I have been thinking recently about the connection between ritual and responsability. A responsability that can be to the animals, family, ourselves, others, community, etc. I remember that one of my daily rituals in the winter when I was on the farm in Iowa. The beef cattle were in a field a few miles from the main farm. In the cold weather the pond would freeze over during the night and this was where the cattle drank. My responsability/ritual was to drive over there early in the morning and chop a large hole in the ice. Every morning the cattle would see me coming and gather patiently at the edge of the pond. After I succesfully chopped through the ice they seemed to look at me gratefully as they lowered their heads into the water. I rmember fondly how our icy cold breaths would mingle in the winter air. This early morning ritual made getting out of a warm bed meaningful. There was a time when writing in this blog was a daily ritual for me. It forced me to reflect, respond, and articulate the daily ebbs and flows of my life. I have not regularly practiced this "blogging" ritual since our family experienced a series of challenging and life altering occurrences. It is now time to again practice those rituals/responsabilities that connect me to friends and family. I believe that this is a significant part of the grief process and a neccesary step forward.
KEEP MOVING and other tips and truths about aging by Dick
reading this book. It is part memoir and part “how-to” on the art of aging. Van
Dyke’s writing is optimistic, positive, energetic, filled with humor, and
sprinkled with wise reflections on getting older. Van Dyke was 89 years old when
he started writing the book. He is in good health, sharp of mind, and happily
married to a woman over four decades younger than him.
what he shares in answer to the question, “So what do I think really matters.
1} Family and Friends
2} Questions (Always questioning about
the meaning of life. Questions like; What can I do to help? How can you be so sure? Am I
using my time productively? Am I ok with myself? If not, why? Is my heart open?
5) A Sense of Humor
Throughout the book the reader is treated to little examples
of the author’s creativity and humor. An example is this limerick titled “A Separate
There was a young man
Who overdosed on
His body was laid
To rest in the shade
With a separate plot
For his phallus.
The final chapter of the book is a recent conversation
between Van Dyke and his best friend, Carl Reiner, who is three years older
than the author. Very funny. Finally, this poem.
Whenever I have the opportunity to lead worship, I greet the people who are gathered with these words; "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) I begin with these words because (a) I do believe that each day is a gift and (b) that the appropriate response to a gift is joy and (c) I am eager to set a tone of gratitude and joy for the service as it begins. But there is more to it then that. Many days are joyless. Frederick Buechner has written the following which begins to get at the depth of the meaning of these words better then I can.
It is a moment of light surrounded on all sides by darkness and oblivion. In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another just like it and there will never be another just like it again. It is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious it is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.
"This is the day which the Lord has made," says Psalm 118. "Let us rejoice and be glad in it" (v. 24). Or weep and be sad in it for that matter. The point is to see it for what it is, because it will be gone before you know it. If you waste it, it is your life that you're wasting. If you look the other way, it may be the moment you've been waiting for always that you're missing.
All other days have either disappeared into darkness and oblivion or not yet emerged from it. Today is the only day there is.
Saturday began cloudy and cool and gave in to pouring rain in the afternoon. We drove through the grayness to the Pioneer Museum in Dade City. http://pioneerfloridamuseum.org/
Mary wanted to attend the annual quilt festival that was taking place this weekend. Despite the rain we had a nice visit. Mary saw many beautiful quilts while John and I watched a horse pulling competition. It was amazing to see the strength of these animals even in muddy conditions. Later we went into the town and had lunch at The Blackeyed Pea.
Following lunch, Mary visited her favorite quilt store while John listened to music and I napped in the car. In the evening we played cards and listened to Prairie Home Companion as the rain continued.
Super Bowl Sunday dawned with blue skies, cool temps, and a brisk wind. The days activities included church, lunch at Moe's, grocery shopping, Super Bowl, wings, pizza, salsa, chips, cheese, and restoring John's I-Pad that crashed. I also squeezed in a short and cold bike ride.
We experienced a fine Florida afternoon. Bright sunshine and
60 degrees. We met Dewey and Elizabeth at the Rexall Drugstore in Inverness,
Florida. In the back of the store there is a classic 50’s style diner with good
food at reasonable prices. Here are some pics from in the store and restaurant.