The Brighter Side

I want to celebrate my birthday today with an upbeat, inspiring poem — and I found this one that fits the bill perfectly.

The Brighter Side

by Edgar Guest

Though life has its trouble and life has its care
and often its dark days of sorrow,
there is always the hope that the sky will be fair
and the heart will be happy tomorrow.

There’s always the light of a goal just ahead,
a glimpse of the dream we’re pursuing,
in spite of the difficult pathway we tread
there is much it is good to be doing.

Time empties the purse of the pennies of youth,
the heart of its innocent laughter,
but gives in return just a few grains of truth
and the promise of more to come after.

There’s never a new day lived out to the end,
however life’s tempests may pitch us,
but what with a triumph, a joy, or a friend,
the swift, fleeting hours may enrich us.

There is so much to do and there’s so much to see
in spite of the troubles that fret us,
so much to wait for and so much to be
if only the future will let us —

that life with its burdens and life with its tears
and its heart-burning touches of sadness
still lures us all on to the end of our years
with its friendships, its loves, and its gladness.

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

Death By Clutter

Death By Clutter

Yesterday being Friday, an incoming e-mail from WordPress alerted me to their First Friday site, where new bloggers can publish their first post and get feedback on their writing, their layout, any tips on what could improve their site. I enjoy spending half an hour or so checking out some of the new blogs and sometimes leave a tip or two for newbies.

One of the sites I came across on First Friday was this one from a Nebraska poet: A Life Simply Lived. While she appears to have other blogs already, her first post on this site was about the how and why of dealing with clutter. She offers some fairly standard advice; The FlyLady would approve. 🙂  Click here to read 8 Steps to Simplify Your Life

Reading her post reminded me of this story from years ago:

When we lived in SW Ontario we read a news item one day describing a tragic account of the deaths of two elderly men who lived alone on a farm or an acreage in Perth County.

It seems these two brothers subscribed to the daily papers and never threw any away. Who knows exactly why hoarders hoard? There’s usually some valid reason that starts it off, but then something clicks in a person’s brain and they become helpless to stop themselves. So it was with these two. Possibly they thought they may someday need to look up some information.

Anyway, they stacked their old papers against the walls of their little house, and when those spaces were all filled, they moved in a row. This process kept on until they had newspapers stacked as high as they could reach in every room of the house, with tunnels going through like a maze.

By this time the one brother was bedfast and the other was caring for him, going out for groceries, cooking and such. Then one day one of the walls of newspapers came down in a avalanche on top of the caregiver brother and killed or completely mobilized him. At any rate he died fairly quickly, while the other brother, unable to leave his bed, likely died of thirst.

They’d been dead for some weeks before their bodies were discovered. A self-inflicted tragedy.

Of Fish & Feelings

It’s afternoon here on the prairies and we’re having a beautiful spring day. When I got up at 6 am this morning the sun was just starting to stretch out, sending its first glow across the horizon. How I appreciate these longer, warmer days!

The cats and I were out romping a bit ago — well, they were romping. I was tromping. I decided to take a walk down the road. In the yard it seems so warm, but once I was out of the shelter of the woods beside us and onto the gravel road, a wind from the SE robbed me of my deception. I had to come back to the house for a warmer jacket and scarf before going farther.

Bob asked me yesterday how I was feeling, mainly because I’ve been dealing with an infection in one salivary gland this week. I’m getting over that, so in one sense I’m feeling better, but I’ve been pondering his question, trying to come up with a description for my general health and state of mind.

I was thinking about the poor female salmon at spawning time, swimming against a strong current and making slow progress. As you probably know, they go back to their spawning grounds in the mountain streams to lay their eggs, which means they must swim upstream for hundreds of miles, leap waterfalls, navigate wild rapids, dodge rocks and debris en route. Unless they find a sheltered pool, the minute they stop to rest the river current will carry them back toward the ocean again.

That’s how I’m feeling lately. It doesn’t help that I’m dealing with an infection right now but I’m frustrated that I get so little accomplished. I wish I had more energy; I wish my mind was clearer and I could remember more; I wish I could make more progress in the stream of general homemaking. I’d like to accomplish so much; it feels like I have a thousand miles to go and in short bursts I gain a few yards, then I’m weary again. And I feel so fuzzy-brained at times!

My mind bounces over the many possible solutions. Would it help to give up sugar? Chocolate? Coffee? Reading? Blogging? All of the above? Forget everything else and spend hours outdoors getting exercise? (I have good intentions, just no hours!) Memorize and repeat the Prayer of Serenity?

Lacking any definite answers, I just keep swimming along, thankful for the short bursts of energy I do get. These past two weeks I’ve been cutting strips and piecing a blanket top — the Rail Fence pattern for those of you who know about quilt-making — which I plan to donate to our church ladies’ Sewing Circle. On Tuesday we went to the city and I sat in two doctor’s offices; from one doctor I got antibiotics for my infection. During this time my husband took the car for servicing and they discovered about two cups of bird seed in the air cleaner. Wretched mice! We keep our birdseed in the garage and they get into it.

On the Up-side, I am enjoying the arrival of spring, the songs of the earliest returning birds in our woods. On Monday I get a new number in my life: I’m leaving “three” behind and moving on to “four.” (Next year at this time I’ll be contemplating how to spend my very first pension cheque. 🙂 )

I haven’t posted anything here this week, but I did write several short stories for my Christine Composes blog. One of them you can read here: Buckwold House. I wrote this as my response to the Friday Fictioneers photo prompt and it raises the question of when an individual’s wishes are more important than civic progress.I find being limited to 100 words is a great exercise in what editors call “trimming the fat.”

I hope life is going well for all of you reading this. I wish you boundless energy and all kinds of time to do what you must and/or the things you enjoy. Thanks for visiting my blog and for being interested in what I have to say. Hopefully my next post will be more upbeat, but I find writing about how I feel really does help me sort things out. And when I think of the recent tragic events in the news, I realize my woes are very minor ones.

The Love of A Good Dog

My plans to space out my posts today went awry when the internet went down for eight hours. But here’s another post I really enjoyed, this one from a new blogger who calls herself “A Quiet Chatterbox.” If you’ve ever had a loving relationship with “man’s best friend”, you’ll understand this account of how her dog Brodie has enriched her life.

Read post here.

The Reluctant Surfer — Poem by Joel F

LIFE IS LIKE AN OCEAN

Today I’m giving credit where credit is due by posting about several other blog posts I’ve read recently. I’ll begin with a poem I read this morning: The Reluctant Surfer, written by blogger Joel F (joysofjoel.com). He talks of the need to get out there and brave the waves, both in surfing and in life. His thoughts really encouraged me and I see they’ve inspired over 200 other people as well. I thought you might like to check it out, too.

Click here to read this poem.

If This Were All

by Edgar A Guest

If this were all of life we’ll know,
if this brief space of breath
were all there is to human toil,
if death were really death,
and never should the soul arise
a finer world to see
how foolish would our struggles seem.
How grim the earth would be!

If living were the whole of life,
to end in seventy years,
how pitiful its joys would seem.
How idle all its tears!
There’d be no faith to keep us true,
no hope to keep us strong,
and only fools would cherish dreams —
no smile would last for long.

How purposeless the strife would be
if there were nothing more,
if there were not a plan to serve,
an end to struggle for!
No reason for a mortal’s birth
except to have him die —
how silly all the goals would seem
for which men bravely try.

There must be something after death;
behind the toil of man
there must exist a God divine
Who’s working out a plan.
And this brief journey that we know
as life — must really be
the gateway to a finer world
that someday we shall see.

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

Word Press daily prompt: Abstract