Friday, February 18, 2011

I've started a new book, a fictional essay I believe is the new coined phrase for this style of writing. Here is an excerpt.  Feel free to give comments. Inevitably I am my own worst editor or you may have a suggestion to make it better. Thanks in advance.  I hope you enjoy.

The Magic in Ordinary Days

“The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift, not a right.”  
Author: Unknown

Matthew 28:20   teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

       Is it age that defines the moment we become nostalgic or is nostalgia a state of mind, which has nothing to do with time or space?  I don’t know when or where I slipped into that “state of being”.  It came along silently; inconspicuously in it’s yearning, until without warning it snapped at me like a mousetrap catching its prey.  One day I was young and innocent with decades of planning life ahead of me, then the next I was looking down the barrel of middle age.  Oh the cruelty of it all.  However, after pondering the inevitability of my twilight years, Lord willing I’ll have some, and my forever home in Heaven, I decided nostalgia wasn’t such a bad thing.  It could illicit smiles, laughter, a calmness of heart, but most of all ­­­­–– a better understanding of how today’s moments become those sentimental memories of tomorrow. And in that I have learned to take careful responsibility and measure the fullness of the magic in ordinary days.
         On some of those ordinary days I love to go meandering through antique stores, the kind with a wonderful aroma of dust and history and memories amalgamated into a scent transporting me back in time. A real sense of the past comes to life as I stroll by furniture whose edges have been worn smooth like pebbles in a stream from years of use.  Or how about those smaller items like old flour sifters…how many hands squeezed those handles sending the ingredients through the mesh below to make cookies and cakes for some festive occasion?  When did that person decide they didn’t need or couldn’t use it anymore?  Or how about the dish set which is missing one salad plate or teacup because little cousin Jimmy back in 1952 dropped it on the geometric green linoleum floor.   The thing that catches my heart the most are those lonesome photos assembled side by side in a box.  The souls of faces I do not know, but yet somehow call to me from some faraway place saying, don’t forget me.   Where are they now…most have I’m sure, since passed away as the photos themselves have from family member to attic to antique store where inevitably strangers look upon them as some old relic, not the loved and cherished person they once were.  These are the things that have gone before us, an older world that should still be honored. How quick we are to let go of the past in quest of things newer and brighter and faster.  Isn’t there still something worthy and satisfying about baking cookies from scratch, hanging out the laundry, or listening to the evening crickets from a squeaky porch rocking chair? It is these unremarkable moments in life, which embrace the most meaning. Here’s to holding on to those things that matter most and never die: memories, love, and the Lord’s promises.

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