Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Time for Perspective

Hello friends,

Gosh, it's been awhile since I wrote. Much has happened. Illness in the family. College graduations. New jobs. Retirement. I'm older, and not always liking it. I don't like that I'm slowing down, and sometimes it seems like a crawl. My body is doing all sorts of things that disturb me, amaze me, and often makes me laugh.

I want to climb a tree again...without falling out. I want to skip up the street (hey, I was a great skipper) without falling down. I want to walk for hours and never become tired. I want my feet not to hurt. Nor my back. Nor my hands. What must it be like to be pain free? And, oh yes, it would be nice to be 130 pounds again. When was that? Heck, I just might skip up the street, if I could be 150 pounds!!!

These are all small things. Unimportant to anyone but me. But here is my perspective. I'm breathing, very well. My heart is pretty good. I've adjusted pretty well to the medications that make this possible. I want skin that's petal-smooth, eyes that can see the stars, and a body that moves exactly the way it used to.

Again, my perspective...I have lived, laughed, and cried through an amazing history. Where once an automobile drove less than 60 miles per hour, we now have space ships landing on Mars. I have lived through too many wars. I have seen too much pride in our government leaders...folly, parading as wisdom.

I was raised alongside the ocean, and I remember when it was clean and a brilliant blue. I have seen the blue of the ocean meet the Gulf waters in a swirling mist of green and blue. I have seen, with clear vision, a star-filled night explode with tiny points of light. I have lived in a world that did not threaten to choke me with every breath. And I have seen honor, which is a rare value these days.

There are many things to confuse in these times of double-speak. There are many things that assault our eyes, our mind, and our soul. There are things that should be left unsaid, but of course, that is not the fashion of our times.

During the last seven plus years I have seen much to alarm me, shock me, and just plain horrify me. I am not satisfied with a government that I voted to place in office. For a woman who doesn't drink, how did this corruption slip past me?

Yet still, there is much perspective. As I sit at my computer, on the desk before me is a curious kind of rock. At least it is certainly fashioned of rock. It's not very big, but it is beautiful. Understanding that someone loved and used this remarkable instrument, gives me goose-bumps. I am touching an ancient tool, which someone else held in his or her hands, eons ago.

The owner of this tool has been gone long before there was any knowledge of civilization, that we know today. For this stone knife is a part of history long past. It is fashioned in such detail, with impressions for fingers. The tip is dull, after millennia in the earth, yet the place where a bone handle might have been tied is as clear as the palm of my hand. This knife or scraper fits a small hand. It may have been a present for a youth or a spouse or a young girl. It was once held, as I hold it, by someone who treasured it.

Virginia, where I live has a wealth of history hiding within its soil. People lived and loved and dreamed, right here, under my feet, thousands of years ago. I don't know a single gardener or farmer, in my region, who doesn't have dozens of curious tools from long ago. I found this little knife right in my own back yard.

When this life that we live in, with all of its hypocrisy, lies, and disappointments, is long past, I hope that we have left something of worth behind. I hope we leave clean air and startlingly beautiful animals of every fur, feather, and hue. I hope to leave this world a better place for my children.

And when this world becomes weary, with all of this life's cares, I often look at my little knife (it's my knife, now) and I hold it in my hands. I can almost see and feel the one who owned this lovely piece of the past. So I pray...for him or her, for us as a nation, and for each family who holds a loved-one dear.

This little knife was laying in my yard, long before there was a yard. And long before I found it, someone else held it, millennia ago. If this knife survived, perhaps we, as a people, will survive, too.

Father in heaven, let us never forget that You hold us in the palm of Your hand. Let us remember that we are literally carved in the palm of your hand. We are safe, in an unsafe world, simply by placing our trust in you.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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