Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meandering downstream

Reflections fascinate my toddlers.  Ezra smiles at the "baby" in a water-filled bucket and gingerly touches the water's silken skin, sending ripples in every direction.  Joey laughs at the little boy caught in the sheen of a glass door and asks "how we get him out?"  Mirrors provide endless opportunities for the boys to squeal in delight; and just as fun are prisms.

Adults obsess over reflections in a different way.  Our reflections show myriad examples of what we do not like about ourselves.  Perhaps a silver hair here, a wrinkle there.  Inevitably, we walk away with a sigh still lingering nearby.  Friend, we do not just obsess over our images, either, but also our memories.  Remember when?  If only, just good memories came to light.

Recently, I have reflected on something I knew and yet re-realized.  Growing up, not all of us are in control of our decisions.  So many hands are trying to mold us into something beyond what we are.  Those are the hands of peers, parents, community, nation, etc.  And amidst the din of other voices, our own gets smothered.  Yet, when we finally find our own voice, those hands start pulling and pushing again.  If we are not who others want us to be, then we're labeled and set on a shelf for the sake of someone else's personal convenience.  Do you ever feel like that, friend?  Has there been a time in your life when you just didn't know what to do or say?

Instead of struggling against the current, I would rather meander downstream for a while and savor the blessings God has woven into my life.  Would you enjoy the same?  When the rapids come, I'll be ready to raise my voice - but not in discord or malice.  Instead, I want to season words and actions with truth and hope and compassion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shrill Crickets

Sounds, not words, are my one-year-old's noises of choice.  Ezra can say hot, blueberry, bed, hat, and especially Mommy and Daddy; however, he prefers shriller means of communication.  And that communication is more constant than my three-year-old's repetitive questioning - you know, the infamous why stage.  With such chaos in the household, nature's bounty of beautiful sounds is often overwhelmed - even when we go outside.

And yet, with a cup of hot tea wafting ginger, orange, and mint, I sat in a chair and stared at the purple mountain's gentle slope.  Red and yellow flowers cheered the scene, while droning bees licked nectar.  A breeze rattled metal chimes hanging along the front porch; chickens cackled with gusto to start the day; the crickets' chords were plentiful!  Entranced by the symphony, I cried.  Not just because it had been weeks since I had drenched myself in nature's voice, but also because so many negative memories and unkind comments harassed my mind of late.

Does this happen to you, friend?  Too late, do you find yourself drifting away from your perceived course and floating into a zone of bluebottles, whose pain-inflicting tentacles hide just below the water's sheen? 

As summer gives way to autumn, I find the promise of change thick in the air.  May change scour our hearts in order to bring about a new rhythm in our lives - one that whispers love and joy and hope.  And, may such renewed heart songs help our ears to light upon less shrill chords.