Feb 21, 2016

Spot of Sunshine

The past few days, the sun has been out especially bright for this time in the winter and it makes me happy, happy, happy! I always forget how rejuvenating sunshine is until I get big ol' dose of it and realize what I've been missing :) 

(On this sunny day, this view in real life was breathtaking. This picture...not so much. But I included it as a reminder of how refreshing this beautiful earth is!)

The sunshine got me in the mood to write some of the thoughts I've had lately. I have two main thoughts.
First: I have been thinking a lot about hard things people go through. Specifically, disabilities/health conditions that severely incapacitate individuals. Why do such enormously hard circumstances exist? 

This isn't a new question and I generally feel fairly satisfied about the answers I have for this question, such as a chance to learn/prove/develop what you're made of so you can be a better person.) But. Some of the conditions I am thinking about seem so very limiting that it hardly seems the person is able to personally develop from the circumstance (for example, someone with severe cognitive disabilities). 

My question was satisfied in a simple, touching way. 

I work with 6th and 7th grade students (and LOVE them!). One student approached me wondering if I could help her come up with a way she could do something kind for a classmate with severe disabilities. This student had already been spending time with her classmate but wanted a way to do something more. Through the collaboration of a plethora of individuals (a teacher, the vice principal, the women who run the Boys & Girls program, a friend of one of these women, and 6th/7th graders in a Random Acts of Kindness after-school club), the idea was formed and the plan was executed to make a blanket for this girl. The blanket was beautiful. As was the experience. 

So many individuals reached out to make this blanket-endeavor a success. There was my answer. Yes, one of the reasons life is hard is so that we can grow and learn and become something stronger and better. But a parallel reason life is hard is so that we can love each other. So we can look beyond our own interests and growth to care about someone else and their world. (Which, in turn, helps us learn and grow.) There are some tough, tough things in life.  So we learn. And we love.
Second--and related--I have the lines of  a Sam Foss poem frequetly circling back to me lately: "Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man." (There is actually a super awesome house in Brigham City themed around this poem, maybe I'll take a couple pictures of it and add it to this post, I love it!)

Here is the poem :)

The House by the Side of the Road--Sam Walter Foss

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears-
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish- so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.



  1. I'm waiting for those pictures!! :) I LOVE the poem, and I'd never heard it before. Thanks for sharing!

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