Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm unbalanced. A bit unsteady on my feet.

My family has had an injury this week - a close call that could have been oh so much worse, as painful as it is. My beloved granddaughter fell down the cellar stairs and broke both wrists. The mailbox has been full every day. People sent cards; called; emailed; baked her cookies and came to play. A stuffed pink flamingo arrived in the mail. A bouquet of pink carnations was delivered in a snowstorm.

I went to an amazing farmers' market convention Friday - yes, the same convention I was on the way to last year when I totaled my car, a fact that I OBSESSED about all week, making myself CRAZY about driving back there again - but I got there safely and spent hours in the company of passionate, dedicated, wonderful people who spend their lives in the dirt to feed us.

And tonight I went to a public supper and auction for a friend's husband, who is suffering through pancreatic cancer. More than 200 people showed up, dropping $20 bills they couldn't afford into a barrel and then eating soggy spaghetti and overdressed salad, swaying to the music of a ukulele band playing "Stand By Me" and "You've Got a Friend."

I am overwhelmed with the kindness that has been revealed to me this week.
I am overwhelmed by the passion that Maine's farmers have to provide safe, quality food.
I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of an ENTIRE county to help one of its own.

It would be easy to say that all is right with the world. That it is all apple pie and Cheerios and fine red wine.
But there has to be balance, it seems. The pendulum must swing in both directions for it to work at all - some sort of idiotic rule of nature. We all seem to shout "That's not fair!" when the deck is stacked against us, but not when it is stacked in our favor...

And so today I wrote a story about a 55-year-old woman, dearly loved by her community, that fell down her stairs and died.
And a man out for an afternoon snowmobile ride hit a moose and was killed.
And as I sit here, the scanner is squawking about a house fire a few towns over.
And Egypt has gone berserk.

So much is out of our control - waves of bad news that can knock us down. A friend wrote today "We are such fragile vessels."
Indeed.
Yet, we are vessels that share what we contain.
We enrich others lives when our owns are lacking.
We give because we want to, not because we have to.
We share.
We love.
We shovel our neighbors' driveways and carry pies to a public supper and fix the wheel on the child's bike and send flowers and a stuffed snowman to a suffering little girl. We line up to donate blood and drop our change in all the canisters sitting by every cash register. We bring supper to a shut-in, knit a blanket for a cold child, shop at our neighbor's stores even when it is inconvenient and more expensive.
We are good and we deserve good.

Tonight I will go to sleep knowing that there will be more bad things to write about tomorrow, another tragedy to report. I am a realist. But I will not lay sleepless in worry because I believe in us and I have hope. I know hope because it was revealed to me this week.
For me, the glass is more than half full. Tonight I feel it brimming over and I'm thankful.

6 comments:

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

I havent been here for awhile...but I was drawn here today...and in a way I really needed to read this....thank you...as strange as that might sound.

Julie said...

First, so happy to see you had a new entry on your blog. Second, so sorry to read about your precious granddaughter. Third, thank you. And fourth, we ARE very fragile vessels, glasses as some may see it. Aren't we the fortunate ones that are vessels that are overflowing. I have thought that many times in my life, more frequently as I get older. With all the unjust and turmoil in our world, I am so thankful for so much. And you are part of that.

jennifer hazard said...

I came across your blog last fall while prepping for a visit Down East. So sorry to hear about your granddaughter's fall. I have two little ones at home and the stairs are always a worry. Hope she is on the mend and feeling better soon.

Also, not at all surprised by the lovely response you received from friends and neighbors. When I visited, I was so impressed by the sense of community in Machias. I met so many terrific people.

truewonder said...

Your heart must ache over the tumble, so sorry to hear that, for such a little one and her biggest fan- the difficulties in healing must be truly humbling... To read all of this to know that your reporting, even on this blog- is fair, is objective and holy too, well-
hope like that engages and carries us all a bit further than we might have taken ourselves, thank you.

Elenka said...

Really nice way to end a post.
We all need to try and remember that, it's not always easy, though.

Country Girl said...

So sorry to hear of your grand daughter. A lot of truth in what you write, great post. We all take turns in dealing with unfortunate events. After many years of living the good life I recently have had some health problems but when feeling down I just look around and there is always some dealing with much bigger problems. I admire all you do my friend!