Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘life’s lessons’

Find Contentment


Paul Holdorf – Singing Sky Photography

Contentment

Paul Holdorf posted the following beautiful, eloquent essay on FaceBook today to accompany his wonderful photograph above. Do yourself a favor and take time to live in the scene with Paul and me for awhile. I am still there… in the arms of love and contentment.

No further comment from JanBeek necessary. Just savor Paul Holdorf’s creativity. ❤

“I can’t help but wonder what life was like for the occupants of this home. One might at first say that life sure is easier now, but is it? To be sure, it was a hard life, but it must be so rewarding to directly benefit from hard work. Very few things had to be purchased. Most things were made from whatever was available. A hard days work did not have to be converted to cash in order to benefit the family. The same soil that had to be scrubbed out from under fingernails, when properly tilled and watered, grew food for the table. It also grew food for the livestock that in turn also provided sustenance for the inhabitants of this home. As I stood there, I could hear the life that once resided here. A chair scraped on the rough wood floor as Dad got up to go make sure all was well outside before darkness settled in. The children helped clear chipped and faded dishes from the table as Mom brought in a pale of water to rinse things off. There was enough light left for several hours of exploration, so soon the distance sounds of laughter blended in with the clanking of dishes and the splash of dirty dishwater being thrown out the open door. Next to the door, in the corner of the room, stood an old broom, patiently waiting to remove the gravelly evidence of an evening well played. Later, after the children were all played out and tucked into a crowded bed, a silhouette could be seen in the warm light of the setting sun. Out in the yard, next to the swing hanging from a tree, a tired but fulfilled couple sat on an old log bench with their arms around each other. She leaned her head on his strong shoulder, and he thankfully leaned his head over hers. They watched the golden light dip behind the distant mountains and spread a blanket of oranges and reds over the high mountain valley much like the bedspread that would soon bring warmth and comfort to this couple. They work hard, they sleep when the sun sleeps and rise with it in the morning but it is a good life. Nothing is wasted, and everything is wisely used. I walk away from my daydream as they drift off to sleep. Stars begin to twinkle and an owl calls from its roost out in the forest. Rest and rejuvenation fill weary bodies with readiness for the next day, when they’ll do it all over again with joy and contentment in lives well lived.”

95 Years of Life Lessons


Living Fully Every Day

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My 95 years young friend, Carol, was in the hospital. Her face lit up when I walked in. It was a joy to see her. We chatted about her recent birthday, the family who came from far and near to celebrate with her, and about my trip this year to visit our daughter and grandkids in Switzerland. I shared that one of my grandsons may come to live with us for a time – and how Bob & I look forward to sharing life with him for awhile.

I told Carol, “With eight decades of living under our belts, we find joy in sharing some of the pearls of wit and wisdom we’ve picked up along the path.”

I asked Carol if she would share some of her life lessons with me. I don’t think I was prepared for the depth of her sharing. But, as soon as she began, I knew I was in for a treat. I grabbed a paper and pen and asked her if she would mind if I took notes. Carol used to be a writer, too … but she finds it hard to set pen to paper these days. So, knowing I love to write, she grinned widely, and nodded.

“Here are some things I have learned as I’ve grown older:

  1. Life softens.
  2. Things aren’t so urgent.
  3. I can fall in love at all ages.
  4. Life constantly changes – be open!
  5. It takes judgement to realize the possibilities life holds.
  6. We’re happier if we count our blessings.
  7. Our lives become more dimensional with years.
  8. Love is huge!
  9. We all must take responsibility for ourselves and our actions.
  10. . Life comes together in a natural and beautiful way.”

I read her list of life lessons back to her – choking up more than once in the process of doing so. Such wisdom! Such articulation!

“I want to be you when I grow up,” I told her. “I hope I can learn and internalize those lessons as beautifully as you have done.”

Carol and I hugged – and as I left her, she called after me, “It all comes down to living fully every day.”

May you, my dear blogging friends, live fully every day, too. Reach out to a loved one and ask, “What have you learned as you’ve grown older?” Their answers may surprise you.

Share one of your life lessons with me today.

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