Awakening a Keen Observer

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Frog

I went to the grocery store again to get those few things I forgot the first time...marsh mellows .. napkins etc. There were a lot of people there and I was surprised to see with the Christmas trees for sale the "Crystal lighted Christmas Frog." No really the Christmas Frog?
Seriously, I didn't have my camera or would have snapped a shot. I imagine it is not the last one I see. At least I suppose it didn't say the "Traditional Crystal-lighted Christmas Frog"
So let's make up a story.
"Once Leo Leopard frog went to his normal winter hibernation. It wasn't so hard really. Just keep swimming and doing what you do until the pond around you freezes and you have a little bubble of air to 'enjoy' the rest of the winter. Wow this year somehow there was a thaw in the middle of December. A thaw so severe that Leo Leopard thought it must be spring. But something was different. He was the ONLY frog around. The days were short. There was nothing to eat. Really what he wanted was to return to that spot in the water. Just for a few more months.
Alas, he was lonely. What's a frog to do. In one spot in the pond there was a hole that took Leo into deep water. Scooting along he slipped down into the hole. Wow, Water great he thought. But there was no-one else there and he had to keep a look on where that hole was. When he hibernated everything in his body slowed w a y W A Y WAY down... but now he was not up to spring time jumping he was instead kinda in between. What's Leo to do?
Apparently, and how lucky, there was a farmer's daughter walking by and she saw the frog and really felt bad for him. She knew, because she was a keen observer of life around her, that frogs weren't supposed to be out in December so close to Christmas. She picked up Leo, he was slower than usual, put him in her pocket and took him home. Now this was odd for Leo. What is this soft fluffy stuff? It felt like the cattail when the fuzzy stuff fell off. Well, never mind apparently there was nothing for him to do but enjoy the ride.
The little girl took him to the house and showed him to her mom. Wow and Great her Mom said what do you think we should do with him?
NO one! Trust me! Absolutely no one- said they should, um, well, eat him. They tried to figure out what to do next. Somehow this December thaw had hit the part of the pond he was from and there must be something they could do for him.
Could we get that old fish bowl out and try and keep him there? They got it out and at least Leo could swim. But the water was oddly clear and didn't taste good..nothing in the water for a frog to enjoy. If indeed a frog can look sad, Leo did. He lived there a couple of days.
One morning Mom took out a Milk Carton and said., "let's try this sweetheart and see if it will save him being out in the cold without water or protection will kill him and we'd be lucky if we could keep him alive ourselves."
They put the water into the carton. Dropped Leo in and sealed the carton on the top. The temperature outside had turned very very very cold again as it did in that part of the world and it was only 15 degrees.
Good Luck! they wished Leo as they put the carton on the windowsill. They waited. The next morning about 10 hours later, they looked outside and peeked into the top of the carton. There was Leo frozen inside like he was sleeping all stretched out. Waiting for Spring.
(They kept him in the carton in the deep freezer in the garage.)
When it looked like it was time for a real thaw the daughter and her mom took him out to the pond and put him right beside the water inside the carton. They opened the top so that when the water melted he would be free to hop out. They hoped hard this would happen.
For a couple of days they would check and could see that the ice inside was still frozen. They couldn't tell if he was breathing. Sigh.
The third day was really beautiful with bright sunshine and warmth wherever it hit.
They went to check. The carton seemed to be in a different angle
and when they looked inside ...
you guessed it. No Ice...
no water...
no Leo. YEAH! YEAH!

A few months later in the spring the little girl was playing by the pond and saw a whole group of frog eggs. Do you think Leo could have something to do with this? She took about 5 and put them in the fish tank and watched them change from tadpoles to frogs. Wow that's amazing. And she took them back to the pond...Tell Leo we say hi...she said as she let them go..swimming into their new new life.
And so every year the little girl remembers Leo and that's how Leo became the traditional Christmas frog... "

Ok, I wrote this this afternoon waiting for the time to cook dinner. Hope you enjoyed it.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Tree

hello all
What happened to Thanksgiving? I mean really? Well it's Thanksgivingmas. The day we eat turkey and then we move to Christmas. Friday is this huge shopping day! Oops moving right along...
My daughter and I went to NYC on Saturday. We picked the coldest day thus far in the winter but it was still fun. To be honest we stopped before we went to buy a bus ticket and reconsidered...but then decided we'd go. It was fun.
Thanksgiving was not in evidence, Christmas was...
We checked out the plays that had tickets available and then went to get something to eat on Time's Square. It was a great lunch with a waitperson who made it really fun. Then we walked several blocks to Rockefeller Center and could see 'the Tree'. Of course it was wrapped in scaffolding so that the trimmings could be applied. It would be beautiful when it is lighted.
But right now it was bound. It reminded me of how we bind up Christmas and holidays in expectations. We wrap them up with what was and what might be and sometimes in these thoughts we miss What IS. What is around us each day. What brings us joy and what brings us hope and what memories bring us peace.
When I visited with my aunt and uncle not long ago we talked about what they remembered about Christmas. They asked me what I remembered. I spent every Christmas with them until I was 23. It was fun and they seemed to enjoy all the things I remembered.
The tree I think for many symbolizes "what is and what was". When you enter into these holiday-days I think you also might consider putting this very time in your memory and make it wonderful.
Be gentle with yourself.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Light

This is one of the photos I have of Ronnie. He was very dear to a whole world of people. I will miss him as his light left this world and moved to the next in a tragic accident where the world also lost his wonderful brother.
Ronnie lived in India. He was finishing his degree in dentistry so that he could help folks who have never had a dentist or dental care or instruction in how to care for their teeth.
He remains dear to my heart...He always will. Perhaps I was wrong....his light continues to shine even now it is for us to carry it...

My heart hurts with so many others over his ... dying. It was much too soon. But these things happen as those of us my age know all too well. So now what?

We wrestle with an angel for a blessing for our hearts. It seems hard in coming.

What will the world feel when it is your 'graduation' time as one of my minister friends would call this transition? What will people say? That the world is a little dimmer for your being gone?

Perhaps friends that is why we need to shine with the fullest measure of light while we can. Every day with everyone we meet be they stranger or family.

In the meantime I'll sing over and over... to the tune of O Come all Ye Faithful sing along

How firm a foundation, Ye Saints of the Lord...

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

In all of this God abides
And right now I need that more than usual
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And the Winner is

I am always encouraged by the knowledge that in this country if someone I didn't vote for wins that I do not have to fear death. Seriously. In many places not to support the right people can mean death or being sent into exile or famine or something that causes life to be threatened.
Let us not take for granted that our vote counts, that our opinion can indeed be expressed in a way that we can hear each other and work together for the betterment of all.
We win-all of us-- when we listen to brothers and sisters whose opinion is different than ours. Bruce Reyes-Chow the current moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA put it this way... "
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can really put a damper on any meaningful communal discernment of the will of God and the mind of Christ."

So let's all be winners and listen to one another.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey