Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Rolling Blue Ocean




A Rolling Blue Ocean

The rain of the past few days had only recently stopped and a slight rise in temperature conspired with a December wind to create a mist that rose from the streets like wood smoke.  I was making my way back home from the market, the passenger seat of my wee little Fiat overflowing with oranges, flowers and pecans, and a ever-growing number of tasks jostling for priority in my mind, when I saw them up ahead, darting in and out of heavy traffic.  Two dogs, a large Goldendoodle and a diminutive Dachshund in a bright green winter coat, their furry faces wearing  tell-tale expressions of glee and fear, those warring emotions common to the recently escaped beloved pet.  My heart froze to ice as I saw them narrowly scrape past disaster as a large sedan blew by.  I slammed on my brakes in the middle of the street and threw open my passenger door even as I knew there was no room inside for these two, my mind racing with fear.  Suddenly, all around me,  on both sides of the busy street, cars began stopping.  A red pickup truck, a sleek BMW.  A mother and daughter jumped out of a large SUV; a grey-suited elderly man climbed out of a Cadillac.  The dogs had now bounded all the way across the street and were apparently reveling in this wild new game with so many eager participants.  The elderly man finally proved to have the touch, as the big dog, his little green-coated friend following, came closer and closer to him.  They were going to be fine!  Both were sporting bright red collars which no doubt had the needed information on their tags to get these two back home safely.  Exhaling, finally breathing, I started up my car and went on my way.  
And that’s when it happened. I began to cry.  Fat wet tears that couldn’t be explained or stopped.  They fell behind my large sunglasses and splattered onto my coat as I tried to figure out where they were coming from.  It didn’t take much thought to work it out.

There is much meanness in the world today, it is impossible to ignore.  Every week it seems, we are hit with this reality like a cold slap in the face.  The words of the paper tigers and straw men currently cast in the sideshow of a presidential campaign only seem to bolster the worst of human nature and only increase my feelings of impotence in the face of such bleakness.  My efforts to brighten the corner in which I live, my devotion to creating a more beautiful, kinder world around me, all can seem as bootless and lame as mice before lions and the cliffs of despair can beckon my soul towards the edge.  But as I sat in my little car on that busy afternoon, heart thumping in fear for the fate of those two dogs, other like-minded people began to appear, in droves.  Each car that stopped surrounded me like a cavalry of support and each person that got out to help was a balm of affirmation to my bruised heart of the goodness of those all around me.  I was not alone.  We are not all - as the news would have us believe - hateful, ignorant beasts.  Nor are we all without compassion, devoid of empathy, or bent on revenge.   There are good people all around me, people who have my back when I feel incapable or low, people whose ideas burn bright when my own are feeble and inadequate, people who reach out their hand to pull me up.   The tears that tumbled down my cheeks were manifestations of gratitude called forth from a beleaguered heart; they told me how much I had been holding inside, and they continued to fall all the way home.

More than any other time of year,  good will is bubbling near the surface just now, often spilling over into a special joy as unexpected as it is welcome.   Especially now, I wish you all the same realization that was presented to me like a gift.  We are not alone in our wish for a better world.  Perhaps we cannot do it all, but each tiny little offering of mercy and beauty that we hold out to the world can flow downstream with the kindness of others till it becomes a rolling blue ocean of good.  I do believe that, and I’m grateful for the reminder.


Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, 
but in the company of other men, 
attended by love.

Saul Bellow 

****

A special thank you to all the many sweet people who came to my Atlanta book signing for Edward Speaks At Midnight on Sunday.  I am humbled by your love for this Christmas book and thrilled to know it will be a small part of your celebrations this year, and for years to come.  
If you want a copy under your tree, order soon! 
Much love and thanks to you all.



22 comments:

  1. What a sweet encounter with random kind strangers helping the dogs; I can see how you cried some tears. I sometimes cry when I see something noble.

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  2. Thank you. I needed to hear this.

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  3. Thank you. I needed to hear this.

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  4. I continue to enjoy reading Your posts even after all these Years.I know I would enjoy Your book.Merry Christmas and may God continue to bless You-Denise

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  5. Many thanks - just what was needed!

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  6. Thank you for this post, I was feeling bleak this morning and now my spirits are lifted. Jane x

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  7. Your thoughts often echo mine, none more than in this heart warming post. I always feel good after reading your wise and informed words.
    Thank you
    Jean
    x

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  8. At the vet the other day, my weenie was getting yet another day long blood curve for her diabetes. A woman in the waiting room was wailing; couldn't stop her crying. Her little English Bulldog stood still looking slightly emaciated. It seems the lady had kidney disease and now her two year old bulldog did too. The future looked bleak for her dog. The vet left her to absorb the news and little that could be done. It was heartbreaking. I decided to do what I could and gave the vet money to use at her discretion. Her small town practice in a poor area leaves little for the animals. She said some people literally haven't got the money for gas to bring their sick animals in. We all come together for whatever cause that moves us.

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  9. It has been a strange morning in our household, knowing that the extreme right Front National party took all of our region and nearly half the people in our tiny village voted for them. So, thank you through my tears for this important reminder. And thank you to Donna Baker too for being wonderful.

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  10. As I was reading your heart felt post to Bailey Bob, I was looking out the window at beautiful water. I had so much wanted to attend your book signing in Atlanta, but am away from home. However, we had friends visiting with us last week, and left last Friday. I talked with my Scotland loving friend last night, and she did attend your book signing. I begged her to tell me all about it, and she did! Highlighting how lovely everything was, and how much she enjoyed meeting you! She let it slip that there is Edward's book awaiting us when we get home. I am happy all over! Yet another example of kindness.

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  11. Trying times that are affecting us all in some way Pamela. All of the nice things seem all the more important at the moment don't they ? XXXX

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  12. A lovely story Pamela, as you say, so refreshing in these turbulent times, to read something heartwarming.
    Susan.x

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  13. Lovely story Pamela. On my side bar you will find North Stoke. If you go to her blog today (Thelma) you will read a lovely poem by Wendell Berry which is an antidote to today's problems.

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  14. With the internet, the world's turbulent times are a click away and so are every one else's problems..we are constantly invited to share their worlds, good with bad, as well. Then we have our dear friends and family we prioritize our time and affection for...animals included. So much is out of our hands, yet time and again kind-strangers intervene to remind us we are not alone..our faith in human nature is restore.
    Those tears appearing whenever there is a threat to our safety are a normal safety valve. To prevent them, I cannot totally give up and shut out the news, ignore facebook and what is trending, even stop reading the local news. I am speaking for myself when I ask "if I divorce myself from the more at peace, or if I limit myself, control better what I access and how often, will it make a difference?" There is so much we are absorbing; one must keep abreast of things. If I could choose any period to go back to any period, I would be confronted with the particular turbulence of those times. The 50's were nice, but not perfect. The best time to live, many say, is now. Hopefully those moments of feeling so hopeless occur less often in days and months to come- while I decipher how much of the world to let in at a given time. In the meantime, I stay tuned to uplifting blog (right here)..where I find like minded people and kindred spirits. Thank you, Pamela.

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  15. Pamela, the tears rolling down my face attest to how much this hit home. The reminders that we are not alone and that we CAN make the world a better place are very timely.

    Thanks. I needed that.

    Warmly,
    Kay

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  16. Pamela, the tears rolling down my face attest to how much this hit home. The reminders that we are not alone and that we CAN make the world a better place are very timely.

    Thanks. I needed that.

    Warmly,
    Kay

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  17. Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I read of your blight. You have touched my heart recounting the story. I want to see those good people doing the right thing by each other and our animals. I have been in this situation before and your heart stays in your throat until the danger has passed. Thank you for your heart felt stories. I look forward to reading about Edward, Apple and you. Merry Christmas!

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  18. Just as your cavalry of good citizens renewed your spirit, I felt a similar feeling driving home late one evening. Every new turn produced line after line of homes decked in wonderful lights and decorations...some shouting JOY, others whispering it. But joy it was, and during that brief drive home, I forgot about all the horror in the world.

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  19. Thank you for the lovely story. I felt your tears and cried some of my own.

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  20. Dear Pamela, It is such a difficult time and so yes we must spread more love, kindness and joy than ever before. There is much goodness in the world....we just need more!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    More Books for the Holidays!

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  21. Tomorrow we hope will be my daughter's last chemotherapy session.
    I called the florist in the town where she lives and asked them to deliver a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a note reading, "I am so proud of you, Missy. Love, Mom". I explained no one would be home to accept the delivery and why and asked that they leave them on the front porch.
    We had a brief discussion about the possibility of someone stealing the bouquet before she gets home. Then we both stopped and said something like, "Let's not go there. Let's continue to believe in the true goodness of people. Everything is going to work just as planned.
    After that telephone conversation, this story appeared before me. I was grateful for the reminder too. Thank you, Pamela.

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  22. So beautifully said. There is much kindness in everyday life. And, we must be ones who continue it. Glad the dogs were rescued!

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!