“There, sitting on the warm grass, I had my first lessons in the beneficence of nature. I learned how the sun and the rain make to grow out of the ground every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, how birds build their nests and live and thrive from land to land, how the squirrel, the deer, the lion and every other creature finds food and shelter. As my knowledge of things grew I felt more and more the delight of the world I was in. Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister’s hand. She linked my earliest thoughts with nature and made me feel that ‘birds and flowers and I were happy peers.”
—Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
I’m trying to have the sense to live in the moment and to enjoy myself in that moment, whatever it might be, like Helen Keller and her teacher Miss Sullivan.
The only time things seem to make any sense is when I am with my nieces or nephews, holding my niece.
Ten Things of Thankful
I am thankful for more time spent, just myself and my little buddy Mya.
She didn’t want to sleep the entire time. She didn’t want to miss one second of her time with Auntie Kerry.
Then Kim told me there are a few photos recently taken where Mya looks like me. I may never have my own children. My sister will never know how much this small thing, one I won’t ever likely fully understand because I can’t see the pictures, means to me anyway.
I am thankful for my last violin lesson for a few weeks.
Last time we missed multiple weeks it was I who was going away. This time my teacher is traveling.
I hope, like last time, I don’t fall too far back in my progress.
I hope her trip is everything mine was to me, all she hopes.
I am thankful for my return to the library.
I haven’t been to my writing group (The Elsewhere Region like I like to refer to it) since February, for a few reasons.
Everyone there seemed pleased to see me, a few even saying they missed me. I missed them and their wonderful imaginations.
We had little scraps of paper with a few lines of story prompt written on them, thanks to one of the members of our group, and mine included: a frog prince, a talking donkey, a cloud castle, and Betty’s wish list.
Who is Betty you ask…well I asked myself that same question. It was the first try for me, in a while or at all really, at writing fantasy. I liked what I came up with, though I have no idea where I was headed with it, but then my equipment decided to cause a problem.
I was reading my story in progress out loud to the group, they were riveted, and then the second half of what I’d written seemed to vanish. I am sure I wrote it, but my technology doesn’t always cooperate.
I am thankful I could answer a few questions about how I’ve learned and lived as a blind person, for a good cause.
My sister’s sister-in-law works with a young boy who is blind. She helps him in his neighbourhood school, but she had some questions about how I’ve grown up, how I learned, and how my mom saw it all from the parent perspective.
She had the coolest keychain on her keys. Instead of a cube with coloured squares, she has three blocks that move from one side to another, and they contain tactile dots. They are braille dots and they make different letters in braille when you mix and match them.
A fun thing to do with your hands. She sounds like an excellent teacher who wants to keep learning the best possible ways to teach her student to be as successful in his life as possible and it seems he is lucky to have her.
I am thankful for a friend reaching out, mentioning me to her friend, and a new and possible connection made in the world of women writing and women’s storytelling.
Thank you Lizzi. Women helping and supporting other women. We can always use the help. I appreciate it.
Who knows what will or will not come of it, but that is what making connections is all about.
I am thankful for a lovely first visit with my new neighbour in my home.
We had a nice talk. Many more to come.
She even warned me about the roofers coming to her house and called me this evening, to check on me, when she thought she heard a noise over here.
I am thankful for this earth.
I watched Bill Maher say that 45 needs to forget “Make America Great Again” and instead “Make Earth Great Again.”
I totally agree. Mars is cool and everything (says this fan of planets since childhood) but we don’t have licence to be careless, reckless, and destroy this planet, just because some want to get there. It is not the answer to our problems of environmental and climate changes. Taking care of this place, the one already with plenty of water and life and the air we breathe, that will benefit us all in the end.
As many said, every day should be Earth Day for us all.
I am thankful for science.
All Around Us and Everything Essential
I thank all the scientists in my life: my oldest friend, my many excellent doctors over the years, my cousin and his wife, my new friend who is also a writer, Bill Nye The Science Guy (for teaching me to love our solar system when I was a child), and to so many who are much smarter than I am in these matters.
I owe science big and I believe those who marched all around the world were warranted in doing so. We need to make a statement. Science is worth fighting for.
I am thankful for another excellent episode of Anne The Series.
A young girl runs through a dark, snow covered forrest, carrying a lantern and wearing only a thin layer of night clothes.
Ahead By A Century.
I am glad Anne and Diana are allowed to be friends again so soon, but I didn’t expect these three things to happen, all in this one episode of Anne The Series: Diana’s sister almost dying, Anne meeting Great Aunt Miss Josephine Barry, and Gilbert suffering a huge loss.
The fist fight is one of the memorable parts of this one, likely brought on by grief and a need to defend a newly growing love and respect, even if the source of that love and respect doesn’t make it easy, like one before her.
Though Anne is conflicted about what her future should be, between romance that most young girls are desperate for and her strong ambition, she knows when she listens to her heart.
This episode is all about letters, long lost pleas that will now never be addressed and unfinished business and apologies.
More flashback with Marilla this time, as a young girl, about Anne’s age. Sadly, youth cannot last and family obligations altered everything, but not necessarily for the worse, for some more than others.
Matthew offers to help Gilbert, Marilla and Gilbert have a enlightening conversation about place and time, and Anne finds a kindred spirit in old Miss Barry, who the writing hints as having had a long same sex relationship with another woman. This was never even alluded to in the series I loved growing up, but the times are changing and I am glad for that. It was one of the pleasant surprises of this week’s instalment.
Some of my favourite themes explored in this narrative are those exploring grief, loss, stubbornness, regret, and how decisions can or may influence the future.
Anne goes to give her apology when she finds an abandoned house, Marilla is stuck with her regrets, and Matthew goes to the bank to make some mysterious financial transaction.
Season finale already next Sunday. That went fast and I hope the break isn’t too long, that a second season is in the works.
“Romance is a pesky business. No sense to be made of it.”
—Miss Josephine Barry
I am thankful for books, but not only them, but books in accessible formats.
On World Book Day, I am not just thankful for books, though I am always thankful for those. It’s being able to read them, hold them, learn from them, and to access them in either e-format, audiobooks, or in braille.
This wasn’t always possible if you couldn’t see to read and it still isn’t always made easy. I just want to be like Helen, with her love of reading and learning. Or Anne and hers.
And so one more week ends and another begins. It’s all still an endless, giant enigma to me.