“Love One Another”

I spent a delightful weekend in Elizabeth City. The weather was as lovely, as I have ever seen.  It is true, that I can be quite fickle about seasons, but these  days, I declare that autumn is my favorite.  The hateful southern humidity vanishes and the brightest days of the year are here.  Evenings are chilly and so are mornings.  A light soft blanket will do just fine.   . . .and supper can be  bit heartier, than in  months like July. 
The little grand daughters and I took several walks by the laughing river, during my visit.  The constant breeze seemed to tickle the  shining water.  Lyla walks now, beside a fancy little stroller for Brynn.  One day, we walked over a mile.  It was too lovely a day not to do so.  Lyla never complained, but she did say, when her home was in sight, “I am going to take my shoes off, as soon as we get in.” -and she did.   
Another day, when we walked, the river was a deep purple.  What a pretty sight that was!  The sky was a royal blue and here and there were  stark white, cotton clouds.  Some of the dogwoods have started to turn crimson and their berries are  already a bright red.  We watched a small family of birds have a late breakfast of them.  The birds chattered cheerfully and caused quite a commotion as they feasted on the generous bounty of October.

I tucked these things in my heart and told Lyla to do the same.  I have had this practice, for decades.  My idea is that if you fill your heart with gladness and beauty, there won’t be as much room for undesirable notions .  Besides, it can’t do a bit of harm.  
With such turbulent times, I have slipped back into the habit of keeping up, somewhat with the news.  Of course, now one must sift through the many falsehoods, to find a single strand of truth.  That is tiring.  What truth, I do find -and I use that word loosely – is not pleasant.  Everyone is full of  harsh expression and  folks are sorted  into categories as if we were objects. I fear hearts have hardened.  There are systems for everything “under the sun”, yet to me we are less civilized now, than ever.   
Maybe, I have gotten old and grumpy.  I will risk that and say, that a lot of things seem to “have taken a turn for the worse”.   I agree with Solomon –for I too am dismayed with all the folly, but I am more determined than ever to live a meaningful life. . . so I have thought a lot lately about that. 
I can not cure this virus, nor feed all the hungry people in this world.  I can not clean up the planet, or make it a safe “playground” for its’ children. . oh, I  do have quite a  lofty “wish list”.  . .but sometimes, it seems that what I am mostly doing is working to eat and keep the electricity bill paid!  How shallow, I think.   Lacking worldly power and influence, I have only very ordinary earthly means at my disposal. . . but I do not lack will and perseverance.  I do not lack the capacity to love, either. 
In light of all this “vexation”, I drew the conclusion that the contents of a  meaningful life varies greatly, depending on whom you ask.  For me,  I will keep strolling along the banks of rivers and meandering through fields and woods.  I will stand in moonshine and plant flowers.  I will feed people as best I can and teach my grand children poetry.    I will fill their hearts and souls with beauty and gratitude.  I will try not to be wasteful and I will value the lives of strangers and sparrows, too.  I will dwell on these things, for that is what I can do. . . but above all I will love .  I do not suppose, my “meaningful ” life will change the world, but it may have its’moments. For all I know, that may be enough.  After all, there have been many small moments, in my own life, that made a difference.   . .and I can not dismiss the significance of my elders.  Not a one of them could claim fame or fortunes, according to this world . . yet they left us all better off . 
My paternal grandmother never had a drivers’ license.  She did not hold a fancy job nor ever have fancy money, yet often we all talk about the grand legacy, she left us.  Grandmama  loved us with all her heart, and never made a secret of it.  The way she loved impacted her children which impacted her grandchildren and all the children thereafter, which include my own grandchildren. Grandmama served God and she made no secret of that either.  Grandmama ‘wore her sermons in her shoes” -and if she ever sinned, well, it was long before any of us came along.  No one ever had a bad thing to say about her, and that ought to tell you something.   Grandmama made a difference with her life. . .a mighty difference.  So, I take heart in that and decide, to just watch the weather.

The diary of this country woman certainly  is short on glamour and fanfare -but it is my own story, told in truth. . . and that ought to count for something.  Maybe, if we all just try  to seek whatever is pure and holy and good . . . . and love one another . . .maybe  that is meaningful.   . . maybe that is good enough.

 

 

 

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24 thoughts on ““Love One Another”

  1. You have inspired many of us readers to cherish the lovely moments God gives us, storing them up for bleak times. You answered loss and disappointment with love and faith. You are a beacon in the darkness. I want to live my life like yours, bringing peace and joy to everyone I come in contact with. None of us can shift the tilt of the earth, but we can love deeply and speak the truth in love. God blesses those who love Him, and He can magnify our lives to make a real difference. Thank you for this loveliest of posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well . .my cup is running over with happiness at your dearest words. Can you know how they moved me and inspired me to try to live up to them? Your life already reflects the love and peace you share with this world. You are right that God can magnify even the smallest efforts. Thank you for aking me glad, for your encouragement and just being you. x Michele

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  2. But a single candle will light the darkest cave. You shine brightly.

    Here’s a snippet I took to heart the moment I heard it. After rehashing all the past disappointments and failures in their lives, and picking holes in potential futures, Jack Nicholson delivers the movie’s title line: “What if this is as good as it gets?”

    Simple really. We can only be the best person we can will ourselves to be. No coincidence, all the things you called out as the most highly valued in your life have nothing to do with wealth or station. Walking with grand children, admiring nature, filling hearts like vessels, kindnesses to strangers. These are the greatest riches we bestow on one another, as your grandmama wisely taught you by living example.
    Indeed, these are the highest callings for the human spirit.
    You execute them gracefully and effortlessly.
    More than “As good as it gets”, more than “good enough”.
    And at the core the simplest of truths, spoken by the prophet two thousand years ago, to love one another.
    It doesn’t get any better than that.

    Love to you,

    Scott

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reading you is always a pleasure and gives me hope in these dark times that there are plenty of good people out there and this is no insignificant thing!
    Keep your heart full of good things and keep inspiring through gentleness xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an absolutely beautifully written post with so much passion and truth. If we could all just simply fix our thoughts on your last paragraph what a wonderful place we would find ourselves. Thanks for this lovely post and for the inspiration you left with your words.

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  5. The way you live may not change the world, but it will certainly improve the lives of the people around you, and that is change enough. Your grandmother was wise woman, and you are also wise to follow in her footsteps. We don’t need to let the world divide us, try as it might. We really can live by the eternal words, “Love one another.”

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  6. Michele it is the small, simple things we do in life for others that truly matters. Such a sweet, heartfelt post you have written. I think we all love the wonderful things our grandmother’s did. The way they lived, the way they loved. xoxoxoxo

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  7. I think you intentionally left out blogging as one of the many things you do, Michele, but I will mention it here because it matters a lot. Every time I start to crowd my heart and mind with all sorts of stuff, I need only visit nooks such as yours to realise that I need to live my hours differently. I may only be one fool living at the other end of the world but the light borne forth by your gentle wisdom makes me a better person, and that filters down to my dependents.

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  8. I’m printing this part off to meditate on, Michele. I so appreciate your words, so much more than I can tell you.

    “Lacking worldly power and influence, I have only very ordinary earthly means at my disposal. . . but I do not lack will and perseverance. I do not lack the capacity to love, either.
    In light of all this “vexation”, I drew the conclusion that the contents of a meaningful life varies greatly, depending on whom you ask. For me, I will keep strolling along the banks of rivers and meandering through fields and woods. I will stand in moonshine and plant flowers. I will feed people as best I can and teach my grand children poetry. I will fill their hearts and souls with beauty and gratitude. I will try not to be wasteful and I will value the lives of strangers and sparrows, too. I will dwell on these things, for that is what I can do. . . but above all I will love . I do not suppose, my “meaningful ” life will change the world, but it may have its’ moments. For all I know, that may be enough. After all, there have been many small moments, in my own life, that made a difference. . .and I can not dismiss the significance of my elders. Not a one of them could claim fame or fortunes, according to this world . . yet they left us all better off . ”

    WOW. Beautiful.

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  9. I find that during this crazy time that it helps to focus on those that are dear to me, my faith and the small things that God puts in my path. Watching the birds, listening to the rustle of fall leaves and just feeling the wind blow across your skin is a great way to calm the soul and ease the mind. Love you Michele!

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  10. Living beautiful, memorable, moments in time through your eyes never gets old Michelle. I never tire of the journey. Thanks for sharing yet another super fantastic trip! 👏🏾

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