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Posts Tagged ‘Fellowship’

This determined moonflower vine is clambering up and around our old, weather-worn wrought iron railing. It is twisting and turning and trailing, reaching upward and outward, fortifying itself with the stems and strength of nature’s own knots. A few small buds are hinting at the possibility of fragrant white flowers, which will be most welcomed some night soon. The vine, however, with its heart-shaped leaves, is a simple pleasure in itself.

I was sitting on our front porch, on a bright and glorious morning, and I could not help but reflect on the gathering we hosted the night before as I observed this trailing vine.

We were privileged to host a small gathering of members of our church community; young, and not so (Tom and I :)) and those in between. The bookends of life. We shared a meal amid the laughter of children, with a collective telling of stories, challenges, triumphs, gratitude and more. I love the communal conversation that often comes with the breaking of bread, just as I love the slow rising evening song of crickets and tree frogs as dusk becomes dark on a warm summer’s night.

So it was, the very next morning, that I found myself in a contemplative mood. I was perched on our weathered front porch, reflecting on the evening before and on the ways we reach out as a people, joining together like the stems of this moonflower vine. I thought what a fine day it was and of how fortunate I am for all who reach out and grab hold of me on this twisting and turning stem we call life – and of how grateful I am for all of you.

 

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DSCN4084There is a sheen of hope in the air; in spite of the bone chilling cold. In spite of the dismal predictions of yet more snowfall, there is hope.  With two feet of snow upon the ground and four feet more piled in plow drifts along the roads, higher still in parking lots, one wonders if the sun could ever slant through. Single digit or less temperatures hovering in a pregnant pause make it feel as if the sun will never shine.

Ah, but, it has. It has.

On Sunday, seven good friends came for brunch. We sat around our well-worn kitchen table eating and talking and eating some more, flush with good will and angel rays of slanting sun streaming through the kitchen windows. It felt so good, so right, to have friends gathered around in fellowship, especially during this long and trying season. While we provided the food, they provided the sustenance of soul that Tom and I have been needing. Ah, life can be grand!

Monday morning, as I put away dishes and pans and such, the sun came up and peeked through our door, touching upon the red tulips Pat and Rick brought. While the sun kissed the blooms for only a few moments in its ascent, it was like that sheen of hope upon my winter weary mood.

This morning, as the sun once more arose, urging temperatures above the zero mark, I heard the sad news that Shirley Temple Black passed, and I felt a bit of my childhood had just chipped away. I have always known Shirley Temple, who, to me, has always been one of life’s sheens of hope.

Who among us, of a certain age at least, did not have – or wish for – a Shirley Temple doll, or suffer through a night of rag curls, awakening looking like, or so we thought, Shirley Temple, herself? I, for one, have been known to burst into a childlike rendition of “Animal Crackers in my Soup” when ladling up a bowl of Campbell’s vegetable soup and are there not those among us who have set sail on “The Good Ship Lollipop”?

A child actor, who later became a politician and ambassador, Shirley Temple is credited with saving a movie studio during the Great Depression, and, more meaningful to the common man and woman, for giving a country hope. With her optimistic demeanor, ready smile, and dimples, Shirley Temple and the roles she played always seemed to look on the bright side of life. Unlike our modern childhood actors, she comported herself without drugs or bad behavior and she crafted a meaningful life after she outgrew her Hollywood image.  Shirley-Temple-in-Heidi-shirley-temple-6178458-450-379

Shirley Temple was a sheen of hope through a dark, dark time, a talented dancer and actress, who learned her lines before she could read. She was a ray of sunshine through her adult life; an accomplished woman who lead a long life, and a good one.

Of all the memorable childhood characters Shirley Temple portrayed, mine has always been Heidi. Do you have a favorite Shirley Temple character?

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