SuperDad and I took a drive on Thursday to scout out some new camping spots along a river. This section of a national forest has free dispersed sites although not many of them are good for trailers, so it is smart to check them out first before attempting to camp there. This was supposed to happen while we were camped in an actual NFS campground within an hour of our scouting expedition, but heavy rains last night coupled with several days of bad weather in the forecast caused us to rethink the camping part of this trip. Luckily, there were photo ops present:
After such a lovely day, it had darned well better be miserable weather or we’ll regret canceling our camping plans!
I’m trying hard to see beauty in the world today, but my heart is heavy and my mind finds it all rather futile. Fall is my favorite season, yet so far all I see is death and destruction… and the stubborn will of some to keep going despite the odds, to find beauty, to bloom where they are planted and to do so in adverse conditions.
Keep championing the cause for the downtrodden. Give hope to those who have no hope. The one who receives your encouragement might be struggling more than you know.
Even Eyeore and Puddleglum need a pep talk now and then.
The groundhog saw his shadow today. Frankly, I didn’t need Punxsutawney Phil to tell me anything — the flamingos have been doing a pretty good job of letting us know what’s up around here, and it isn’t the temperature!
The Scout had his MRI last week and we’re still waiting for the results. (SuperDad has put a call in to the doctor.) Honestly, I’ll be surprised if it tells us anything at all. I have to keep reminding myself that he had a really horrid fall and it’s going to take more time to recover. It was encouraging last week to hear his teachers tell of seeing “more of him” lately, that more often now when he is in class he is managing to have that light on behind his eyes instead of a glazed-over look.
After a weekend of low stress and winter camping — where he felt relatively good and hardly needed extra rest time at all — he figured out that the anxiety over trying to accomplish all of his schoolwork is stressing his system. So on Monday when he went to school, The Scout met with his guidance counselor (the same one who helped us get the 504 Accommodation Plan set in place) and requested that he be allowed to drop two of his classes — Spanish 2 and Calculus. Bless her, she worked to make that happen. He has been able to attend school every day this week because he has some built-in “down time” where he can catch up on assignments or take a break in a quiet alcove or even take a nap in the nurse’s office.
Having my teenager engage in conversation with us is a blessing that I cannot take for granted. When the pain in his head (which he describes as “a hot iron pressing against my skull”) subsides enough to let him be his normal cheerful self, with a sense of humor and light in his eyes, I know how lucky we are.
For many reasons, 2016 is a year that can’t end soon enough. Not only was a misogynistic, racist serial liar (just to name a few of his well-documented traits) elected as the next President of the United States, but the world lost some amazing artists as well.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty around us when so much bad stuff is in the news.
But I see the light of hope shining in the efforts of so many people.
The darkness cannot overcome the light.
And even in the unpleasantness, there are moments of beauty to be enjoyed. We only need to be watching for the opportunities that surely await us.
In church this morning, we sang an Advent song about light and pain and confusion in the world.
Reading in bed this afternoon, snuggled under layers of sheet and cotton blanket and comforter, my brain registered a sudden downpour of rain quickly followed by strong gusts of wind. The rain sounds grew harsher, sharper — turning to sleet. Then the world quiets once again and I return to my book while snow falls softly beyond my window.
Dale Chihuly’s incredible artwork: old wooden fishing boat filled with blown glass
Looking at these images, I am prompted to wonder what I am carrying about inside of myself. What do others see? Am I carrying beauty or ugliness? Anger or forgiveness? Harm or helpfulness?
And I wonder why we worry so much about what our boat looks like instead of being concerned about the quality of the things we carry.
Today I am reading the sixth chapter of Luke (New Testament). There are a lot of good things there to share, including the Beatitudes and the example of removing a plank from your (my) own eye before trying to remove a speck from someone else’s eye.
On judging others:
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-38