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?
Anyone watching would have wondered. As the shadows began to creep over the now far-flung mountain, a dark figure was hunched low over a heavy burden, born in their arms. Her skirts were in shreds and upon close examination the wrinkles on her face were etched with mud and there were lines where definitive tear tracks had born down.
The woolly matted bundle in her arms lay as still as death.
She walked twelve paces off the trail then slowly crumbled into a heap, arms embracing her dearly departed Ezra.
The sun rose, then set, then rose again.
~ ~ ~
A man was walking along the trail at first morning light. His grizzled face was a story waiting to be told. The fringed deerskin shirt and tell-tale leggings defined his heritage for all who were willing not to listen. A frame of black and white, separated into two medium length braids and fell down the front of his shirt.
Occupied with getting his wares to the nearest town, yet several miles away, Judd Jeremiah pulled his *travois, which carried hand-loomed cloth from the northern reservations. His travels had taught him many things and he tried to take the best of all worlds, though he didn’t know if he gave anything back.
Even though engrossed in thought, something caught his attention not more than a few yards to the right. Flies were congregating and the aroma of decomposition hit Jeremiah’s nostrils with force.
He spied out a woman and a dog in a heap on the grass, both enveloped by flies. Drawing nearer, he quickly checked for any pulse. Much to his astonishment, the woman was still alive. The dog was not. Her lips were cracked and she was badly sunburned, but she still clung to life.
Yet, though his eyes had seen so much of the harsher side of life, he was struck by the tenderness of this pose. Even when she herself was in dire straights, she was still holding tightly to her dead dog. Jeremiah didn’t have a whole lot of ‘tender’ left in him, but this here, hit a soft spot.
“Now WHAT am I going to do with that” he thought to himself, shaking his head. Forcing a of bit water down her throat he tied her to the travois and began to drag her back to his homestead, shoe heels bouncing along the way. Glancing at her shredded skirt bottom, he realized she’d be no worse for wear.
“Looks like town will have to wait.”
A half hour along, he stopped to give her some more water. Examining her face up close, he realized that though it had been marred by this ordeal, it was still rather on the homely side. Her cheeks were slightly sunken from what appeared to be the want of more than one back tooth and her apparel was obviously lacking from the start. But he wasn’t one to judge. Yet purely from a business vantage-point, she wasn’t the town customer-type and wouldn’t be purchasing any of his textiles. Of that he was fairly certain.
But that pose continued to grab at his heart.
He soldiered on and the sun rose slowly up the ladder of the heavens, not making his load any lighter, and he couldn’t help but wonder what he’d gotten himself into.
Story, Artwork and Photo-editing by Sherrie Robins, Various photos by the Robins Family
Darling little Misha was an alley kitten, camped out behind my daughter’s house. One night, just before Christmas, Jennifer spied a sweet little white and orange face peeking up over a snowbank.
Now, the back story is that we had lost our long-time pal, Oreo, a few months previous, and I had been mourning his empty seat, next to mine. But I had a hubby who had had enough of Oreo’s last days and the sickness and mess associated with it. He was happy to be the proud owner of a cat-free zone and intended on keeping it that way.
Our daughter Jennifer (the make-it-happen child) brought me endless opportunities of golden-faced little ones, needing love. Poor helpless, homeless babies all calling out for me to be their Mom, tugging at my heart strings; oh my. But though she has a special way with her Father and could certainly sway him in her favor, I chose not to press the issue and opted to wait for just the right moment and just the right member of our family to present themselves to us. (And, not less importantly, for Daddy to be ready for her.)
Well, as I was saying, Jennifer saw this furry feline and snatched her up right quick, before either of them knew what was happening, and brought her in from the cold. “Dad…you know how Mom REALLY wants a cat. Well…” and the rest is history. Needless to say, we had a joyous Christmas with this darling little bundle of joy!
So, what lessons am I learning from our Misha?
1) Sometimes its good to wait for the ‘just-right-moment’. It isn’t always necessary to make things happen. Sometimes they just do.
2) I don’t always have to have my own way. I wanted that new cat, right now! But waiting for the right way, over my way only made things that much better.
3) Making other people follow our plans doesn’t necessarily work. Sometimes we just have to wait for them to be ready.
4) When the moment IS right, seize the day! Grab it and run. It may not last forever.
5) Following other people’s advice may not always work. Their good intentions are just that; good intentions. They want to see you happy. But they just may just need to wait too.
6) Praying about the little things can be just as important as praying about the big things. Being patient for the small things, works out the same muscles as being patient for the weighty moments of life.
7) Happiness, when waited for, can be that much sweeter because you remember what it was like before.
8) There’s always room at the table for one more.
Now, a few lessons from the little girl, herself:
A) Be zesty. Don’t be an old fuddy-duddy just sitting around all the time. Play!
B) No one likes to be alone. When you can be a part of the group and they’re doing good stuff, do it!
C) Sometimes flies come along to spoil the ointment. Leap into the air and gobble them up!
D) Everybody needs their beauty rest.
E) Take time to make yourself pretty.
F) Keep your eyes and ears on alert because you never know what’s out there.
G) It’s good to nibble all day long and not to make a pig of yourself.
H) Practice makes perfect. (Did you see that flip I just did, catching that toy mouse?)
I) I may not like the Vet, but the treatz are pretty good…
J) Learning can be fun.
K) Know when it’s time to cuddle.
L) Love your peeps. They’ve got your back.
M) Be patent with people. They just might become your best-est friend.