Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why, with Apologies to Annie Lennox and Mother Theresa

I just returned from a wonderful visit with my precious Sprittles(grandchildren) in sunny and warm North Carolina. I drove the nine hours there from the Frozen North(where I live with The Professor) with only my iPod, my thoughts, my camera, and wild cherry Pepsi to keep me company. I'd like to share with you some of those sights, thoughts, and musical companions. (You're on your own as far as the wild cherry Pepsi is concerned!)

Somewhere south of Richmond, Virginia I encountered this:
Statue of Liberty moving?

It did surprise me a tad. But then I had been prepared the weekend before when I went shopping in a large metropolitan area and met with this:

A few years ago I visited the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on a trip to celebrate the graduation of my eldest niece from NYU. I don't remember Lady Liberty sporting either sunglasses or the color red. Has our nation's dwindling economic health turned its heroine and comforter of the tempest tossed, homeless, yearning, huddled masses into a promoter of mobility enhancing rental trailers and tax services?


It was also in Richmond that I came upon this in rush hour traffic.
Go Jezuz

Rush hour traffic is something one does not normally experience in our part of the Frozen North (population 8,000, including 2,000 students at the local college). It was a joy in the midst of that trial to see. But I couldn't help but wonder where "Jezuz" was going.

And why.

Then, crossing one of the many rivers in that region, I glimpsed . . .
sunset over a river through a dirty window at 70mph

Yes, this is a very bad picture through a very dirty window at 65mph(I was going the speed limit), but it was too glorious not to try to record. I love sunsets and sunrises. They are a part of the beauty of nature that feeds my soul. What is it about nature that is so . . .peaceful, serene? Why is it so satisfying?

In North Carolina, along with my precious Sprittles, I found this wonderful structure.
P1120844 copy

It reminds me of the lyric of song, "This Ole House" by Stuart Hamblen. The words come to mind, "now she trembles in the darkness when the lightnin' walks about".

Why has this gingerbready, lovely old house been abandoned? What memories are painted on its walls?

The why questions are the easiest to ask and the hardest to answer. Usually they flit onto our awareness and fly away quickly either because we are distracted by other ones or because we don't really want to admit them to our consciousness because they might uncover something that demands our involvement, something we would rather not face.

Our eldest little blond haired, blue eyed, four year old Sprittle is high functioning autistic. I was in denial for quite awhile. "Why" this happened to him, his parents, me, was very troubling. That is ironic since "why" is a concept to which he cannot relate. He has no vocabulary, no experience for that word.

I think most of us have the same problem with the "whys". But that should not stop us from trying to relate. Mother Theresa came from a privileged family and lived in a sheltered world in India until one day she walked outside and saw the abandoned lepers and sick in the streets. Instead of scurrying back into a life of comfort and relative ease she devoted her life to caring for these "homeless, yearning, huddled masses". She saw their suffering and their humanity and it moved her.

Annie Lennox is a guilty pleasure of mine. She is an accomplished and gifted musician who not only sings, but interprets a song from her heart. Annie has allowed the "why isn't something being done for the women and children who are victims of HIV in Africa" question to linger in her awareness and move her to action on a large scale.

We may not be a founder of a religious order or a rock star, but we can all touch those within our reach. It's just a matter of inviting the "whys" we encounter to linger until they motivate us to compassion for our fellow companions on this journey we call life.

"There is a terrible hunger for love.
We all experience that in our lives - the pain, the loneliness.
We must have the courage to recognize it.
The poor you may have right in your own family.
Find them.
Love them."

Mother Theresa