Looking down thru our little farm from the perspective of this beautiful pot of annuals is such a good view. Things are growing well and soon tomatoes will be up in their cages, ready to be tied up with additional bamboo supports. Several varieties of beans are up and making secondary leaves, and within a week will be sending out twiners, looking for the bamboo poles of the trellis to start to climb. Swiss chard, cucumbers and collards are all doing well inside the fence. Eliza’s zucchinis all have small buds, and watermelons are finally up. Peppers of several varieties and Brussels sprouts are all growing taller. Things are as they should be.
I look at the garden from a perspective of not being able to do as much as I did other years, still recovering from a shoulder surgery earlier in the year. Perspective is important to get right and understand. Part of each person’s perspective needs to include getting older, and I realize and accept that I am. Next year I might not be able to do as much as I did this year, but I’ll still do the most that I can.
I’m not sure that years ago I would have predicted myself joining the local senior citizens’ center, but I did join. It’s a nice place, lots of people doing interesting things, lunches provided for a small donation, and people who genuinely care about older community members. It does feel like a place of community.
There’s a questionnaire to fill out at the center when you join. It asks questions to establish who you are and what health issues could present themselves while you are there. There are questions to see whether you have services in place that could help you, and whether you need them, and whether you are even aware of them. One question struck me particularly. It asked whether you have enough money to be able to buy the food you need. I was happy to say that I do, and it made me wonder about the people sitting around me, and how some of them had answered that question.
We must be thankful each day for what we have, including our loved ones, our health and the ability to sustain a good life as we have planned it, from our perspective. Things are as they should be; that’s a very good way to think about each day. I’m thankful to be able to grasp that concept.
All this musing reminds me on one of my favorite writings, written by Max Ehrmann, and now in the public domain. I always try to think this way.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.