Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A week ago today we climbed the pass, searching for sun and blue skies, and here at the top we found not what we were looking for, but beauty nonetheless...

"...the hand that shaped the rose has wrought the crystal of the snow, has sent the silvery frost of heaven, the flowing waters sealed, and laid a silent loveliness on hill and wood and field" Frances Whitmarsh Wile, 1914

This morning's sunrise heralded a day that gradually grew warmer and kinder to old bones and spirits grown weary of Old Man Winter roaring around the hills, and the biting wind that accompanies him. A mild day, - even the faintest and first intimations of February thaws.

A good day to see things settling down somewhat in Parliament, but at what cost???

Last night I watched the media interview an auto worker, laid off. His wife had also lost her job.

Well, to be generous, he may not have been one of the autoworkers who have been making $70.00 and hour, - he may have only been making $50.00 an hour, - but it makes me very uncomfortable to think that a couple who have had two incomes and who are both drawing Unemployment Insurance should be in such dire straits that they expect the government to rescue them, and the industry that supports them, with a wildly indulgent, throwing-all-caution-to-the-winds-budget.

Hard times come to most of us sometime in our lives. And how we accept them and cope with them is surely indicative of our inner strength.

It dismays me that materialism has become a way of life, - that the thought of having to lower our standard of living is so terrifying.

There are not many still living who struggled with the hardships of the Dirty Thirties. What was there to relieve the dreadful economic times? There was no Unemployment Insurance, but there were Work Camps.

There were no great Infrastructure plans, but you could work on the roads for a few pennies a day...

Thousands of men traveled by rail, searching for jobs....

My grandparents lived close to the rail yards, - their gate was marked with the hobo symbol indicating kindness and generosity within.

Out on the farm if you had no gas to get to town, there was always the Bennettbuggy..

These are the days that not one of us could wish back. These are the days that cause the 'ancients' to still save string, and to fix and mend and make do. But amongst the heart ache and desolation that those years brought there was a strengthening of character, a bonding, a sense of community and an awareness and compassion for each other that inevitably resulted in good times and laughter and appreciation. And a pride in being able to withstand, - a knowledge of your own strength and your capacity to persevere and endure.

I ask myself if this childish reliance on government will at sometime destroy our civilization. O morbid thought....

If we could only temper our 'wants' and be content with our 'needs'.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh Hildred, how I agree. Years ago I read Erich From's "To have or to be." Very unfashionable these days. Perhaps you have to be our age to think like this. That photo at the start of your blog is very beautiful - beauty around us, health within us - that is all that really matters.

Fonnell said...

Oh I loved your photos! Even the one of old man winters work. If people will let this hard time draw them together and community will return to it's more thoughtful days I will be glad.

Hildred said...

Weaver, I am glad not to be alone in my opinions, - I think of Yeats, - 'Turning and turning in the widening gyre /The falcon cannot hear the falconer;/ Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;'
Sometimes I feel we have lost our centre and are quite out of control - but then sometimes I am surprised at the depth of feeling many of the young people have.... hope springs eternal.

Hildred said...

Hi Fonnell, - you are 'tops' among my inspirations, - (of course you get the pun!)