Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer's End

Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors
~ Summer's End ~
"We carry within us all the wonders we seek without."  ~ Sir Thomas Browne

Summer's end always sets me on a familiar path; tender shoots of late summer grass beneath my feet, sunlight that plays on my face and warms my toes, cool breezes dancing through the trees, fire smoke on the air, and the promise of time to come shared with friends and family. Already well acquainted with autumn's glory, though having grown unaccustomed these last miserably hot months spent indoors; still the question is raised in my mind... am I living a meaningful life? If I am to believe 'to everything there is a season' then why do I always find myself contemplating my failures, rather than applauding my successes?

I, in fact, did plant my garden this summer... only to stand by, feeling incredibly lazy in my helplessness, as the fruits of my labor shriveled in the harshest drought these parts have seen in a long time. (Fail.) 

I did weep over my losses, and mourned as long as mourning was acceptable in the normal order of things. (Success?)

 I did refrain from smothering embracing my children when my needs exceeded their own. (No wait. I got this one. Suc-cess!... *High fives everyone.* I think.)

I do did, I occasionally, inflict self-loathing onto my sometimes delicate voracious psyche. 
(I suck.)

And I did, in fact, not speak when I should have cried out from the top of a mountain. I may have taken some liberties with this one a bit. Though still true. (Complete and utter failure.) 

I suppose one could argue (me) that I did, in theory, succeed at something. I did contemplate my failures, while at the same time basking in my success(es)... that I had, at the very least, truly contemplated my failures. So there's that.

"A time for every purpose under the sun" right? Perhaps the answer, interwoven deep within these failures of mine, is where I will triumph at last. At the moment, I think I may have forgotten what I have failed and or succeeded in to begin with. So the point is moot.
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ~

A meaningful life? 
Ahhh, September! 
How do I love thee? 
Let me count the ways.

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock

On a good day, a day like any other, a day when searching for and accepting balance into my life is my heart and mind's sole purpose; I suppose that is a day lived in the pursuit of meaning. That is a day when love and wisdom take charge, watching over my successes and correcting my failures. And that is more than 'good enough'. That is a force for good. Though it always helps to be reminded, every once in a while. We learn through repetition, after all. And it all started...

Well, very close to kindergarten.

"All I Really Need To Know about how to live and what to do and how to be 
I learned in kindergarten. 
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, 
but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life ~
...learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up
and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice
and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup ~ they all die.
So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned ~
the biggest word of all...

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. 
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. 
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
And it is still true,
no matter how old you are ~
when you go out into the world,
it is best to hold hands and stick together."

Love My Friends
... and happy learning!

“The best way out is always through.”
~ Robert Frost



  1. I tried to find a suitable quote in relation to how we deal with our shortcomings and 'deficits' and couldn't see anything which would express my thoughts. This life journey, for many of us, will often be influenced by the should'ves, could'ves, and a variety of other matters which can lead us to question the meaningfulness and value of our contribution to this wonderful world around us. Sometimes we need to have the courage to seek ways in which we can improve; and perhaps there are also many times when we need the courage to accept that we're doing okay. I am looking forward to the season of believing in ourselves.

    1. This one comes to mind. (;

      "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
      ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

      You are so right!

      Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas are empty regrets. Summoning the courage to improve upon those things we can always improve on, and accepting our most human efforts is the key.

      I'm so glad you stopped in, Accidentalwriter!

  2. This is exactly the kind of inspirational post I needed to read today (odd that I'm finding your list of fails/successes inspirational) but I am. Your words always inspire me and now I'm inspired to accept my own voracious need to fill myself with life and joy at a moment when you'd think I'd be doing the exact opposite.

    1. Though we don't always feel it in the moment, sometimes it's in life's not-so-funny-kick-in-the-pants that we really shine.

      If it weren't for our voracity... in spirit, I think we would miss out on the joy that is woven into the texture of our lives just for that purpose.

      It does indeed take courage to see that our "failures" and even our "successes" are no more, really, than opportunities in disguise. It's what we do with the knowledge that counts.

      Joy! be yours. It is good medicine!

  3. I love Ecclesiastes--it puts everything into the right perspective.

    1. Good to see you, Connie! Welcome to *my* little hole in the ground! Care for some tea and cakes? It's well past Elevensies, after all.

  4. I am in the midst of (yet another) time when I'm thinking about all this sort of thing.

    I'm mostly thinking about why there's a win and a fail column, what's up with that? Is there, or can there be, a deeper purpose to it and if there is, what would that be.

    It's interesting to think about and then you post this!

    I will say we all have wins and fails and times when we aren't who we would like to be and times we can look back on and think various things at ourselves.

    You are a special one. You are, you are.

    I love the Emerson quote. Wonderful.

    1. *Big Smile*

      I guess it's really all about that balance thing. No one can "win" all the time.

      Perhaps the healthy outlook would be to recognize that our "failures" are no more, and no less, than our "successes". Whatever the outcome, through repetition we learn and hopefully grow from ALL of our experiences.

      ~ To everything there is a season ~

      Remarkable message! And though I've spent the better part of my adulthood working on understanding just that, I believe it is forgiving myself that I have the most work.

  5. So many excellent things in this post Scarlett! But I love the thought of holding hands and sticking together.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth!

      I absolutely love Robert Fulgum's, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten"! Wonderfully funny and worthwhile book. I've read and re-read many times over the years.

  6. Hey,

    Yes to everything there is a season... right now I'm trying *hard* to remember our three little boys are, well, little... I know this season will change and the kisses I so love will be few and far between...

    Unless I taze them, 'bro :)

    Good to "see" you again, Miz Scarlett :)

    1. ALWAYS good to see you, Mark!

      Ours are all teenagers, and STILL giving hugs and kisses. The taser worked. Of course, they're a little twitchy and walk with a limp, but you know... gotta do what we gotta do, right?

      Tis always the season to remember to love them. And You, sir, are spectacular at that.

      Super cool you stopped in! I'm talking about fudge tomorrow. Look. See. I'm cooking again. Things MUST be getting back to normal round here! Well, same old, same old anyway.