Monday, April 12, 2010

Serendipity

My struggles of the past two weeks are now history and lessons have been learned. The situation is always evolving because life and work are organic beasts. And I'm okay with that. In fact, I received so much support and validation from literally around the world that it's very humbling.

Now here's the interesting part. I often re-read favorite books. Heck, if they aren't favorites, they don't stay in my stacks. There isn't always rhyme or reason to my re-reads. Sometimes they are 'comfort' reads (like comfort food but a lot less fattening); sometimes interest is piqued when I'm cruising for something/anything to read and I come across a title I haven't looked at for a long time.

A week or so ago, I pulled some small bedtime reads off the shelves and cracked into them at random. One is a little book I picked up 15 years ago called "Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish" by Sue Bender, written in 1989. I picked it up partly because I'm a big fan of Amish quilts, partly because it was on sale and cheap.

My first read-through wasn't promising - I found the author to be self-absorbed and neurotic. I still feel that way a bit but in subsequent readings have found some value to it. That I should pick it up again after a five (or more) year hiatus is curious, because as I relaxed and recuperated over the weekend, I came to these words:

"I used to think depending on others was a weakness.

"Depending on others became a strength."

"What happened was a laying on of hands - a handmade process - a procession of friendship. Friends, one more busy than the next, came, reached out beyond their overcrowded schedules, saw the possibilities, and offered their help. This group of strong-minded individuals joined forces - cooperated. It wasn't the Amish way of community but I saw these friends as a community of quilters, making the quilt stronger, more mine than I could have done alone.


"These were my neighbours, helping me harvest the crop."

and a bit further along:

"Listening to your heart is not simple. Finding out who you are is not simple. It takes a lot of work and courage to get to know who you are and what you want."

Hmm.

Strong stuff.

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