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Neat little packages.
That’s how we like most of our lives to be stored. Tied up with a bow. Predictable. No surprises.
Every genre has a hit song that glorifies abandoning the drudgery or difficulties of life and fleeing to worry-free days. Popular movies touch on the theme, vivid images stirring up our yearning for another life. And not just in our current culture: Conjure up that mental clip of Sister Maria shedding her habit for her native dress, running through the fields, arms flung wide, singing about being alive to the purity of the music of the hills.
Twice now our family has moved into a home that, although it was vacated by the previous owners, it remained full of their stuff.
Remember when you were little how the passage of time seemed to move so excruciatingly slowly? If you've got the voices of little ones around you now, this may doubly resonate with you.
"Then the lion said--but I don’t know if it spoke--You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
"The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was jut the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know--if you've ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away."
"I know exactly what you mean," said Edmund.
“Is he safe?”
This was the question King David asked the messengers. A league of rebels had mounted an insurrection against the throne, and during a sortie, the armies of the king encountered the rebel forces. David had been waiting for news about the fighting, and when he saw the fleet-footed courier appear on the horizon, he was anxious to hear the report he brought.
When birth takes place, there is a moment when, despite the beating of the heart, despite the functioning of the organs -- which all begin before delivery into this world -- life cannot be sustained without oxygen entering the lungs. Smack. Gasp. Wail. And here you go, Mom, here’s your baby, and who did he get that temper from? (Adam, I thought to myself -- because I too was gasping too much to form the words with my mouth, he got that from Adam our first parent.)
Indy wiggles and squirms, her eyes locked on the treat dangling over her nose. Her legs tremble a little here and there, like she might jump up to grab it out of my hand. But there’s one thing she’s learned. If her bottom leaves the floor, she loses the treat. She has to show self-control. She knows it. She knows without the restraint on herself, she will lose the good thing coming to her.
I love jewelry. My kids know it’s all over when we’re walking through any shopping area and my eye catches a jewelry display. I especially love crafted jewelry, and silver is my favorite metal.
I’m drawn to the beauty of curving, weaving strands of silver, dotted with jewels or stones or beads, or impressed with delicate markings, or shaped into intricate designs. Rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces. . . . I’ve picked them up at vendor booths, on beachside boardwalks, in bookstores on college visits -- somehow I find silver in the least likely places -- or it finds me.
Darkness is pushed back as a spotlight blares on. It's over my head and I am in the middle of its sharply defined circle of light.
Laura England Miller