years of marriage had not dulled their sense of fun and mischief.

 

The end

 

 

 

 

The Purpose of Life

You will notice that I didn’t say ‘Meaning of Life”.   Because, quite frankly, the meaning will be different for everyone. And that meaning will be based on what we have experienced of said life. We all want something different out of life. Some want children, to continue their bloodline. Some want success measured perhaps by money or by accolades. Some just want to be happy, the esoteric state that is, once again, different for everyone.

But the purpose of life it’s much easier. In its simplest terms:  it is to live.  That is the purpose of all life. From the lowest form of mold and bacteria to plants and animals. Even fire can be said to have a life as it appears to strive to continue its existence. But fire doesn’t think or feel or plot. Fire simply is. It isn’t vindictive or cruel or mean. But the results left behind are often described that way.

The only ones who truly are cruel and vindictive are people. We are the ones who search for meaning and yet we often pervert that meaning into something dark and evil.  Fortunately, most people look for the good and try to continue that. But as the saying goes: one bad apple can spoil the whole bushel. (I know, I know, I didn’t get that quite right. But the intent is there.)

When I was thinking about this post, I was wondering about the meaning of life. And then it dawned on me, what about the animals of the world? If life has to have a meaning then what about our pets? Do they have meaning? Ask anyone that shares a life with a pet and the answer is an unqualified yes! That is their meaning to us, what about to them?

I am not an animal psychologist or biologist or any kind of ‘gist that relates to the animal world but I have known many. (Mostly four legged, a few two.) From my perspective their concern is food, evacuation and something I call love. I think love exists in the animal world. Some people are uncomfortable using that word when talking about dogs and cats and elephants. Use whatever synonym you want, but even a casual server can see the affection that exists.

Perhaps we need to take a few lessons from our pets. They don’t care about three years from now. They probably don’t care about the next 20 minutes. They care about the now.  I know, I know, people can’t function that way. We need to be aware of our future and how to get there or to make it conform to our desires. But perhaps we also need to be aware of the now and not lose track. Perhaps now becomes the steppingstone to the future. Do it right today and tomorrow may take care of itself.

Jesus Walked With Us

When Jesus walked the earth

Our dear Lord Make it so

A teacher here is needed

So much we need to know

 

We sing His songs of praise

And deep within the words

Is everything we need to know

Just like the morning birds

 

We can walk the world with Him

Resting gently in this place

All it takes is a little Faith

To reach that state of grace

 

To reach that state of grace

All it takes is a little Faith

Resting gently in this place

We can walk the world with Him

 

Just like the morning birds

Is everything we need to know

And deep within the words

We sing His songs of praise

 

So much we need to know

A teacher here is needed

Our dear Lord made it so

When Jesus walked the earth

The Value of Failure

We’ve all done it. Some more than others of course. But it is part of the learning curve. Some successes were only possible because of the failure that preceded it. So why are we so afraid of it?

Nowadays it seems we don’t want to teach our children the value of failure. There’s a lovely story I refer to quite often about an older man taking his grandchild to a skating rink for the first time.  The man holds the young boy’s hands to get him on the ice and then throws his own arms into the air and says “fall down”. Of course, little boy does. The grandfather repeats this a few more times until the boy asks his grandfather ‘why?”. His reply surprised me when I first heard it: “It is to teach you not to be afraid to fall. You’ve already done it.”  Brilliant!

We fear what we do not know.  Our children need to understand that failure is something we all need to experience. If they don’t learn to deal with it when they are young, it can be devastating as an adult. Our lives are full of adversity. Along with failure and disappointment and confusion and…. It is also full of wonder and beauty and joy. There is a balance between the two that can be difficult to comprehend if you’re not exposed to it as a child.  I learned failure when I was young. My parents allowed me to fail, they didn’t shield me from it. But they were always there in the aftermath. That is good parenting.

I see too many young adults now who exhibit feelings of empowerment and entitlement. When someone disagrees with them, they are crushed and unable to handle it. They have lived charmed lives.  We all want what is best for our progeny. We want them to know only joy and success. But a false sense of security can before more damaging than the truth.

We inoculate our children against diseases that we know could be so incredibly harmful if they contracted them as adults. So why aren’t we doing the same thing with life. And how exactly do you measure success? Is it by how much money you have earned or awards you have received, or perhaps by the number people you have touched positively? I know what I use.

 

Stimulating the Senses

Cologne on the neck

Of the man you adore

Perfume on the woman

You leave wanting more.

 

Rain on the grass

Just after a storm

Brilliant new flowers

The air silky and warm.

 

The breath on your cheeks

From a baby’s wee cough

A delicate moment

Where nothing is off.

 

The sight of a sunrise

Just kissing the sky

A snow covered lake

The air crisp, cold and dry.

 

The senses were meant

To be stirred and caressed

A stimulating moment

With which you are blessed.