Oh, Those Big Dreams!

Man reflecting

He used to dream of the things he’d do when grown to be a man,
beguiling boyhood days away with many an idle plan.
And now, when grown to be a man, he knows no greater joy
than dreaming of the things he’d do if still he were a boy.

Thomas Numan *

*This is the name I have as author but Google
can’t find this poem or a poet Thomas Numan.

It’s Supposed to Be…

Sunrise Woods

A grandfather took his little grandson to the art gallery one day. With program in hand they wandered through looking at the various displays. They came to one picture and both stood there silent for awhile, trying to make some sense of it.

“Whatever is it?” the little boy finally asked.

Grandpa consulted the program. “It’s supposed to be Sunrise in the Forest,” he said in a doubtful tone.

The boy looked at it for another minute. “Well, why isn’t it then?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve retold this story — at least the basics — from one I read in The Friendship Book of Francis Gay, published yearly in England by D.C. Thompson & Co. There are many interesting little stories & poems in these books and you can often find them at Second-hand shops or used book sales. This year’s edition can be bought in most bookstores at the beginning of the year.

The image above is from Pixabay. I’ve no idea what the artist has called it. 🙂

This Grandma’s Old

Today I did some cleaning up in the spare bedroom, which doubles as my sewing room — and tonight I’m feeling it in my back and one hip. However, I can now see daylight at the end of the tunnel. That is, the spare bed that’s been a “catch-all” for quite awhile has now been unloaded and the closet floor dis-covered and ready to vacuum.

The weatherman is predicting a storm for this weekend, my husband tells me, so this evening I’ll sit awhile and schedule tomorrow’s blog posts, in case the internet goes down overnight. We have satellite internet service and when there’s heavy cloud cover, service is iffy.

Here’s an item I posted a five years back, after a day of babysitting my grandchildren, ages six and two. It’s even more true today than it was then. 🙂

No Tramp-ing for Grandma

The Apostle Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Cor. 13:11

When I was a child I played as a child, too, tumbling, twisting, and hopping around as children will. I remember being almost four and jumping down from the hayloft of Grandpa’s old red barn, led by my adventurous brother Jim, eleven months older than I. We’d run into the barn, climb the ladder in the chicken coop fast as our little legs could take us into the hayloft, and jump about twelve feet down to the ground. Then do it all again.

Now my grandchildren can’t understand why Grandma doesn’t want to jump on the trampoline with them.

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1Cor. 10:23

Jumping on the tramp is an okay thing to do if you’re able, but my body doesn’t flex that much anymore. All things are lawful for me, but I will be sore for days after if I try performing acrobatic feats. All things are lawful for me, but my muscles may sprain or tear.

One day, hurrying home from work, I tore the muscle in my leg just stepping off a curb; I couldn’t put weight on that leg for a month after. It’s no fun having to hobble around on crutches for a month!

Yes, it would be okay for Grandma to jump on the trampoline, but the rebound might go on for days as my arthritic joints protest being treated to preschool activities. As it is, my lower back feels a few twinges after from lifting and carrying a chunky little almost-two-year old.

When I was a child I ran after other children all over the playground. Now that I’m old I can see why Grandpas & Grandmas are happiest tending their gardens. Plants may be a lot of work, but at least you don’t have to catch them first.

I love my grandchildren and count it a blessing that I can spend time with them, but they do remind me that I’m not so agile anymore.

How Did We All Fit?

Memories from childhood summers, when my four siblings came to spend a month with us in our tiny house on Ave F. The upside was, we all fit in the city swimming pool. 🙂

POOR FOLKS

Five children squeezed
in a two-bedroom house;
crammed in every corner
sleeping on the couch,
the floor, three in one bed.
Having too much fun to see
that this was poverty.

Icicles and Snow Days

 

Our weather’s supposed to warm up in the next few days, then turn colder again. which means we’ll get icicles hanging from the eaves wherever roof snow has trickled down.

Icicle are so picturesque, don’t you think? And what child in the colder parts of the world hasn’t tried to eat an icicle? You crunched it with your teeth and loved the sensation of eating frozen glass.

Who among us hasn’t broken off a particularly long one to wave around like a spear, feeling its slippery smoothness? Tossed it like a javelin and listened to the splintering sound as it hit its target.

Perhaps you were wearing wooly mitts when you cracked the metre-long icicle off from the overhanging roof on a sunny day, then had your mittens freeze to the ice. When you finally were able to drop it, you found fuzzy fibers stuck to the icicle and your mitt had a thinner spot.

I suppose there are places in the world where icicles never form, let along get to be six feet long. One can’t imagine them hanging down from trees in the Amazon rain-forest, or in caves along the Nile. What deprivation! On the other hand, we were in Quebec during the infamous “Enfer de glace” when steady rain for almost a week and temps hovering at the freezing point gave “ice” a whole new meaning!

Likewise, what northern climate child hasn’t tried to catch a snowflake on his tongue? Or you open your mouth to the falling flakes and try to catch a dozen, feeling the tickle of cold as they land on your face, powdering your nose and hair.

What child doesn’t love being out in a fresh thick blanket of snow. You swish through the whiteness, plowing it aside with your feet. Or flop down and make a snow angel. When the snow’s falling thick and fast you can look around and feel yourself all alone in this whitening world, leaving your own trail. Your own personal mark in time and place.

Then you glance back and watch the snow filling in your footprints, erasing your passage, making the world white again. You get a fleeting sense of your own life story, your own mortality.

The falling snow wipes out all your missteps and stumbles. Snow renews our hope that such things are possible, that we can have our missteps in this world erased by a merciful heavenly hand.

Snow is created for the senses; it’s created for the bliss of an exploring child. And for a lot of folks it has this figurative sense as well: forgiveness and a life cleansed from impurity.

First posted Nov 19, 2015 as a response to the WordPress Daily Prompt,
where we were to do a post describing some aspect of the sense of touch.

 

Song for My Brother

I wrote this article twenty-some years ago and stashed away a hard copy. Now as I’m digging around in my “filed and forgotten” I came across it.

I Dreamed of My Brother

Early one morning I had a dream. I dreamed that I was walking along a path and I came upon a man sitting and singing a song. I paused to listen to the words and this is what he sang:

Somewhere I have a brother, though his face I’ve never seen,
But in my mind I see him as he walks on hills of green,
and in my heart I love him and I’m going to see him soon…”

As I listened, I realized that this was my song he was singing, one I had written about my little brother who died some hours after birth, when I was three years old. Mom tells me that on the day of his funeral I cried a lot. That I don’t remember, but I do remember the family gathered in the old farmhouse and the little coffin Uncle Tom made sitting on a table, holding the newborn.

Then in my dream I turned around and looked at the horizon. Far off in the distance I could see those hills of green and I could see him walking there. But he was too far away; I couldn’t see his face. I woke up with the melody of that son still ringing in my ears.

Many times over the years I have thought of my little brother. At the time of this dream he was the only one of our family who’d gone on and was waiting for me in Heaven. At times when the going gets rough in this old world below, my thoughts often turn to him waiting up there. I don’t want to disappoint them by losing out. I don’t want him to be the only one of us who made it to heaven.

Years have passed since I had that dream. My niece. Barb, and others in the family have joined him up on those hills of green. Now I often think of those waiting and pray that I can join that family circle on those green hills.

“Out on the hills of that wonderful country,
happy contented and free
loved ones are waiting and watching our coming.
Heaven holds all to me.”

As I went about my work the next morning my mind was still on the words of that song. I decided to adapt it with more of a thought for today. Here’s my “earthly” version:

Somewhere I Have a Brother

Somewhere I have a brother though his face I have not seen
but in my mind I see him as he walks through fields of green
and in my heart I pray for him as I go along my way,
that we can both be faithful so I’ll meet him some glad day.

Somewhere I have a brother though his face I’ve never seen,
for he lives quite far from me with an ocean in between;
and in my heart I love him, for the Father’s love we share,
and I’m sure he’s also praying for his brothers everywhere.

Somewhere I have a brother and I almost see his face,
for just like me he’s part of this global human race;
just like me he cries when hurt and laughs when life is fun
and just like me he’s tired when his working day is done.

Somewhere I have a brother and his hopes are just like mine:
to have a home in Heaven when we reach the end of time;
to be among the faithful when the Saviour’s face we see. (Judgment throne we see)
Somewhere I have a brother and I think he’s just like me.