Peaceful Gratitude

I am thinking more about our early years here, and the kindness of the people who welcomed us. After being in the hospital and surgery at the end of 1993/early 1994, I remember gradually walking again, and a neighbor called after me, “Ellen, where have you been?” I think I then wrote him and his wife a note – I am better with writing for some conversations. At a local restaurant, that no longer exists, a group of retired men met for coffee. My father would have been one of those guys! The name of the restaurant was The Knotty Pine. Although closed, we remember. And we enjoy many wonderful restaurants in the area. I like the places where I am comfortable, and simple good food. Good service. And we see many of the same people.

Some though have passed away, and when I read their impressive obituaries, I am moved by how modest they were, how humble and caring. Service and kindness.

Sometimes kindness too is giving others their new space and time. I can no longer do the physical work of caregiving. Though I support emotionally. And I pray. This is respected, and I am so grateful. No small thing to write a note and pray. I can remember one or two sentences, a card, and how much that meant. Sometimes there is so much initial support – perhaps after a loved one dies – and then someone sends a note six months later. And life changes, and some friendships have changed. Some renew. Can always say a prayer for them. Keep a wise and kind heart. Good manners.

I cooked eggs this morning and remembered a poem from October 2012:

falling leaves
and silent sunrise

how easy today
to let go of old dreams

cook some eggs
wash the dishes
write this poem

And then I rediscovered this poem:

how quickly
another generation
seems I only
looked away
for a moment

how good their work
how beautiful their art

Grateful for all ages – every day new, and full of memories and hope for the future,

Ellen Grace Olinger

Photo by Karl – August 2018