My sister up and left me.
She went to Asia to teach conversational English for three months.
I told her if she had gone to France or Ireland, I would have figured out a way to visit her.
But I must admit,
the pictures she's been emailing have been beautiful.
Strange, some of them, to Western eyes,
but the tiled roofs, blooming flowers, green swards of park grass,
and sweet faces of her new friends,
It's another world
within our world.
The picture that really stood out was one she snapped inside a store.
It showed a bright yellow knit ensemble,
emblazoned with bold English words:
After recovering from our fits of giggles,
my daughter and I resolved to never wear unknown words on our persons.
For some reason, in my labyrinth of memory,
(maybe it was the word "moment"),
the sequence of words brought a song to mind.
"Day by day, and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trials here.
Trusting in the Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
gives unto each day what He deems best,
lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
mingling toil with peace and rest."
(It's a Swedish hymn by a woman named Lina. What's not to love?)
Now, of course there are days
when we cherish not not the moment.
Days when the trend is painfully original,
and we balk at change.
Many years ago, I went on a field trip to Underwater World at the Mall of America.
Our school of four-year-olds and adults was herded into a back room
and taught all kinds of things that the general pubic doesn't get to hear.
We learned about starfish.
A Spanish scientist, testing the regenerating capacity of the creatures,
took a starfish and blended it in a blender.
(Try not to shudder, they don't have brains. Still, kinda icky).
He took the 300 tiny pieces of starfish out of the blender,
placed them in separate petri dishes,
300 new starfish grew.
Perfect little starfish.
Wonder at the power of life,
of the truth that the broken bits inside of us
(sometimes the tiniest shards)
can grow into something whole and beautiful.
"Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all."
(II Cor. 4:16,17)