Saturday, November 08, 2014

Bits and Pieces

I woke this morning at seven, with Miss Callie at the foot of my bed; entwined around my legs as I
slid out of bed and went to turn on the coffee.  

As I reached the hallway, and the sight of the southern windows, I saw my own small view of the street and the valley and the sky and the mountain suffused in the most beautiful rosy glow, - the very air seemed to vibrate with it.  Oh my, - still in my nightgown, camera and I opened the front door and discreetly took a quick snap of all the wires and electric paraphenalia silouetted against the glowing sky, and then we went to the back garden, which is more private, and in my bare feet I ventured across the dew-wet lawn and stood in such great appreciation of the gorgeous gifts that are suddenly bestowed upon us, if we are aware and awake to see them - thankful that I had not 
lingered in bed any longer.  

What elements are required to be combined to create such magical beauty, through the whole valley, - and which angel has charge of the operation????

Before I came in the sky had begun to fade and the moment of enchantment had passed, so I continued with a quick shower and breakfast. still marveling........

I sat with my second cup of coffee, reading a chapter of Jan Karon's latest book about Father Timothy, the Episcopalian priest who has been the hero of her last eight books about the town of Mitford and all its residents.

I love her books - on a par I would say with Alexander McCall Smith.  I was first introduced to them by a dear friend who is now in a Care Facility, unhappy, blind, confused, - and I thought how much she would enjoy this latest novel, and I wondered if she would be up to a reading visit where we could enjoy the book together.  Growing old is not accomplished without some sadness and sorrow, a lot of inconvenience, but I find that the smallest acts of kindness can lend the greatest joy even to one day, and so I will follow up on this.

I went to a Museum meeting the other night where a visiting speaker from Penticton handed out Random Acts of Kindness cards to share with friends or strangers, along, of course, with said random act of kindness.  It was featured on the news last night - participants giving apples to people passing by, - some responding with a smile, some with a nod, some with a 'no thanks' .  I think one must go a little deeper when considering random acts of kindness, and hopefully a little practice would make them an unconscious part of our lives, where civility and mindfulness are returned to our communities, and kindness to others is just part of our daily life, replacing the 'me' culture that one quite occasionally finds flourishing.

It occurs to me that this might more easily be accomplished when one leads a more solitary life than when one is embroiled in family and the great busyness that entails, but no, - I think some more about it and remember the last of the Mr. Lincoln roses from my old garden that my granddaughter
 brought to me, to enjoy, and how much I appreciated this dear and spontaneous act of kindness on her part - it is a sweetness and a generosity that everyone has room for - the small things 
that make another's life lighter and brighter. 

 Lovely thing to cultivate in a family.....

Do any of our children remember the Advent tradition we had in days of yore
where, when the Advent candle was lit at Sunday dinner they also picked from a bowl
the name of another family member for whom each day they were to do, anonymously,
something kind????  Answer requested....


Barb said...

Kindness - a worthy behavior for all of us to think about, Hildred. Kindness that might be considered small is scope is sometimes remembered and viewed as quite meaningful to the recipient. We can never know how kindness may affect another. Even just a smile or an encouraging word may be seen as a very special gift of kindness. I'm so glad that you took that morning barefoot walk, Hildred. Often, splendid beauty is fleeting, and we're so lucky if we've had the chance to witness it. I like your Header, too.

Penny said...

Such lovely photos. We didn't have that advent tradition, what a lovely idea. I think your idea of reading to and with a friend in need is a lovely one, small acts of kindness mean such a lot and yet many do not know how to respond any more.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Some lovely photos of that magic moment; you've captured it perfectly. Never heard of that Advent tradition over here, though acts of kindness are still allowed!

David said...

I very much share your delight in the fleeting moments of absolutely astonishing beauty the world can present. I applaud your youthful spirit that prompts you into the cold dawn to capture the image and share it with the world. Your reading session with your good friend will be a great comfort to her ...the generous attention of a lifetime friend with no need to respond.
So Mom, (although at fifty some odd years later it is a bit of a dim memory), yes I do remember scheming to do something kind for the name on the little piece of paper drawn from a bowl. Getting to one anothers chores was a favorite way to please a sibling ... dishes or wood fetching or some such little favour. It was a great way to promote a generous spirit.

Hildred said...

Thank you David, - I'm so glad you remember. It was a family tradition that your Dad and I added to the Advent Candle ritual - they were struggling years but we had so much to give each other.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love David's comment - it is so true Hildred.
What a glorious dawn.

Shady Gardener said...

What a sweet, sweet post I found here! In teaching youngsters in Sunday School, we did advent study, candles and prayers.
I wish we had created annual family Advent celebrations. We did have annual traditions that included worship and Church activities... including caroling.
A time to anticipate! :-)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I've never heard of that wonderful Advent tradition, but I wish I could go back in time to institute it! But random acts of kindness (before we knew what they were called) were and still are encouraged in our family. I agree that it needs to be something less obvious and trite than handing out apples.

Your pink morning was absolutely amazing and that angel in charge is doing a remarkable job!!! (And I am always glad to know I'm not the only person who runs outside in my pjs for early morning photo ops.)