Friday, December 5, 2008

It All Starts With One

Even on the worst of days, you beautiful readers of mine are a most indulgent lot.

So will you bear with me, one more time, as I try to take three seemingly random ramblings, segue them together and wrap them into one final pretty present? (Kinda timely by me, if you think about it...)

Thought #1
Where: The Deep End of the Pool, Length #30
What: What To Give To the Food Bank
The Wackness: Just as I was leaving for my Sunday morning swim, the Baron casually asked what I was doing on the way home. Would you mind, says he, stopping at Safeway and picking up some things for the food bank donation I have to bring to my Rotary Club meeting on Thursday?

At the pool, as I go into my zen-like swim state (I mean really - it's pretty automatic & clears the mind for many other things), I start going over the things that my friend (who works at a community food bank) has told me that the recipients really enjoy getting.

I start making up the list in my head:
. Cream of Mushroom soup
. Strawberry Jam or Marmalade
. Canned salmon
. Tea

I also remember that this time of year is a really stressful time for new parents, so I add:
. Powdered baby formula
. Baby cereal
. Arrowroot cookies

Simultaneously (because this is what happens when your brain is slowly being eroded away by chlorine and there is extra space for more than one thought), I begin to remember seeing pictures from the paper of our city's food bank.

It is sparse. There are items, scattered here and there, but many, many shelves are empty.

My synapses somehow fire into this segue:

Thought #2
Where: Our First Home, Front Garden
What: Talking to Visitors about our sad tulip/daffodil showing
The Whiny-ness: Years ago, as we were seeing some of our friends out the front door after a lovely lunch together, they asked to have a guided tour around our front garden.

I remember vividly that one of the things I was most excited about when we were able to make our foray into the housing market was that I would have the chance to plant my own flowers - as many as I wanted, wherever I wanted.

I went out to the nursery in the fall and bought what I thought was a huge amount of daffodil and tulip bulbs. I planted with gusto, and impatiently waited through the winter for the calendar to click over to the first day of Spring.

Daily I would scour the warming earth for any signs of green popping its head up. It eventually started, ever so slowly. I was beside myself with giddiness. It was finally happening. When my garden babies did bloom, I was a little taken aback at the effect.

And this was what our friends and I were commiserating about. They had found themselves in a very similar situation a couple of years earlier.

"I thought", the husband said, "that with all the bulbs I planted, our yard would look like a picture postcard of Holland - without the windmills." He smiled ruefully. I knew exactly how he felt.

"This was not the case. There ended up being 2 here, 3 there."

"Kind of like what you're looking at right now?" I suggested.

He smiled and nodded. He continued, "But then every year we added a few more bulbs, as we could afford. Over time, the cumulative effect has become quite pleasing. It's still not Holland, but it's close enough for me."

Thought #3
Where: In front of my computer
What: An e-mail forward sent by Mental P. Mama
The Wisdom: See for yourself. It's by turns shocking and inspirational:

The Wrapup
It is that time of year again. But this holiday season is significantly different from seasons of the past.

I know what the economy is like - believe me, I do. But I also know that, even if we weren't to buy one single solitary gift for each other, our family has an embarrassment of riches that you can't put a price tag on. We are healthy, we are warm, we are safe, we have creature comforts and then some.

There are so many others who can't say the same. Theirs is a heavy burden to carry; they certainly don't need the extra weight that comes along every December, beckoning to them to be picked up.

I urge you all to put judgments aside, and instead concern yourself with finding out ways to simply, kindly do what you can to help a fellow human being. Do you have any extra coats or blankets or mittens or socks that can keep someone a little warmer? Could you buy a little extra for the food bank when you're grocery shopping, give a dollar or two to the Salvation Army volunteer at the mall, make someone a meal, a batch of cookies, send a card to someone who's missing someone?

Muster up as much love and grace as you can; set an example to your children, your family, your friends, your community.

It all starts with one.

With you.


Cormac Brown said...

"Arrowroot cookies?"

What do they taste like?

Seriously, what do they taste like?

Mental P Mama said...

Thank you so much! I am giving my holiday funds to a local charity, and giving friends and family a card telling them that that is their gift. Second year I've done this, and the response is wonderful;)

I know someone who planted all 500 daffodil bulbs UPSIDE DOWN in their garden. Result? zero blooms.

Blog Designed by Rita of CoffeeShop