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?
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.
A Creative Writing Piece, for your thinking pleasure.
By Sherrie Robins
Her thoughts raced around under the headscarf, creating friction, and they were about to burst into flame. There wasn’t much time, yet there was all the time in the world. Why were there always choices and why was there really no choice to be made at all?
The phone vibrated on the table. Pick it up? Leave it?
The thought of making a firm decision propelled images across and through her mind, hurling her into panic mode: images of past mistakes.
What about the time she’d said ‘yes’, bringing him into her life, with all the resulting drama and trauma of a trashy novel?
What of the time she’d turned left, instead of right, thinking the gas station was a mere mile or two down the road, and she was wrong. Tears streaming down her face she’d driven on, into the night, needle on empty, past the vacant cottages now covered with snow. The terror that moment brought sent shivers down her spine.
What about the job offer she had declined because it was ‘too far’, ‘too hard’, but really because she was lacking the confidence to say yes?
What if answering was a left hand turn?
Confidence and surety were not her top qualities, but stubbornness may well be.
Insight and quick thinking are qualities she admires in others.
No, she was the slow cooking, overnight bake. The need of time to reflect and ponder, analyze and roll things around. The grasp for permeation and absorption, not a mere check of the box.
Why did this have to be so difficult?
She felt the press and it only made any decision she might make elude her.
The phone began its table top dance…again. Her throat felt dry. Little sweat beads prickled her scalp.
“This is vital! I have to decide right now, or it will be too late!”
Suddenly, a quiet dawn unfolded before her. The phone quieted. Her heart rate slowed. Peace came to her, as did understanding.
“Do I? Do I have to decide this very second? Because if I do, then I have my answer.”
Slowly she picked up the phone, and pressed the screaming number. “I’m sorry, but if I have to give you a final decision this very moment, then you have your answer. But, If you’ll give me some time to think on this, then perhaps we’ll have a reason to talk.”
Hanging up she took a moment to reflect and then another to just be thankful for the knowledge of self.There may be a time when she would find it necessary to make a quick decision, then she’d have to deal with it. But that day was not today.