The 2chicks are returning here with perhaps a few tricks up their sleeves. The following is a short story, set along the banks of the Niagara River, on Grand Island, New York, in Beaver Island State Park. If you are coming to the area, certainly google it for more information. Please, read on and enjoy!
Written by Sherrie Robins
Evening fell over the Niagara.
There was a hush and an echo, that reverberated as sunlight on the whimpering waves.
A heron was standing in the marsh along river’s edge, aware of my presence. Silhouetted as a statue, she was unwilling to move a muscle…until I got too close. That was when she spread her wings wide and with a leap and an arc, soared toward the setting sun.
In the distance, a dog’s bark preempted the quiet, perking my ears up, bringing me to attention.
We recently had a neighbor move in on the corner of the block. The house he purchased had exchanged many hands over the course of the past twenty-two years, or so. It was owned by a not-so-present landlord and was frankly, an eye-sore. Frat-boys partied it up, two kids dug a hole in the front garden, digging half-way to China, weeds encroached the yard’s border, making us cross the street for an evening walk. Paint was chipping and peeling, the lawn was unhappy and the old house was putting a frown on the neighborhood’s face.
I spoke with the new owner, “Joe”, and thanked him profusely for the great job he was doing renovating his new home. He said a simple, “thank you, Ma’am”.
In the ensuing conversation, I inquired about his life’s history: he’s a business owner, a former Marine, a family man. His politeness echoed back to his military background. I asked if he’d mind if he were featured on this blog and if he preferred his name be mentioned or not. True to form, he was happy to accommodate, yet humbly declined the use of name. But, he didn’t mind our sharing his pretty cool tattoo!
So, we wanted to take a minute to honor his polite and humble ways, his can-do attitude, his “fixer-upper” spunk, investment and service to our city, neighborhood, country and lives.
“So, why make a fuss” you might ask? “Someone bought an old house and is fixing it up. They are doing it with investment in mind. The neighborhood is happy because their property values will rise”. Point taken.
But I say, anytime effort, substance, beauty, or investing in something worthwhile occurs, it’s worth a kudos. In a society often fixated on the negative, where an eye-for-an-eye is condoned or even encouraged, where people carry a spy-glass in their pocket, examining flaws, downfalls and ineptitudes, isn’t it worth making an effort to highlight good things, people, those positive efforts?
Our city struggles with neighborhoods and housing, at various times and places. Someone chose to stay here and invest, fix up the old and run-down. Hooray! It doesn’t mean he’s perfect, it means he’s trying.
So how about finding someone to encourage when they are doing something right? Look for those who are being helpful, kind, putting forth an effort. Put the spotlight on them, and take it OFF all the negative noise and brew-ha-ha.
Joe is the first in a series of spot-lights, featuring everyday heroes and plodding pedestrians, moving in the right direction. We’re just taking a moment to say “thank you, you’re just great”!
Take a minute to pour a little water & sunshine on your fine self!
My nephew popped over to the house last night. He’s a talented young photographer/videographer, who’s starting a business with my son. Their work is fresh, hip, young, knowledgeable, practiced & informed.
I’ve learned a few things from them both.
“Hey Jordan”, I said. “Wanna see the new ‘video’ I made”?
Now, though I’m a practiced and ardent “photo-snapper”, my ‘video’ happened to be a photo compilation-slide show of a family weekend gathering, something I’m relatively new at, and a far cry from their professional work. (I wish them the best).
But he liked it!
Then he said this: “I love the way you’re not afraid to try new things and continue to grow. Most people your age just settle. Stop growing. Maybe they find something they enjoy, but they stop there and just do “that” for the rest of their lives. How many people do you know that keep trying and expanding; reaching? You’re great”!
Wow. What a compliment.
It brought to light a new perspective. Because of different life situations, I’ve had to wear many hats and have sometimes seen this as a negative. Others have told me so. I haven’t always assessed these accomplishments as assets: a positive!
Here’s a couple of thoughts: as one continues to grow, some old things must be left behind, some for a while, some for always. Knowing which is which can be a challenge. And we can’t expect everyone to understand where we’re coming from. If we stretch, there’s always the chance of rejection.
Also, we have been told that in order to be good at something, really good, you have to stick with that thing forever! But what about a different take. You’ve heard it before, “he was a real Renaissance man”. This is referring to an individual’s proficiency at a number of abilities. This used to be a “thing”. Not so much anymore as society often seems to box people into roles: teacher, business person, entertainer, artist. Any Mother knows that just ain’t so! Children are even taught that, at least up to high-school, through a well-rounded education. But many of us leave behind the variety upon reaching adulthood.
And here’s are some additional perspective: the more we become proficient at a variety of things, 1) the more it rounds out our personalities, 2) enables us to relate to wider circles, and 3) we begin to see one gift as feeding off the other.
1) Each new lens we look through allows us to see life a bit differently. Having been an artist and photo-snapper, for example, has caused me to go from looking at each single flower, leaf and stone to taking in the vastness of the world around me.
2) Personally, being able to relate to my son and nephew in their world of photography, another nephew with his writing, my daughter in her’s of cooking and travel, and many others in singing, piano, blogging, teaching, etc. This ability has enriched my life on so many levels.
3) When one is developing any gift, artistic or otherwise, it seems the additional become easier to access. I’m sure this has a scientific base, but I’ll let YOU google it!
So, think out of the box! Don’t be afraid to expand, develop, grow in whatever you’re already good at, and more. It’s okay if it isn’t in our comfort zone or we make mistakes. We all do. Whether it’s a new hobby, a new work challenge, relationship growth or trying a new recipe, it’s all ripe for the picking.
Learning is the stuff that keeps us fresh, young, vital. It helps us to reach others and become our best selves. So let’s grow, Grow, GROW!
*Thanks for reading lessonsinperspective. Feel free to follow, like and share!
One perfect Autumn day, my husband and I were walking along the escarpment near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. There were vistas, foliage, pathways, twists and turns. Waterfalls, crunchy leaves beneath our feet and various scampering varieties of wildlife.
Honestly, I was so focused on the obvious; waterfalls and vistas, snapping away at them, that I don’t think I was paying much attention to what was above me. My husband stopped me, “Sherrie. Look up. This would make a great photo, wouldn’t it”?
Just maybe we could come up with a lesson in perspective on this one? Perhaps we shouldn’t be so focused on the obvious, or the immediate, the urgent or the loudest thing roaring in our ears to forget to look up. Simple but true.
As with many things in life, I have my husband to thank for this one. He was right, don’t you think?