As the hours tick away and we prepare to leave 2008 behind, I thought of a paragraph from our Christmas letter this year. I hope and trust that each of you has a blessed, and peaceful 2009. May the message in this paragraph be your guide at some point along the way.
Perhaps none other than the quiet act of getting a child to giggle and smile comes to mind as a way to close out the memory book for the year. A small girl named Marie lives on our block and walks with her parents past our place every day. Her parents are here from France for a UW-Madison project, and as such, the little girl only speaks French. While James speaks and teaches the French language, and so connected easily with the girl, my English language sounded like gibberish to her, and since she did not have many other such speakers around her on a daily basis, it made her unsure and timid when I was around. But being just a big kid, I knew there had to be a way to break through, and get her to smile. So after weeks of meeting a stony-faced child I saw my opening one spring day. I picked up a dandelion that had sprouted on the lawn and developed to the point that it was white with feathery seeds. I brought it to her, and just about the time, she reached for it blew the many white seeds to the wind. She looked…..stared….and then broke into a major grin. So off I went to get another one……. There is a lesson in there about living life and finding new ways to see the world and be content with life.
I hope that as you journey into 2009 it is a peaceful one with good cheer, and hope for brighter days. And when you meet a challenge know the answer may be nothing more than a dandelion that has lost its color but still has a purpose.