Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Forge new paths

Beautiful paths at Chanticleer Gardens 
I have always been intrigued by stories of adventure and new beginnings. In part, my father's love of the outdoors and tales of adventure such as the film, Jeremiah Johnson, inspired this quest. His interest in adventure may have been inspired by his mother's interest in the topic since her favorite book was Mrs. Mike, the story of a young girl from Boston who moves to Canada, marries a mountie, and journeys into the frontier lands of western Canada. As a child, stories of struggle and adventure like Jubilee brought me on journeys that illustrated struggle and the strength of the human spirit. As a family, we only went to two movies altogether when I was young, both movies depicted struggle, adventure, and the search for freedom, Swiss Family Robinson and The Sound of Music.  And, when I learned about Lewis and Clark's adventures, I mimicked those adventures in backyard play. Still today I love stories, series, and movies about adventure. Most recently I've been hooked on the series When Calls the Heart, Anne with an E, and BBC's Sense and Sensibility. I have even been rewatching Little House on the Prairie and looking into Laura Ingalls Wilder's life story inspired by the fact that she began writing in her 60's.

These adventure stories match my quest to build a warm, welcoming home, advocate for better living for all, and seek the best ways to live and work with others. Returning to the Little House on the Prairie series almost fifty years since I first watched it demonstrated that the series still provides inspiration, knowledge, and positive challenge for children and families. Each episode deals with how families work together to get past challenges that we all face as well as challenges unique to the westward expansion period in American history. I find that watching and reading stories like this betters who I am as a person. In contrast, so many modern series focus on the worst aspects of humanity and provide little inspiration.

During this stay-at-home time for so many Americans, it is a time to rethink who we are and how we live. We can look back into days of old to see how people coped with hard times, worked together, and made the best of things to get ahead. My sister has been reading the stories of World War II in England as a source of inspiration. She's been sharing those tales of sacrifice, camaraderie, and strength--good inspiration for today.

I hope that our will to find silver linings during this pandemic will lead us to better living on our own and together. I hope these days will help us to work for laws and government that serve the people in healthy, positive ways. I hope that these days will help us to reinvigorate our will to protect the environment and recognize that we all share the environment with the knowledge that a healthy environment empowers and enriches all of our lives. I also hope that this time at home will show us that we can reduce, recycle, reuse, refuse, and repurpose more to slow down the rat race we've created and live better lives.

I continue to be thankful to the many intelligent, hard working, and good leaders in hospitals, health facilities, food banks, grocery stores, transportation, government, and other essential jobs who are protecting our lives and livelihoods. I trust those whose hard work, expertise, and experience are leading the way. Of course, there are some self-serving, ignorant fools who think that that quick fixes and short-sighted efforts are the way to go, but history shows us that those superficial solutions don't hold strength or promise for the long term.

What new paths will you forge during this pandemic? Where will you find the inspiration for these new paths? What difference will these paths make in your life and the lives of your loved ones in the days ahead? I wish you well on this journey.