Tag Archives: respect

Forty-Third Ring

Most of my elders all contributed to instilling in me a healthy respect for trees. I remember with a degree of shame now how Roan and I rolled our eyes (behind her back, of course) as Mother wailed over taking down the dead birch tree outside her bedroom window.

So much more so, I deeply appreciate this, great piece from Stuart Perkins: https://wp.me/p3EzSK-l0

Forty-Third Ring

Halfway through the tedious count my eyes began to cross. I put a finger on one of the wider rings to mark my place.

“Ninety-seven… ninety-eight… ninety-nine.“ I said to myself as I finished counting. “Wow…”

Ninety-nine clear rings. Taking in to account questionable layers near the bark and several areas made uncertain by chainsaw damage, this oak was easily a hundred years old. But for last week’s ice storm it would still be living. Fallen across the park trail, the city had cut the hefty trunk into several pieces to remove the obstruction.

One hundred years.

That would mean a tiny acorn sprouted and began to form its first ring around the time Woodrow Wilson signed the Treaty of Versailles. Perhaps it emerged just as the Grand Canyon became a national park. Or maybe it struggled towards the light as Congress guaranteed voting rights to all women.

A year passed, a ring formed. Repeat. No matter what… years and rings. Years and rings upon years and rings and Amelia Earhart was flying solo across the Atlantic, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president, and wind whipped across the growing tree just as it did the flag that flew over the Winter Olympics in 1932.

The same year my father was born.

Passage of more time, formation of more rings. Growth was never deterred. Through the horror of the Boston Marathon bombing or NASA’s breathtaking photos of Saturn, a ring was forming. Even as the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela came to an end, yet another ring formed, in 2013.

The same year my father died.

From the time it gripped earth as a sprouting acorn until the day heavy ice brought it down, the tree not only survived; it grew. Regardless. This majestic beast existed during years of peace and years of war. From its first to its last, so much happened between the rings.

As a sapling, it was already on its way to grandeur before my father was born and it continued to grow after he was gone. One ring the year of his birth, another the year of his death. All he ever did, and was, happened between those rings.

Touching the center of the cross-section of trunk, I dragged my finger towards the outer edge, moving slowly over each of those circular markers of time. I stopped for a second on the forty-third ring. If my calculations were correct, this one was the year I was born, 1962.

I’m unable to articulate what I felt at that moment. There I sat, straddling the trunk of a fallen tree, deep in the throes of profound thought due to the sight of a jagged circle inside a tree? I pressed my finger tight against that forty-third ring.

It was beautiful, I thought, as I noticed a young sapling growing nearby.

“It’s making rings.”  I said out loud. I glanced back down at the one beneath my finger.

My first.

Somewhere in the sapling will be another.

My last.

But what am I going to do between the rings?

Stuart M. Perkins

 

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The Queen is Dead .

Aretha Franklin

R E S P E C T and love forever for an amazing woman, and a life well lived.

A too quick overview:

In my youth Aretha rocked me into self-awareness (Ya gotta love that opening lick):

I can’t lie, my all time favorite:

“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Matthew 25:21 (NLT)

Feature Image courtesy Pinterest

Audio/visual clips courtesy YouTube

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Stealing Their Humanity With Our Kindness

I adore and serve Jesus the same as this adorable, bright Rebecca Frech and I still love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers <3. Check her out:

We were cruising through the grocery store when I heard Ella say to herself, “Ugh. I hate that.” I looked around and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, so I asked, ” What do you hate?” “When moms tell…

Source: Stealing Their Humanity With Our Kindness

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Shades

hands

Now that the mainstream media hype is waning somewhat:

News flash: I’m about as white (a shade, absence of color) as can be and my hair is red-gone-silver.

I don’t appear black, but often think I know how it feels. I don’t. I can only imagine. Still, I too grieve and feel resentful, angry for my friends that endure discrimination and insufferable prejudice sometimes solely because they aren’t “white.” Sure, that seems easy for me to say – so I say it often.

I pale (forgive the pun) in comparison to my friends with their dark shades, rich, deep skin and hair color. It’s okay, they tease me and I tease them – it’s all about the love. The skin cancers are the result of this girl with no self-worth burning herself in the sun for years, actually trying to look more like runway models I admired. Go ahead, yuk it up. I do – I’m in remission. Back when Twiggy and Katiti Kironde were “America’s Top Models,” I had distinctive curves – definitely not stylish. There wasn’t enough gauze and duct tape to fix that, people. We all have our self-image issues.

Much of my appearance comes from the gene pool I swam from, but that same family also raised me to honor and respect all life. My skin, but for my newer scars, brown spots and freckles, is pale. I never suffered from the on-going subjection to stigmas many of my friends do CONSTANTLY. Let’s try to forget the times we’ve been unappreciated for calling out prejudice; like asking why the person I shop with every week, the same store in our small town had to show I.D. – I was carded only once.

As an adult (rumor has it) I realize my skin is not black. My American life is easier, less fearsome than others basically because of my looks – and then that mouth (another subject entirely).

Y’all gotta see, black (a shade actually) is the presence of all color. Regardless of age, race, creed, color, country of origin or political views (which incidentally are as changeable as the wind – anyone else ever pay attention to politicians during election campaigns and then after they take office?), in that sense we are all black, brown, olive, red, yellow, white and albino.

kids sand

My point: We must not only stand in solidarity against this cleverly veiled evil, we must learn to move forward together. Until all lives actually do matter everywhere, in every heart,

Black Lives Matter

“My brothers and sisters, I know you’ve heard this before, but stop playing favorites! Do not try to blend the genuine faith of our glorious Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, with your silly pretentiousness.” James 2:1 (The Voice)

Still images courtesy of ABSFreePic

 

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Inertia

This might seem a bit off the wall, but go along with me here.

I don’t typically watch daytime television (but I listen to the news on the radio). This week I recalled recuperating from an injury a while back when I discovered Rosanne reruns – all afternoon every day.

That was not only a physically painful time, but as is typical, my sister Roan and I were in a turmoil together.

Roseanne-Jackie-roseanne-7192371-2560-1659

Watching Roseanne helped us laugh at our brand of crazy. We roared over Jackie and Roseanne’s interactions. We relate to that family.

Unlike Leave it to Beaver. Although we had our Eddie Haskells, my family was so not like the Cleavers. But Erin’s was.

leave-it-to-beaver-2-1000x600

So here we are, more decades later than I want to count, Erin comes home from working on Keira’s property – where her two brothers live as caregivers – steam rising from her collar. She was upset about her brothers’ input and critique about her work. Her takeaway statement for me;

“The whole time I was sweating in the yard, they were checking gravity, playing Wii in the garage!”

I confess, I’m a little ashamed at the level of comfort I got from the familiar scenario. But instantly I recalled the Rosanne episode where very drunk Jackie falls on her apartment floor. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing. Once aright Jackie said,

“Whoa, there’s gravity all over here!”

I also remembered Roan leaping over the back of the sofa and landing inelegantly between the couch and the coffee table. No help at all. Back then I was initially startled, then relieved the old girl wasn’t hurt, but then we laughed together saying,

“Forget gravity, we got inertia goin’ on here!”

Still biting my lip in the present I scanned my memories for something awful so I wouldn’t inappropriately laugh out loud at Erin.

I’m very familiar with sibling rivalry at its best – and sometimes worst. From my perspective I get it; Life is scary fleeting. As Keira, who had always appeared timeless, seems to be visibly aging right before our eyes, they’re all freaked out. The guys can’t understand the girls and aim their freak at them – and vice versa.

I also get how pointing out one other’s short-comings and mistakes comes easy. Searching beyond them can be tricky when we push love and respect to the back of the shelf.

There’s nothing funny about this past week. From my twisted family, in my mind today comparing the family of man and the horrors in Baton Rouge, Saint Paul, and now Dallas to Erin’s family is not that far a stretch. We’re all hurting, not sure what’s actually what, except that people died. Their lives are over.

Without a huge shove of love, this fearsome inertia will tear our family apart.

It’s all about making good choices. My choice going into the weekend is peace – love – family.

 

“Where do you think your fighting and endless conflict come from? Don’t you think that they originate in the constant pursuit of gratification that rages inside each of you like an uncontrolled militia?” James 4:1 (The Voice)

 

Free Rosanne image courtesy, QUOTESGRAM
Free Leave it to Beaver image courtesy Fame Focus

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Multilingual

crowd

A big part of my life is a fondness for languages. Fellow bloggers around the world employing Spanish and French phrases captivate me. I like to comment likewise, however I noticed lately how often I check and cross-check translations.

Entering high school I wanted to become a translator, work for humanity to promote world peace. With my family’s church upbringing, I had a decent grasp of Latin by then, so I methodically set out to conquer the Romance languages. I remember learning quickly with remarkable retention and I just knew everything would simply fall into place.

Come enrollment I elected advanced Spanish, French 101 and German 101 classes. All. At. Once. I thought it would be a cakewalk. My cake however turned to mush in the first quarter.

I put my formal education on hold and became fluent in toddler and preschooler instead. Over the years as we moved from neighborhood to neighborhood, region to region, I liked to try out what I remembered from school, but my Spanish and French were likely more entertaining than understandable – my neighbors quickly chose to begin most of our conversations in English.

Fast forward a few years, at a highway rest stop I struck up a conversation in Spanish with another traveler. Isn’t it funny how candor comes easily with a familiar stranger? I confessed being a little apprehensive about returning to the City after living in the country for several years. She responded, “Chica, simplemente ser uno mismo y todo estará bien!” (You’ll be fine, You just do you Boo-Boo).

And she was right.

I’ve forgotten far more about languages than I’ll ever learn again. I’m humbled to have accepted being multilingual slid down my priority list. Still, everywhere I go people clearly understand kindness, humility and respect.

I still believe communication is the cornerstone to peace. As is kindness and good manners. I also believe while it should not be mandated, people do themselves a disservice not learning the languages of at least their bordering countries – preferably when they are quite young. And I’ve experienced, as with much of life, if we don’t hone our skills, we get dull.

Today I can greet in about four languages, but without my backup devices I initiate conversation in English. I won’t be applying anywhere as a translator any time soon but I’ll never stop working toward world peace.

 

“… be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

 

Image courtesy ABSFreePic

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