Monday, February 4, 2013

waiting, snowing, reading, smiling, giving

Well, the new year has started off slowly for me. Yes, I realize it's February and I'm talking about New Years. I graduated in December (finally!!!) and have since been waiting on my license to process. Ohio, land of the slow. It's February and I'm still not working. Sigh, its a waiting game, and in a way, winter seems the perfect time to wait.

I know I've talked about winter and waiting before, or at least winter and resting. I have to be honest, it is about this time of year and when I start to almost physically ache for spring. The snow still falls, and the bitter winds still blow, and we have nothing to do, but wait, and hope.

With all of my waiting, I have been doing my usual wintertime activities, just in greater abundance. I've been reading like crazy.

I've started the Harry Potter series. I'm currently on book three The Prisoner of Azkaban.   I was reluctant to read these. I had already watched all the movies and wondered if I would be able to keep interest in them. I was wrong. They are fantastic, in the truest sense of the word. I open each new book, sometimes butterflies in my stomach to see how she is going to describe the magical plots I already know.

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel , yes, you read correctly, its a graphic novel now. I've never been a reader (viewer?) of graphic novels so this was a new endeavor for me. I loved it! I've already read the first three regular novels in the Wrinkle series, and I adore them all. This was a whole new experience. I read (looked at?) each page slowly, and just took it all in. The dialogue, the artwork, the use of space--it was a new and visually interesting experience. I included this image of the first page, rather than the cover, so you can get the idea. I may venture out into some more graphic novels. Although, Meg is one of my favorite characters of all time and I don't know if anything else could quite match up.

Its funny that so much of my reading has been stories I know and love in new formats (for me).

I have also just started Mother Teresa's In the Heart of the World. I grew up very baptist, so studying a catholic, as wonderful as she was, was not looked upon highly. Recently, I have run across quotes by her here and there that have made there way into my heart and mind. I checked this out of the library, its a series of thoughts, prayers, and stories by Mother Teresa. So far its beautiful. I am touched by her giving spirit and it has changed the way I pray already. 

I mentioned that I graduated in December, my graduation date was December 14, 2012 to be exact. I suppose for many of us, that date has become a dark day due to the events at Sandy Hook. I wanted to write about them, I wanted to write about graduation, but I couldn't. Those events overwhelmed me in a way I couldn't and didn't want to describe and at times they still do. I didn't know how to celebrate in the face of grief. I was shocked by the events in Connecticut, I was shocked by the public's quick and all too political reactions. I don't think for a minute that we shouldn't look at and develop new policies, it's just that those events, those families, those teachers, those students, were so quickly exploited for political agendas of the right and the left. It all just tore my heart up. It made me question my career choice, it made me question if the world could be a good place. The world seemed darker. Hope seemed ripped out of our hands. 

Slowly, I began to "recover". I realized that the solution, isn't in politics, its in kindness. This had been called naive by so many, but I just can't get passed the notion that if we really looked, really looked at the people around us, the world would be different.

All this to say, the words of Mother Teresa have served as a healing agent for me. I needed to remember that people can be kind, that I can be kind, and that it matters. It really matters. I cannot change the whole world, but I can help the person, the people around me. I can give, I can love, I can smile, I can cry, I can forgive, I can pray. Those things matter. They are not weak things. They are not naive things. They are the strongest of things. They are our hope. The hope that nobody can rip from our hands.

"We never know how much just a simple smile will do." Mother Teresa

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