Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blessed Life

It's not doing the thing we like to do,
but liking the thing we have to do,
that makes life blessed.


Of Note: The old farmers who used implements such as these certainly would have agreed with Goethe. For those stalwart men and women, unrelenting work was the order of business every day. Living was often rough, and blessings were counted, particularly at holidays. Death and life were constant companions, and old farmers understood how the two were captured in an eternal dance. Stories were passed down often with few words. It was just like that. This milk can belonged to Jim's German grandpa who used it for many years until it ended up in our yard as a reminder of a pioneer long gone and an age forgotten by most. With a deep economic downturn looming, resurrecting some of the old stories of the tough but blessed times might help us through.

Today's Weather Report: Would you believe it, I did not step one foot outside today. Too many things going on inside. Right now it's dark even though only 5 pm. The soup and bread cooking are promises of a delicious dinner and then early to bed.

Watch For Change Snippet: The Elders have returned. We've been waiting patiently for retired statesmen and stateswomen to make themselves useful, and now they have. Launched in 2007 by former South African President Nelson Mandela on his 89th birthday, the Elders--including 12 former world leaders and prominent rights activists--have mediated several political crises, including those in Sudan and Kenya. Even with their collective clout, it has not always been easy going. This week, for example, their assignment ended in frustration when Zimbabwe barred the way as its humanitarian crisis was reaching "catastrophic levels." I have to admit, it took guts to say no to former President and Nobel Peace prize winner, Jimmy Carter, former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, and former South African First Lady, Graca Machel. The official newspaper of Zimbabwe said that the group would be invited back after crops were planted. That means never. It is well known that no crops have made it into the ground and many are dying from cholera and hunger because aid has been curtailed at the government's request. The Elders said they will persist in their efforts, however. Godspeed.

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