Iris

Today was a beautiful day.     It was full of sunshine, a magnificent azure blue sky, and picture perfect.

Today is also Father’s Day, a day of honoring Dads.  I’ve been lucky to have  had a wonderful Dad, and a husband who was a truly loving, fun, caring Dad to his children.  And my Dad who was my father-in-law.    I confess that the day is bittersweet.  I miss them.

But then again, I think about the incredible gifts I have; my three wonderful children, my beautiful grandson, and the “new” amazing daughter in-law and son-in-law I have.   And, the fact that I can sit and look at my lovely perennial garden,  and enjoy.

So, in perspective, I’m indeed lucky.

I confess too,  that the news has been troubling me almost to the point of tears. I think of the young children whose parents have crossed the border, and have been taken away from their Moms, their Dads.

It is a helpless feeling, but I am resolved to donate, to contact legislators, to do something.

I was contemplating all this when I noticed an iris had bloomed in my garden, it hadn’t bloomed in years.

Almost simultaneously, an email arrived from a dear friend. She spoke of my husband Glenn, and our dear Dads.  Always, when we need to support each we seem to be in touch.  The email also contained a link to a beautiful writing from Rabbi  Jonathan Sacks who  connected to living life, “and life being a never ending stream, living water”.

The iris blooming today reminded me to live in the moment, to see beauty, and to appreciate all that we hold dear.DSCN3051

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

DSCN3030On Saturday a friend  and I visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Although  The Statue of Liberty is beautiful and historic, I found that Ellis Island was much more interesting and compelling. The exhibits showed the faces of the immigrants some hopeful, some joyous in the expectations that this great, strange new country would bring a new life, where there would be freedom whether it be from persecution, religious freedom or freedom from being hungry and impoverished.  Some faces were cautious, and some frightened.

The exhibits also showed the  posters of our sordid history. Posters and exhibits explained the removal of Native Americans from their sacred lands, warnings for colored people of Boston to be wary of watchmen and police officers who had been employed as kidnappers as slave catchers.  Another photo showed a woman on a porch pointedly indicating   to a sign that stated” Japs Keep Moving This is a white Man’s Neighborhood”.

I thought of my own ancestors, some who came from Ireland, others  from Germany.  How difficult it must have been for them to leave their homeland.  My husband’s grandmother came from Poland. Her family came to escape the pogroms in the attempts to be rid of Jews.

From Ellis Island,  one can see the glorious Statue  of Liberty.  The pedestal has the inscription of the sonnet written by Emma Lazarus. Part of which reads “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to be free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

I heard one young visitor to Ellis Island say to his Mom, “Either you were happy and excited when you came here, or nervous and scared”.   I believe this still holds true today.  I hope that more us can be happy and excited here; rather than nervous and scared.

 

 

 

 

 

Grass

DSCN2978In my neighborhood, grass is important (not the kind you smoke). Plush, green lawns surround me. For over twenty plus years I have steadfastly refused to put chemicals on my lawn- so it doesn’t look quite as plush and artificially green as the  neighbors.  For me, the birds  that are on and near my home not being exposed to chemicals and the quality of my drinking water are far more important.

As the farmer down the road once told me it’s none of anyone’s business if I choose to put chemicals on my lawn, or not.

I do love my flowers, and each year I take pride and  pleasure in tending to my annuals and perennials.  I also reseed my lawn in spots where the grass is bare, to make things look a bit better.  This year, I particularly wanted my lawn  and year to look nice for the company  that were visiting  from overseas. It did look pretty with  colorful pops of colors, and the lushness of the ferns blending in.

Some of the children that were visiting had a great deal of fun pulling on the grass, playing in the dirt,and hiding tiny figures in dirt castles.  I delighted in watching them, as they talked and giggled  with this simple activity.

In my book, I’ll take children playing and pulling on the grass any day over a plush green lawn.

During that simple moment, the birds sounded even sweeter.

 

 

 

 

Lilies of the Valley

I have an “island” in the middle of the lawn now filled with Lilies  of the Valley. I love their fragrant delicate smell; and how their tiny white flowers are like little bells, just taking in the breeze. A sure sign of spring.

They don’t last very long. Each year; I take a few into the house so I can enjoy their smell and beauty.

This year, and every Memorial Day weekend, I think of my Dad and how he didn’t last as long as we would have liked. He died when he was 71.  He fought in World War II, serving in London.He couldn’t talk very much about the War. I knew he loved his country; and would proudly fly the American flag each national holiday.  The moment it  rained he would quickly walk out to the front porch, and bring it back inside. My Mom told the story of how he was about to go overseas  to serve when my brother was only two,  and how she cried all night.  My Dad snored through the night. What else could he do?

My Dad was wonderful in many ways.  I learned from him that taking the time to play with  your children is one of the most important things you can do. He would tease us by saying  “if you’re not good, you won’t be able to care the pumpkin”, or “you won’t be able to fly the kite”. Really, he was the one who wanted to do it.  We always did those magical simple things, and relished those moments.

This Memorial Day, take time to smell the beauty, play with the ones you love and remember those who so valiantly served.

Thanks, Dad.

 

 

Simple moments

Hello- welcome to my blog.  By sharing with you, I hope to give a glimpse of the simple moments; and how those moments can be beautiful.

Today, I sat outside and looked at a beautiful feathery fern.  How simple in its beauty, and yet how complex.  The feathery fronds, the spores on the underside.

Are we like ferns?   Only needing a shady place, soil, and some sunlight?

It seems not.  Do we really need all the things that we think we need? Probably not. But what we do need is each other.  What we really need is to feel that we belong, that we’re accepted,  that we’re loved.

It seems that in today’s world; this is sadly lacking.  We are quick to judge; quick to lose our tempers. And, we look at each other as the “other”.  Even as I write this, I seem to be judging. But, that is not my intent.

My intent is to just be. And perhaps, as the years pass, to pass on some things.  For now,  I want to appreciate my surroundings, to take in the light, and to deal with the shade the  best I can.  Like the verdant fern, I am what I am.  And I hope you can be, too.