We are approaching the end of summer for this strange, challenging year. What was normal, vacation travel, preparing for the start of school, and the start of holidays is no longer taken for granted. At times each of us may feel fearful, uncertain, perhaps even angry about events in the world right now. Labor Day is the normal marker for the end of the season, this year it seems like things are simply blending together.
Yet somehow, many of us find a way to get up each morning, do what we need to do and keep going. I was reminded of the importance of resilience when I was outside today, watering plants. We have a cactus out front which I check on periodically to see how it is doing. The cactus was here when we moved in and continues to survive in spite of harsh conditions. The lower part has many scars, I suspect from vehicles that backed into it. In spite of those scars, lack of water and poor soil it continues to grow. In the rainy years, a time of plenty, it has thrived. It is now about twice as high as it was when we moved in. I feel a bit humbled at this plant that continues growing in spite of its environment. In times like these I’m glad to have this reminder just outside my door.
Behind the scenes I’m getting things set up for the Patreon page and slowly getting things put together. I expect to announce the link after Labor Day. I’m also slowly editing a book of mine to prepare it for publishing. It is fun to revisit the story I wrote and to still find it readable.
Finally, I found an essay by an author I like, it is called, “This I Believe” I’m including a few quotes from the essay and a link. While it was written in 1952, it seems appropriate for our times.
I am not going to talk about religious beliefs, but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them.
I believe in my neighbors.
I know their faults and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults.
I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime, yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest decent kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up, business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime.
And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown --in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability....and goodness.....of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth, that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth --but that we will always make it....survive....endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure --will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets, to the stars, and beyond, carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage --and his noble essential decency.
This I believe with all my heart.
Pictures by J.T. Harpster, prints of his work can be found at https://shellcreek.redbubble.com/