“Sing a Song of Six Spence”

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It was “pitch dark” when I got up this morning.  The house was chilly, but not nearly as cold as Saturday morning.  I was up early enough to get a lot of reading done and drink coffee as if I were a “lady of leisure”.  I went out and the morning air was so fresh, I could have “drank that too.”  I wanted to just stand there and breath it in deeply.  I really love the morning time, when so many things seem possible.  It is my favorite time to write.  I do not like too much conversation, right off.  Instead, I like to collect my thoughts and imagine for a while.  My late husband would wake and want to discuss things like “car insurance”, within minutes.  He dropped that habit, early in the game, as I was most uncooperative.

There was good news at the rabbit patch today.  I came home to a functioning stove with two working ovens.  I got a good deal as I traded  enough scrap metal, to off set the cost dramatically.  I wanted the scrap metal gone, so as to tidy up  and so I was pleased all the way around.  I am going to make that gingerbread, not long after supper.  

I am especially busy at school these days.  The classes are preparing for the holiday concert on December first.  Each class will present an international song in the native tongue of the country, studied.  One class is playing hand bells, some are playing glockenspiel and then there are the violinists, which are close to two hundred, in number.  The children are a pleasant and loving lot.  Today in the midst of a very busy time, a little boy said he had a gift for me.  He pulled a smooth, bluish rock from his pocket and presented it shyly.  How many rocks have I been given, in my life-from my own children to the many students.  I have come to love rocks.  After I expressed my appreciation, the child said he had another surprise-and he pulled out a sixpence!  It was a lovely little coin and he assured me it was ok with his mom, for me to keep it.  I told him we would put in my “treasures” chest, just in case, he needed it back.  I tucked it among seashells. a paper airplane, colorful bits of string and other rocks.  I thought of my friend, Cobbs  from the UK and made a wish for her as the six pence nestled among some autumn leaves.   What a sweet parcel I saw as I peered into the box of “treasures”-oh, we really ought to strive to “become as children”.   . . to give with such freedom, things they find lovely and want to share.

My son, Tres has a dog that gives a gift of a pine cone, or a stick whenever he sees you.  At the first sight, of a loved one, he takes off and returns with some trinket.  Cash, my own dog,  has seen this and follows suit, as well now.  Giving, is a beautiful habit, and what an appropriate time for me to be reminded of that.

By the time the gingerbread was ready, I was deep in reading some works by Thoreau.  I read another of his quotes, that I have taken  to heart.  I like Thoreau.  He makes me think- and reflect.  He also causes me to search my heart  for impurities, which I vow to cast out.  I am also reading the “Ladies of Covington”,  which does not make me think or entertain “lofty notions”.  Instead, it is more like a friendly visit with old friends, unfolding in the chapters.  Ovens stop working at their house and flowers bloom, too-just like at the rabbit patch.

A heavy frost fell at last.  It is about a month late, in comparison to former years.  How the tender shoots of winter wheat thrive in such conditions, are beyond me-but they do.  The earliest morning light on a frost covered field, creates quite a spectacle and when I saw it this morning, I thought how even the day begins with a gift.

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”  ~Thoreau

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23 thoughts on ““Sing a Song of Six Spence”

  1. Your thoughts are my thoughts.
    The other day while reading a newsletter from ACT( Apologetics Coordination Team) there was a quote from Dr. Griffith-Thomas.( I thought of you and your early service )..”.If our circumstance allwo it,,and , like Issac, we can go “into the field” for our meditaition , there will be an added delight,as in the quite of the gathering shadows, broken only by the rustling of trees, or the evensong of the birds,we stand face to face with God, and allow His Word to have ” free course” in us and “be glorifed”. from the book….Grace and Power by Dr. Griffith-Thomas

    I hope you enjoy it because it took me forever to type this. LOL

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  2. I like to write in the morning, too, but that doesn’t happen often. Recently I longed to sit and write, but there were people here and chores calling my name. During the day, I snatched moments to think of how I would write a post. I was amazed that everything fell into place on the screen, almost effortlessly. What a reward for putting people first!

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  3. Mornings when my mind is fresh from a good night’s rest finds me many times writing or answering the many comments that seemingly are always waiting for me. I cherish the quiet which in turn gives me time to reflect. I’m right now weeding my Inner Garden as I insist on seeing truth and pulling weeds. And until I see truth I don’t act within that one aspect of my life. Our one true joy comes from being as a child. Thank you, Michele, for your calming words. What a beautiful way for me to begin my day. Bless you! ☺️

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  4. I still remember painting driveway gravel, and then giving the rocks to my mother. She always accepted them with great seriousness, which helped to implant the urge toward giving even more deeply. It occurs to me that a gift doesn’t truly become a gift until it is received. To refuse a gift may do greater harm to the giver than to the refuser.

    So: we go on, accepting frost and new stoves and six pence coins, and mornings!

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    1. oh this makes me smile! People are painting rocks in Elizabeth city, with all sorts of inspirational messages and placing them for people to find, and then pass along. It is a sweet practice. I have come to love rocks. Thank you so much for a delightful comment.

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  5. What a lovely post!!! I love the gift giving by the little boy, and even the dogs! I can picture them in my mind’s eye, running so happily, tails wagging, such joy! The joy of giving! and the inspiration from Thoreau’s writings which I also love. Thank you for leaving me with a smile on my face 🙂
    Love, Amira

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  6. Oh Michele,, I had to grin about your husband wanting to discuss car insurance first thing off in the morning. I also loved that you got rid of scrap metal to put towards the cost of your stove. That is exactly what we do. When we needed a new window in our living room we loaded up some scrap metal.
    Your story of your six pence did my heart good. YES we do need to be more like children. They are generous and still see life so full of promise.
    Have a blessed weekend Michele!

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  7. Dearest, most wonderful Rabbit in the whole world…. whom I love dearly.
    This post was such a peace filled, relaxing, wind me down kind of post. One which made me feel like I was slowly being tipped back in one of those really comfy chairs which you knew you never wanted to get out of (till you found out the price!) lol.

    The giving of a silver sixpence has (in the United Kingdom) been a long held tradition for a new born or a Christening gift. As one of the Magi gifts was gold, it had become a custom to tie the giving of silver to the gift of gold in the story from the bible. Many of the older generation will still cross the babies palm, on first meeting the child, with a silver coin. They used to press a sixpence into the babies hand and curl it’s little fingers around it. This was in the hope of the child being blessed with enough money for whatever it was they needed for the rest of their life.

    A silver sixpence has always been a gift given to a bride, to tuck into her wedding shoe, before she went down the aisle. The giver of the silver coin would recite to the bride as the coin was given: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence for her shoe”. Sixpences eventually stopped being made of silver and so the using of the sixpence began to fall into history. However … I have a small stash of silver sixpences which I can call on at the right moment in order to help this tradition continue.

    If anyone reading has a silver sixpence, you should check the date of the sixpence on the internet to make sure that you know the value of your sixpence, so that you are aware of exactly what you have. It might be worth no more than a couple of pounds – but the giving of the coin will be the thing which is worth more than a Kings Ransom.

    Bless you Rabbit for thinking of me when you placed your coin with all the other treasures you hold dear to your heart. It choked me and by the time I’d come to the end of your beautiful post, my eyes were filled with tears.

    You did it again Rabbit. You picked me up and carried me along with you so that I was there, experiencing everything you talked to me of. It’s a wonderful gift you have.

    I’ve been thinking about you these last few days and wondering if I would be allowed to make and send you a Christmas Card? It’s ok to say no … and I will fully understand, because I know that the internet is an odd place. If you declined, please don’t think that I would be offended or not love you even a tad less than I do right now. That would never happen.

    Just a yes or no will be fine. Don’t fret over it for I couldn’t stand that I’d caused you a moment of ‘fret’.
    Sending love and squidges ~ Cobs. xxx

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    1. My dear Cobs, I am so very tardy in replying to one of the most beautiful comments, I have ever had-I do did not know much about a sixpence, but something felt like it was a special moment-I thought of you immediately. I do hope all is well with you. You are so dear to me. A Christmas card from you would be a treasure for you. Do you have an email? love Michele

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  8. I love hearing what you reading. I’m VERY slowly reading Walden Pond and I agree he has some gems worth pondering. Wow! That sounds busy and wonderful with all your little students. Oh boy, do I know how precious those simple, yet priceless treasures are from children. I need to keep remembering that and look at each with wonder. Happy early Thanksgiving!

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    1. I am reading Thoreau-am in love with his thoughts. I have several of his qotes painted on my barn! I read him heavily years ago but loving it again too. I just love that children find something beautiful and then the first thing they do is share it! Thank you dear one!

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