Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday Ramble

Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.

Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom

Good morning.  It is another cool morning, but not like yesterday when felt and looked more like Autumn than Spring as evidenced by the above picture I took after  I got off the bus while coming home from the Center.  It wasn't bad out.  In fact, I kind of enjoyed the cool breeze.  That is, until it blew the dust into my eyes.

Still trying to make up my mind about whether or not I want to go to the Center today. I had a terrible time yesterday. None of my friends went, and because no one was there, women's group was canceled. So, instead I went into a baking class. Women's group will end in two weeks anyway as the intern who facilitates it is leaving, so I figured it would be a perfect time to give this new group a try. 

Big disappointment. The teacher had his own bakery in China and was teaching clients of the program how to bake Chinese pastries. Trouble was, he didn't speak a word of English and didn't have an interpreter. So why, I ask, did he pester me for weeks on end..."I teach baking. Room 309. 11 am. Come. Learn."...when he knew darn well I didn't speak the language. I should have realized, though, that they were rehearsed words when I tried to explain I was already in a group at that time and would begin attending his group when the facilitator left....and he didn't understand a word I said. 

I lasted about ten minutes and then left to go sit in the television room and play a game on my phone. I really would have preferred to go home, but I'd already paid for lunch.  Besides, it was ziti with meat sauce and salad, and they sure do make that good.  And then again, who knows who they would seat at my table.  It's always good to meet new people.  Not meant to be, though.  Yes, they did seat five people at my table, but they all spoke only Chinese. (I live in an area with a huge Chinese population). Talk about a boring lunch.  I couldn't wait to get out of there. But, perhaps I wasn't open enough to the possibilities. Perhaps if I had tried harder to understand.

And with that, I'll leave you with the following uplifting tale....

Two traveling Angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the Angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the Angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older Angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

When the younger Angel asked why, the older Angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem." The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. 

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger Angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, "How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die." 

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older Angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it." Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the Angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you need to trust that the outcome has a purpose. You just might not know it until some time later...


  1. That's a great myth. I've read it before but it's evergreen.

  2. Maybe it's time to find another group of some sort? Who needs the aggravation? Some group with more in common. I think that the idea for these centers is good, but in practice I think it takes more things in common than age/retirement to make a group work. What about something associated with the church you like?