Thursday, February 3, 2011
Reading and Thinking
I am reading this book right now and love it. All I think about as I do my household chores is when I can get back to my book. Last night I tried to stay up to read it but crashed at midnight. I needed toothpicks for my eyelids I think.
Stories of pioneers make me realize what I take for granted. These women started with nothing...or hardly nothing...maybe a pot or a pan or a quilt. They lost babies left and right and what a heartbreak. They were no different from us in the love for their children but they had little time to mourn I think because they had mouths to feed and that took a heck of a lot of work, not a run to the grocery.
When I think of how worried we all get about the dangers out lurking in the world, I realize how most of our fears our imagined or just thought up to bring drama to our lives. Their greatest fears, whether it was a storm that ruined their crops, snake bites, bear attacks, robbery and murder, the flu, you name it, happened frequent enough, yet it doesn't seem they were filled with anxiety and couldn't go on...they had such strength.
I wonder what they would think of us today with our conveniences and the ability to feed our children meals, and our warm houses and drawers and cupboards full of things, our antibiotics, and still we worry and fuss. How quickly we forget the past. I think of my grandmothers, my great-grandmothers...I think our generation needs to hitch up our bootstraps and zip it when it comes to complaining and excuses.
What also strikes me is how these women so enjoyed the simple things. A flower poking up through the snow, a bolt of cloth to make the first new dress they'll ever own (that they had to find the time to make themselves), a letter from a relative that took 6 months to arrive.
I look at how I rush through life, answering a dozen emails a day without hardly thinking about any of them, buying a $12 bunch of out of season daffodils which really takes away the joy of all that time waiting for the first bloom in April, how easily I replace this or that in my kitchen or closet when I didn't have to save for months or years to purchase them. I think of how a treat isn't a treat if it is easily and readily accessible...if there isn't hard work, or appreciation and patience put in place to get that treat. What is else in life is left then? Of course, we do the same for our kids. What else in life is left if you can't appreciate the simple things because you have easy access to them all the time and they take no sacrifice?