Supposing It Didn’t

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“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?”

“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.

Piglet was comforted by this.
~A.A. Milne

 

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It is the final week of a very long academic year and tension is running high.

Among those students to whom I provide care,
there are many who dwell deeply in “what if?” mode,
immobilized in their anticipation of impending disaster.

I understand this line of thinking,
particularly in this day and age of
“in the moment” tragedy
played out real-time in the palm of our hand
and we can’t help but watch as it unfolds.

Those who know me well
know I can fret and worry
better than most.
Medical training only makes it worse.
It teaches one to think catastrophically.
That is what I do for a living,
to always be ready for the worse case scenario.

When I rise, sleepless,
to face a day of uncertainty
as we all must do at times~
after careful thought,
I reach for the certainty I am promised
over the uncertainty I can only imagine:

What is my only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own, but belong
—body and soul, in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

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“Supposing it didn’t” — He says to reassure us.

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Coming to the End of Things

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And by and by Christopher Robin came to the end of things,
and he was silent,
and he sat there, looking out over the world,
just wishing it wouldn’t stop.

~A.A. Milne from The House at Pooh Corner

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Yes, long shadows go out
from the bales; and yes, the soul
must part from the body:
what else could it do?

…These things happen … the soul’s bliss
and suffering are bound together
like the grasses …

The last, sweet exhalations
of timothy and vetch
go out with the song of the bird;
the ravaged field
grows wet with dew.
~Jane Kenyon from “Twilight: After Haying”

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Bliss and suffering are bound together like the grasses; we are like the grasses withered and ravaged by time, released reluctant to the wind.

Tears flow today as they must, wetting the stubble left behind,  clinging and sparkling like dew.

We weep in sorrow for those we have lost;
we weep for joy each time we’re able to wake to another day.

For what else can a soul do but weep at parting and weep at welcoming?

These things happen, oh yes, they happen. I just wish it wouldn’t cut us so.

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Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
~Psalm 103: 15

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Snail’s Eye

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…who still has a controlled sense of wonder before the universal mystery,
whether it hides in a snail’s eye
or within the light that impinges on that delicate organ.
~Loren Eiseley

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“James gave the huffle of a snail in danger. And nobody heard him at all.”
~A.A.Milne  “When We Were Very Young”

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A gastropod brave enough
to cross a busy sidewalk
appears in no particular rush~

no hurry toward the grassy expanse
on the other side.
The lawn will still be there
whether an hour from now
or tomorrow.

Its waving little snail eyes
see and smell the future.

To assure it would not be crushed underfoot
I decide to intervene in history
and give it a lift
as Someone did for me
when I felt irrevocably broken.

So today I came,
I saw a snail in danger
and barely heard its huffle.
I didn’t need to hear it cry
to do the right thing.

 

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My Favorite Day

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“‘What day is it?’, asked Winnie the Pooh.
‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet.
‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.”
~A.A. Milne from The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

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Saturday is usually everyone’s favorite day of the week: it’s usually sleep-in day, catch-up day, play-hard day, enjoy-everything-about-it day.

Yup, me too.

A day to meander, gaze off into the horizon, acknowledge one’s blessings and then fall asleep blissful in the food bowl.

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Saturday is the one day of the week I keep unplanned from start to finish with no particular choreography or have-to places to go.

Just a day to be.

I know Pooh and Piglet are right.  Any day is our favorite day simply because it is Today: a new start, a time to celebrate, an undeserved gift of time to be unwrapped the moment our eyes open in the morning.

Today. A time to be.

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A Snail’s Huffle

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…who has a controlled sense of wonder before the universal mystery,
whether it hides in a snail’s eye
or within the light that impinges on that delicate organ.
~Loren Eiseley

 

A gastropod brave enough
to cross a busy sidewalk
appeared in no particular rush,
no hurry toward the grassy expanse
on the other side.

The lawn will still be there
whether an hour from now
or tomorrow.
Its waving little snail eyes
see and smell the universal mystery
of the future.

To assure it will not be crushed underfoot
I decided to intervene in history
and gave it a lift
as Someone did for me.

I came, I saw a snail in danger
and barely heard it huffle.
I didn’t need to hear it~
I only needed to see
to do the right thing.

“James gave the huffle of a snail in danger. And nobody heard him at all.”
~A.A.Milne  “When We Were Very Young”

 

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Let Them Be

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Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them…
~A.A.Milne from Winnie the Pooh (Eeyore)

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What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O Let them be left, wildness and wet:
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins,  Inversnaid 

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A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic   

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I’ve always identified with weeds more than cultivated blooms.  I tend to be fluffy, spread out where I’m not necessarily wanted or needed, and seem to be resilient through drought or flood.  Their persistence helps me let them be.  EPG

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Solace for the Ordinary

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Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.
~John Ruskin

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Weeds are flowers too,
once you get to know them.
~A.A. Milne

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Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
~Luther Burbank
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