Thursday, May 21, 2015

Camaraderie



The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship ~
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one
 when you discover that someone else believes in you
and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
(Ralph  Waldo Emerson)

My home is a cosy apartment along a residential street.  Unseen to the public, is a spacious, private park-like retreat behind our complex to where we residents can quietly and socially escape.  There are over a dozen tall deciduous trees, 3 or 4 lofty spruce towering well above our 3-story edifice plus a wall of mature cedars along the property lines.  Access to this place of serenity is through the double Common Room doors. 

The broad winding concrete walkways are ideal for persons with 'walkers' or canes.  There are park benches and flowered areas that bloom throughout the summer. For those with a “green thumb”, are separate gardens where they may grow vegetables/and or flowers.  Each spring a truck-load of loam is delivered for them to use.  Late Spring to early Autumn provide us opportunities for social gatherings...plenty of chairs and umbrella-ed tables. The featured events may be BBQ meats and salads...even “Pot Luck”. Any gathering may have a theme:  Hawaiian, Country or Beach Wear is requested to be worn and the tables are decorated accordingly. 

Social activities are arranged for everyone in our complex to participate in.  Special dinners throughout the year (prepared on site in our kitchen…Christmas, Hallowe’en, summer BBQ).  One afternoon a group of ladies play scrabble; another afternoon is tea and coffee with accompanying sweets whereby a few residents bring crafts, books or cards to play and chat for a pleasant hour or two.  Nearby, St. Raphael’s Church offers Bridge and Euchre on a Monday afternoon; we are all welcome to attend any of the other church activities.

This morning, I retreated to ‘our park’ to enjoy the fresh Spring air, Nature's quiet and conversation with a Senior gentleman tending his patio garden.  Since time was not of great essence, I selected a park bench, donned my sunglasses and became immersed with the activities of squirrels and birds.

New leaves have recently sprung…easy to observe the squirrels' winter nests high up in the branches of deciduous trees.  A couple squirrels were scampering around on the ground and checking patios for give-away-food, fortunately, finding none. A couple birds captured my interest as they tweeted back and forth...they flew from tree to tree as if one invited the other to follow...then with dashing flights to  meet in the thickness of the green cedars.  Mother Rabbit  was around with 3 or 4 frisky young ones.

The golden sun was piercing the silvery-edged clouds as they amassed, slowly drifting in the hazy sky.

A poet could write...an artist could paint...a philosopher could ponder and muse. It was a haven to me to spiritually assess, to unite with the “gifts of Nature” and to be inspired by certain people around me and the full environment in which I live.

Simple Things

(the following from a novel by Fern Michaels...Dear Emily)

After her 30th Birthday, Emily decided there was no such thing as Pure Happiness in marriage. There was, she told herself, fulfillment and even contentment.  Either you accepted it or rejected it, which was just another way of saying, “You went with the flow!”...an expression she'd heard on TV.

Emily, speaking with Father Anthony, of the Black Mountain Retreat in the Great Smokey Mountains, stated, “I may be in need of some spiritual guidance. What does one do when one reaches one's goals in life and in business?  Do you set new ones?  Do you mark time? I am not happy, nor am I unhappy.  It just seems that there should be more...of what?  I don't know.  Am I being selfish, wanting more?”

Father Anthony replied, “Peace and Happiness comes from within.  If  you had a wish, just one wish, for what would you wish?  It could be as simple as going away for a while ~ getting a new perspective!  The mountains here are breathtaking...streams are crystal clear...the walking trails are scented from heaven. This place is a coming-together of strangers ~ sharing and looking at your inner self ~ but only if  you want to explore that avenue.  It's a plain, simple life.”

“Father, how will I know when I've reached that place of contentment and inner peace?” 

He replied, “When you wake in the morning and you feel like singing...when you hate going to bed because there's more to do...or when you forget to eat because there's something more important to accomplish...when watching a sunrise gives you pleasure and you can't wait to see another!  Simple Things ~ a flower, a bird soaring in the sky...smiling for no reason!  Live life to the fullest because we don't know what tomorrow will bring.  You converse with God, Nature and Yourself.  Here, in this tranquil place, you can't fool anyone...last of all Yourself!”

What a Wonderful World
(Lyrics as sung by Louis Armstrong)

I see trees of green, red roses too,
I see them bloom for me and you.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world!

I see skies of blue and clouds of white;
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world!

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands, saying, “How do you do?”
They're really saying, “I love you.”

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow.
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world!

Oh, Yeah.

Think I’ll slip downstairs for a cuppa hot tea in the Common Room…
take a crocheted craft newly finished
and play this card game ‘Skip-Bo” (believe that’s what it’s called).

Merle Baird-Kerr...written May 8, 2014
Comments welcome...send to

6 comments:

  1. FROM MEG: "i loved the description of our home...just rightl
    We are very blessed to be here."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many thanks, Meg, for your assertive words.
    The benefits we get are proportionate to our input...
    perhaps even more!

    ReplyDelete
  3. JEANNE COMMENTS: "Great piece on Camaraderie."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Jeanne for your direct words. Often, people fail to recognize
    the many good things we have in life...for which we should be grateful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. SHERRIE'S REQUEST: "Sweet Merle...Sign me up for the future!"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Sherrie and Alan for your sweet brief message.
    LIfe is as good as one' s input...participating and being involved
    is the secret Courtesy, kindness and positive attitude often gains
    appreciation from others. I'll put you on the waiting list.

    ReplyDelete