Walking with the Sun on My Face

Girl at beach

Here are my ten thoughts about the world today.

1. Sometimes I miss carrying people but it’s nice to swing my arms when I walk and have no worries.

2. I had lost touch with how intensely self-conscious my Nicaraguan children sometimes were in places  we went as a white family but I am remembering it now and wish I’d really understood what I was seeing when I was seeing it.

3. If there is a God, I think he or she frequently gives people more than they can handle but they survive mostly because they decide to focus on what’s going to happen in the next five minutes.

4. I will never fully understand the concept of forgiveness although I do understand reaching a point of letting go of one’s rage before it becomes lethal.

5. Martin Niemoller’s caution still rings true even though we like to see it as historical, an artifact of another time, not this one.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

6. It is a relief not to worry about my children’s happiness but to know that they are happy or happy enough without my planning and tending and that I can fill up that new space with almost anything I choose.

7. The boy at the beach on Sunday with long khaki pants and shoes on was like a prisoner I wanted to liberate; I thought why did your parents bring you to this joyous place in a cage?

8. It is wonderful to have someone thank me for a right decision I made about them twenty-five years ago.

9. I can decide to not let things be more important than the things that are important like working on gun control and racism; there aren’t other people to do this, we are the people.

10. I could not be more grateful for my chance to be on the earth this day and all the days past and maybe tomorrow.

7 Comments on “Walking with the Sun on My Face

  1. Whew! Such wonderfully evocative juxtapositions of joy, danger, wisdom, warnings. Thanks Jan– Especially after your essay on hiding..(!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is far too long for a comment so, if you have no objections Red, I am writing a blog based on how my mind reacted to your thoughts. Its called RED’S SKY, AND I’M MOURNING. Should appear later today unless I get lost in memories and ideas. Cheers. Anton


  3. Reblogged this on lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown and commented:
    Red’s list of beliefs has the ring of truth and conviction. It reads a bit like Annie Dillard or–shoot, someone else whose name I can’t remember right now. She was a writer who was struck by lightening twice, who was a sheepherder for a year or two in Wyoming. Anyone know who I’m talking about? I read her book three times and still can’t recall her name, but she was given to philosophizing as she recorded the everyday events of her life and loved her writing as i love this piece of Red’s writing…Judy


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