THE BIRTHING STONE
High above the Wailua River on the
Island of Kauai, in the beautiful Hawaiian chain‑‑which Mark Twain
called "the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any
ocean"‑‑is a spot called Holo‑HoloKu‑Heian, or
Long before Christian missionaries
arrived in the first quarter of the nineteenth century the common people of Kauai
lived far up in the hills and the Alii, or royalty, lived in the lower par t of
the Wailua River basin, close to the moana, or ocean.
Because of the constant battles
with tribes on the other islands, the king often found himself in need of more
men of strength to be added to his own or other AM families. Runners were then
sent to tell the common people that any expectant mother would be permitted to
walk the King's Path down to the Holo‑Holo‑Ku‑Heian, where
her child would be born.
However, if the mother‑to‑be
passed any of the Alii while she was walking down to the Birthplace, she was
forbidden to look upon them and must drop to the ground until Then she
continued her Journey to her destination, where she was met by a person called
a kahuna, who put her in a nearby grass hut and attended to her.
When she was ready to give birth
to her child, the kahuna. took her outside to the Pohaku Hoo Hanau, or
Birthstone, where she was placed with her back against another big stone. When
the infant was born she was sent back to her home along with her baby if it was
a female. However, if the baby was male, the mother returned without him and
the babe was put in the care of the priests. The child's piko, or navel cord,
was then wrapped in tapa cloth and placed in a crack of a big rock, called the
Pohaku Piko, or Navel Rock, where it remained four days.
Kahunas then checked to see if the
tapa bundle was still intact. If not, it was believed that it had been stolen
by rats. Since rats were thieves, it was thought that the infant was destined
to become a thief and he was therefore destroyed.
However, if the piko was still
intact in the Pohaku Piko, it was taken as a sign that the child would become a
good citizen. The kahunas chanting oles, or prayers of rejoicing, marched in a
line on the King's Path‑to the Bell Stone located higher up the mountain.
They tapped the Bell Stone to advise the people that the child had passed the
test and a possible new high chief had been born to a commoner. This was a
signal for rejoicing and feasting among the Alii.
When American missionaries first
arrived, at the invitation of a young native who had gone to New England on a
sailing vessel, they found the Hawaiian stage already set for accomplishing
their work. The previous year the natives had repudiated their gods and were
ripe for the new and more tolerant Lord, whom they promptly accepted and never
forsook. Besides religion, the missionaries introduced an entirely new way of
life, including education and learning skills of various kinds. They promoted
home life, love of family and good government.
With the advent of civilization,
such practices as the Birthing Stone were quickly dropped, never to return.
DANCE IN TUNE
A college professor slept hardly a wink,
In fact, all the fellow would do was to think.
He'd far rather teach and do research than eat
For atoms and fission and such were his meat.
Another deep thinker (of sorts) was his wife
Who thoughtfully planned for a break in his life.
They flew to a city and when they got there
He opened his briefcase and found it was bare.
But, lo, in fast stride he got into the swing
Of dancing and dining and each lightsome thing
Till after they'd visited every gay spot
He cared not an atom if school kept or not!
Louisa Velnett Palmer
Reprinted from: The Wall Street Journal The Music of Language
Johnson tacked up the sign: FURNISHED ROOM FOR RENT BUT NO SOPRANOS!!!
Adam Johnson was always tacking
things around the rooming house. He was a good scout, except when it came to
sopranos. He leered at the sign. The sign mocked him. Adam shuddered.
He wandered around the sunny,
cheerful rooms. The kind of rooms that inspire one to sing. No sopranos!
He went to bed, couldn't sleep.
Stared at the ceiling and shuddered some more. The voice had come from
upstairs...up there... the room overhead. The most beautiful soprano voice in
all the world! Came to haunt him and woo him. To lift him out of himself. To
make him forget that he was forty and bald.
No, he didn't have much to offer,
yet the house was his. Any man owning a house these days had a right to have a
wife. Held waited so long. So held sent roses and poetry and even love letters
to the "sweetest soprano in the world."
Of course he never had the nerve
to deliver it personally; to stop in the hallway when she came in, because she
was never alone. Stage people lived upstairs
and she was one of them. She ... all slicked up with enough make‑up on to
paint a barn, but so small around the waist that she could almost wear his
shirt collar for a belt.
Her brother was a gawky bean‑pole
of a kid. Adam didn't know how old he was, but he sure was an ugly mutt of a
relative to have. Conceited as all get‑out!
They seldom spoke to him, even
when he was just around the corner, It made him mad to see the kid brother
sporting a fresh red rose in his lapel, and roses cost like the dickens. But
then, if the girl wanted him to have a rose, Adam guessed it was all right.
They were always having parties upstairs
and it jarred on his nerves until the silvery song of his darlingest,
belovedest, rocked him to seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth heaven.
Then one day the girl had tiptoed
lightly to his door, knocked, called him by name in an excited whisper.
"Adam Johnson, come with
Adam almost choked on his pipe,
hesitated, turned hot and cold until she caught his arm. He went with her.
"We're having a party,"
He knew he was wrong in going up‑stairs.
Knew it, but loved the very thought of this forbidden moment. He even wished
with all his heart that one of the other roomers might see him now, being
coaxed up the stairs by the "voice that put his house on the map," as
his envious neighbors had said.
He stumbled up the steps and into
the sunny room and paused. There was the big gawk, eating an apple and shining
his fingernails on his blue silk shirt front. Adam didn't often swear, but he
sure wanted to now, because he didn't need a chaperone! He wanted to be alone
with his love. His last letter must have touched her heart. Oh, what joy!
Adam felt that Bud was laughing at
him. He didn't like the way he rolled his eyes. Maybe the goof was slightly
cracked, Poor girl! She must have alot to put up with, an awful job. Just
wait'll she became his wife! He'd protect her! No kid brother was going to
sponge off her forever. Adam gave the kid a look that should have floored him,
but it didn't.
The boy bent himself double and
bowed most gallantly. Only his eyes kept laughing at Adam until Adam wanted to
get out of there and never come back. The boy gave him a sick feeling, like he
had a tremendous joke and it was on Adam.
The girl didn't speak anymore. She
just sat at the piano and ran her fingers over the keyboard. Adam sat down on
the edge of the davenport, remembering how sweet and silvery would be the song.
He sat back and closed his eyes. It did not matter that Bud stepped on his foot
as he passed by. Nothing mattered, only that he, Adam, was here and she was
singing... singing like a lark.
He sighed. It was like heaven.
Like the movies, even. When the Voice came close to his ear and he could feel
the breath on his face, he caught the soft hand in his and cried joyously. He
didn't dare open his eyes, because he was afraid this was only a dream.
Adam felt like a sheik, even like
a caveman, as he drew the singer close and cried out passionately:
"Darlingestl Belovedest! Will
you marry me?!"
There were so many voices and
laughter as Adam opened his eyes. Not a dream ... a nightmare! People came
through the kitchen door and from the hallway as they were laughing and
shouting. The soprano in his arms was rolling those awful eyes at the girl at the
piano who was laughing herself into hysterics.
Adam thrust the gawky boy soprano
from his knee. It wasn't fair! It wasn't fair to a man who'd cared so much, to
be laughed at. He arose, swept the vase of fresh roses from the table, heard
the glass break.
Through bitter tears Adam looked
at his startled tenants. Then without a word he left, never to know that the
tenants had really planned a party for him.
Erica H. Stux
Aloof and solemn is the owl;
He stares at you with kindly scowl.
Unblinking, looks you through and through
As if to say, "Well who are you?"
And then his big round eyes he closes,
Puffs his feathers out, and dozes.
And sweet sarsaparilla;
These three plants I need to get
To feed my pet Gorilla.
She'll be hungry if I do not
Find enough to fill her
Of sassafras, pipsissewa,
And sweet sarsaparilla.
Alby Chipmunk hurried out of his
burrow under the big pin oak tree, near the Tinker family cabin at Sandy Lake.
He lifted his bead toward the sky and sniffed the fresh morning air.
"Come on outside,
fellows," he called to his brothers, Bombi and Ditto, "It's a fine
day for a walk in the woods."
Bomb! and Ditto came slowly out of
the burrow rubbing the sleep from their eyes, as they followed Alby through the
Alby ran ahead calling happily,
"Hurry you two lazy ones. I'll race you to the main toad‑"
"You know what Mama
said," Bombi reminded, "You are to stay near the bur‑row while
the Tinker family and their friends are at the cabin."
Ditto chimed in, "Mama won't
like it if you go too far away from home,"
Alby slowed his steps and his
spirits sank. He couldn't understand why his brothers were allowed to play
anywhere they wished when the cabin was occupied, while he must stay out of
sight. It just didn't make sense!
Re remembered the times he had
asked his mother why he must stay out of sight when the Tinker family came to
the cabin while the others were allowed their freedom. She just shook her head
and said, "You're different, Alby, so you must never, never, go near the
cabin, the terrace or the lawn when people are around."
"But I like people," he
insisted. "They leave nuts and other good things for Bombi and Ditto and
you and Papa, but I must stay inside and wait for you to bring my share. It
No need to try to figure out the
reasons for his treatment, Alby decided, so he walked a few steps farther,
"Okay, so we won't go to the
woods today," he said, turning back toward the burrow.
Alby knew the cabin was filled up
with grownups and children because he had heard voices the night before and had
peeked in the big picture window when it was dark.
He had a
plan. He would go to the
burrow, then sneak outside
while his parents
were busy and have some fun.
He was tired
of hiding all day.
He stayed just inside the burrow,
sticking his head above ground occasionally to watch the children taking
pictures of each other, the cabin and the lake with its bright sailboats.
He could hear the children
laughing as they watched Bombi and Ditto eating goodies. They were having such
a good time!
Alby tiptoed to his parents'
bedroom. They were both sound asleep. Now was his chance to have some fun, too.
When Bombi and Ditto saw him they
scampered toward the burrow. Mr. Tinker glanced up from the morning paper,
took one look at Alby and shouted: "Hey, somebody, get some pictures of
that chipmunk! He's a real beauty."
Alby saw everyone running for
their cameras, heard them talking to one another but couldn't understand what
they were saying.
He was so pleased with himself
that he stopped on the lawn and posed sitting up on his hind legs, cocking his
head first to one side and then to the other. Then he realized something was
wrong. All of a sudden everyone laid their cameras down. They all started
rushing toward Alby with outstretched hands.
Everywhere he looked he was
surrounded by people. He was being chased he knew. He was scared. He ran first
in one direction then the other, but the faster he ran, the faster the people
He heard Mr. Tinker say to his
grandson, "Catch him, David. The Children's Zoo would be happy to have
that chipmunk. He's a rare one.11
Albyls heart went "THUMP,
THUMP, THUMP!" and his teeth went, "CLICKETY‑CLACK, CLICKETYCLACK,"
as he finally made his way into a small drainpipe near the cabin.
He stayed in the pipe until he
could no longer hear voices. He was sure everyone had gone into the cabin for
lunch because he was getting hungry.
When he ventured out of the pipe
his mother was waiting. He knew she was very upset.
"Your brothers told me you
disobeyed my orders and went to the cabin while I was napping. You very nearly
got caught,11 she said.
Alby didn't try to explain. He
knew she would never be able to understand. And besides, he was shaking so hard
he could barely stand on his feet.
"Bombi, Ditto, Alby. Come, we
are going for a walk to the beach to relax, then home for some lunch and
rest," she said.
When they reached the beach Alby
was trailing behind because he was too tired to walk fast. He stopped to admire
a bright, shiny metal boat anchored at the edge of the water.
He stood beside the boat and gazed
at the reflections. He could hardly believe his eyes. He saw that he wasn't
brown with dark stripes like his mother and brothers at all! He was snow white
from the tip of his tiny nose to the end of his tail!
He turned from side to side,
looking at himself. So‑‑that was why his mother insisted he keep
out of sight. He really was different!
He looked into the mirror‑like
side of the boat again and again. At last he knew why his mother treated him
As Alby and his family made their
way back to the burrow he heard Mr. Tinker say, "Come outside, children.
You just might be able to catch that albino chipmunk if you try hard
Alby smiled to himself. "They
won't catch me," he thought, "because from now on I'll obey
Mama." He liked being different from the others, but he didn't want to go
to the Children's Zoo to live. He was very happy with his own family in their
cozy little home beneath the big pin oak tree.
First Prize Winner, Juvenile
A WALK AT
I walked along the beach at dawn,
The sun came up, a day was born.
Peace and joy, the beauty filled my heart,
A brand new day was about to start.
The ship at sea, the fishing net,
The sky so blue, the stage was set.
The water cold, lapped at my feet,
The song birds sang, their song so sweet.
The clouds so white were up above,
Everywhere was beauty, love.
The morning dew, the ocean deep‑,
A beauty harvest, mine to reap.
The seagull swoops down from above,
The sandpiper, too, the mourning dove.
A seashell washed up on the shore,
A treasure from the ocean's store.
As I deeply breathed the fresh salt air
I knew that God was everywhere,
In the sand, the sea,
The sky, and me.
Marjorie D. Cornell
strangled quiet of my rooms
the house sleeps
stands colossus‑like on the nether side
through my window
for a space to impregnate
Its enmity with light is
it stands there
my lamp to be extinguished
sound of the switch has died
into the room... onto the bed
in its umbra
I sleep a
dreams of EOS
Through a rain‑wet pane
I watch the sweep
Of Autumnal Wind
Hearing in it
And from a
distant arctic March
The keeping wail
of the Cryochore .......
Slumped grotesquely in the courtyard corners
Like drunks crumpled in doorways
Are the mute evidence
That a requiem
MOURNING, DAY OF JOY
Moistening her parched lips, she
walked briskly down the hall. Esther was standing outside her room staring at
her with doleful eyes. "Please come here," she beckoned.
Anne hesitated. She wanted to dart
away, yet, of all the patients here, she couldn't refuse Esther. It had broken
Anne's heart to see her roam listlessly while other patients chatted with
relatives or friends. She had encouraged Esther to visit her mother often: yet
silence was all they shared.
She remembered that Esther had
watched once when Anne had combed her mother's hair and cut her nails. In her
melancholy way, she had stared first at one, then at the other and murmured in
a voice that trailed off, to ... and my daughter hardly knows I'm alive."
No, she couldn't ignore Esther.
With forced cheerfulness she asked, "What can I do for you, Esther?"
"I want to go home."
Hose, scarves, sweaters and nightgowns were scattered on her bed.
Anne wondered how to respond. She
couldn't tell Esther she was in the only home she'd known for nine years.
Anne's experience with her mother had taught her that senility didn't banish
"Let's walk down to the soft
drink machine and get something to drink," Anne suggested, hoping to
Ambling down the hall to the
recreation lounge, she guided Esther to a round table with a gay orange
tablecloth. She put two quarters in the machine and they sat there sipping
Suddenly Esther jolted upright.
"Where's my wallet?" she cried.
"You left it in your room."
Esther stood up, her face
contorted with alarm. "Oh, I must get it. It's got my pictures."
She ran back to Esther's room,
Esther trying in vain to keep up with her. Anne looked back; Esther was leaning
against the wall, a pitiful, hand‑wringing figure of fear. Anne
understood her panic. The snapshots of Anne's family were her only link with
them now, a remembrance of the days when they had loved and laughed together.
How often she had seen Esther line up the prints on her bedstand and stroke
each of them, like a genie trying to bestow life!
She found the wallet and pictures
on the floor near Esther's bed. Standing in the hall, she held them high for
Esther to see. It was a long hall and by the time Esther joined her, the woman
was breathless. She gripped the wallet, sighed and pressed it over her heart.
Back in her room Esther suddenly
sagged. Anxiety had depleted her. "I'm so tired. Going to lie down."
She huddled on her bed, fetal‑like.
"I'll go now so you can
Esther spoke with a halting
weakness. "No, no ... don't go. Please ... don't go yet."
Anne glanced at her watch.
"All right, I have another twenty minutes. What can we do together that
would be fun?"
"Just talk to me‑‑that's
all. I'm so lonely." Her hand began to tremble.
"I've forgotten your
name," Esther mumbled into the pillow.
"Yes, yes ... Anne. Why are
you so nice to me?" Her voice was merely a whisper.
"Because we're friends."
She frowned, as though puzzled.
"What's your name again?"
"You're the only friend I have,
Anne gasped. Her mother had always
called her Anna, her baptismal name, and she had used the same inflection as
Esther ... An‑‑na.
Her eyes moistened as grief
smothered her. Oh, why had she come? She needed to laugh, not cry.
Esther turned her head away. Has
she noticed the reaction, Anne wondered. Esther lay there silent. She turned
again and faced Anne, her eyes closed, her face set in stony hopelessness. She
clenched her fist gainst her mouth to stifle the muffled sobs which had started
to convulse her. Anne reached out to her and cradled the woman in her arms.
Back and forth they rocked together on the bed. How desperately this woman
Holding her close, Anne could feel
the bony shoulders, unyielding to her caress. Esther was afraid to let go, she
knew, afraid to love. As long as she didn't love, she wouldn't get hurt. Tears
blurred Anne's eyes as she remembered Esther's lament, 11 ... and my daughter
hardly knows I'm alive."
Fondly, she drew Esther's head to
her shoulders and stroked lightly, coaxing a response. Presently she felt
Esther's body relax, watched her eyes flutter open and then close again, felt
the nod of her head as she rested her full weight against Anne.
A mute cry rose within Anne. I'm here, Esther. Let me be your daughter
As if Esther had heard the silent
plea, she came to life like a limp doll given breath. In a moment Anne felt
Esther's hand on her cheek and then the long thin arms around her waist. A
serene half‑smile played about her lips.
Together they swelled with emotion
laughing, crying, whispering together in tender choking spurts. For a few
minutes Anne stayed with Esther in locked communion, bathed in the warm
electric flow that was outpouring from one to the other.
Then Esther loosened herself
gently, patted her hair and announced, "I feel much better now. I'm going
to call my daughter."
"That would be nice,
"You'll come back soon, won't
"Yes, I'll be back next
Sunday." The promise spilled out of her like water overflowing a pitcher.
Anne cupped Esther's face in her
hands and kissed her. "Good‑bye, dear."
111Bye, An‑na." Esther
stood at the door and waved‑.
Anne was several yards down the
hall when she heard the clip‑clop of slippered feet behind her. She
turned to see Esther
hurrying toward her.
"I forgot something,"
Esther said, her lips curving in a shy smile.
Softly, almost melodically, she
spoke: "An‑na, I love you."
“Oh, Esther," Anne exclaimed,
but Esther was already shuffling down the corridor.
Anne picked up the suitcase and
moved on feeling as joyous as a youngster on a bright spring day.
The whips that lash my spirit force the cry,
"What have I done, or left undone
That I must echo David's 'Oh my son, my son!'?"
My heart is pilloried by grief.
No intuition warned of the unrest,
The torturous compulsion that impelled
His hand to force the door of death,
Aborting life ... his manhood scarce begun.
Groping, I seek to understand.
Flesh of my flesh; bone of my bone;
Joy of my youth; the present's pride and promise;
Tomorrow's golden hopes,
Today are blended ashes in this urn
Within my hand.
Evien G. Beaudry
The everlasting things are these:
The ageless skies and wrinkled seas;
The silvery beacons of the night,
The fickle moon of transient light.
Unresting winds that seldom sleep;
Rocks that eternal silence keep.
Earth's mighty sons, the mountains, stand
Unmindful of Time's withering hand.
Indifferent to the world's brief woes,
The sun, aloof, forever glows.
Though mortals yield to Death's decrees,
God's everlasting things are these.
Evien G. Beaudry
OF AMERICAN WOMEN
Ruth R. Gerberich
American women with the frontier
spirit to move on, have made progress with an amazing record of achievement.
New ground is being broken, prejudice is being overcome, so that the human
rights of all can be established as equal. They fought to be heard, reasoning
that social and political inequities should be conquered.
The future looks bright for some
women, opportunities are endless, in every field of endeavor. Women are
privileged, respected and cherished today, and yet so free because the ones
before us stood the abuse and contempt to make it possible.
For example: Susan B. Anthony, who
fought for womenis rights, after a long uphill struggle set the wheels in
motion for our first constitutional right‑‑women's suffrage.
Each one of us has the right to
vote for the candidate of our choice. Run for office (and win too). We have
ladies serving in all branches of government, doing a good job. Doctors,
lawyers, educators and those in the religious field are helping human beings,
carrying on the principles and ideals of those who fought for human rights.
I like to recall the outstanding
work of some of our early pioneers. Hull House in Chicago stands as a monument
to Jane Adams. Her goal: to stop misery and aid the poverty‑stricken.
Clara Barton who founded the American Red Cross, and today no disaster is too
great for the Red Cross to undertake. Betsy Ross who sewed together our first
American Flag. To see the flag of our country flying gives a real thrill to
each one of us and makes us realize we have a mission to protect and perfect
our own freedom.
With strength and courage,
American women carry on, making the home a place where valuable lessons are
learned. Leaving a priceless heritage, showing a willingness to work to achieve
our goals and help shape a Just and peaceful world.
Erica H. Stux
I dreamed that all the dinosaurs
that stay behind museum doors‑‑the doors that say "Hours Nine‑to‑Five"‑‑had
suddenly all come alive. Not acting mean or fierce at all, they marched around
the largest hall. Then down the long, high corridors came tramping all those
dinosaurs, and through the entranceway they squeezed. (Their faces showed they
were quite pleased.) The tallest had to duck down low; the fattest ones were
very slow in being pushed and shoved quite through; it was a struggle for a
Then Rex, the tallest dinosaur,
said, "Friends, it's time that we explore this town, so let's march down
the street and see what kind of things we'll meet."
And what a strange but gay parade
that group of dinosaurs made. Styracosaurus, brontosaurus, plesiosaur and
allosaurus, monsasaur, dimetrodon, triceratops, and trachodon.
They tramped across the city
square, right by the statue standing there. And all the people watched with
awe, not quite believing what they saw. Policemen came and did implore,
"Please go back home, you dinosaurs. You're blocking traffic far and near,
you're just creating problems here!"
But they were having too much fun.
"Our big parade has just
begun. Wait, let us see the town some more,11 said Rex, the tallest dinosaur.
"You people come and stare at us, so why should you raise
such a fuss if we come out and look at you, and see some of the city,
So they marched past city hall,
the jailhouse with its high stone wall, a church with steeple and a school, a
football field, a swimming pool, a fire station and a bank, a playground with
an old used tank.
They peered down at the railroad
tracks, at clouds of smoke from tall smokestacks.
In windows two floors up they
peeped, and over cars and taxis leaped.
At buses, trucks and trains they
gazed. The folks inside them looked amazed!
At last at a department store,
said Rex, the tallest dinosaur, "Let's turn around here at the park, or we
won't get home 'til it's dark."
So back they plodded, marched and
stomped, till five o'clock, and then quite prompt, they passed through the museum
door, and each went back to his own floor—each one of them now quite content,
and pleased with how the day was spent, content to stay in the museum where
anyone may come to see them.
For me the Revolutionary War
was all forgotten ... well, almost,
when I read this Birthday Greeting
in red, and white, and blue,
on the cover of a British publication:
(bless the wit who penned this loving fun,
this liberating hit read round the world)
"Happy Birthday, America.
from A Tribute to Poetry, 1976 Partridge
AND ONE TO
Of all parties celebrated throughout the year, birthday parties
head the list in popularity. The lighted wonder of a candle crowned cake with
its melt‑in‑the‑mouth icing and velvety crumb cake slices,
the first one usually cut oh‑so‑carefully by the birthday
celebrant, can't be matched.
Honoring birthdays is an old
custom. Years ago only royalty had their natal day remembered in this fashion.
There are two royal birthdays mentioned in the Bible, one in the Old Testament,
that of Pharaoh Joseph served, and in the New Testament, that of King Herod.
Most birthday parties are for
children, from the pattern of the children's birthday party comes from Germany
where they held a kinderfeste. This entailed a family dinner with the
menu selected by the child to include his favorite dishes. Birthday gifts from
the family were received at dinnertime. In addition, a birthday party was held
and the guests were his special friends. The candlelit birthday cake, now the
crowning feature of any birthday celebration, was imported from Germany. Some
German children receive, when they are christened, a large candle with 12 or
more markings spaced on it from top to bottom. Each year on the child's
birthday, the candle is burned down to the next line.
The custom of placing lighted
candles on cakes originated with the Greeks. On the sixth day of each month,
the birthday of Artemis, goddess of the hunt and moon, was celebrated. Honey
cakes, round as a full moon, were baked, lighted tapers adorned them as they
were borne through the streets to be placed on the altar in the temple of the
goddess. It was the Greeks who originated the custom of wishing on all lighted
candles, blowing them out with one puff of breath, so the wish could be
Romans, as well as Greeks, thought
tapers had magical qualities. The devout would offer prayers and good wishes to
be carried up to the gods in the candle flames. If the gods were pleased, they
would send down blessings and perhaps answer their prayers.
Sometimes birthday cakes are used
to tell fortunes‑‑a coin, button, ring and a thimble are placed in
the cake dough. The guest who finds one of these objects in his slice is
supposed to learn his fortune from the token: a coin‑wealth, a button‑poverty,
a ring‑‑marriage, thimble‑a spinster or bachelor. In Russia a
birthday pie is as popular as cake, with Happy Birthday pricked into the crust.
Playing games at a birthday party
used to symbolize wiping out the past year and starting a new year ahead. Games
of skill or strength were played so the guests could see how much the child had
progressed since the previous year, Everyone present was proud of the
In some countries it is the custom
to plant a tree with the birth of each youngster in the family and it parallels
the child's growth. If the tree drooped it was thought the child would become
ill. Usually an apple tree was planted for a boy and a pear tree for a girl.
"Whoever loses his good name
is as unfortunate as he who loses his shadow." In some cultures the baby
was given a secret name when born and his true name was known only to his
family and trusted friends, thus hidden from possible enemies. This custom is
observed among the Egyptians, Brahmans of India and the North American Indians,
With the Australian aborigines, their names were secret and whispered only on
the most special occasions. They were never murmured in the presence of a
woman, not even wives or mothers, or within the hearing of a man of another
The modern belief about
birthstones bringing good luck is thought to have originated in Poland in the
1700's. These superstitions spread to other European countries and finally to
the United States. According to tradition, he who wore his birthstone had a
potent talisman to protect him from evil and bring out the best in his own
What has become a friendly and
generous American custom is the taking to school a treat to be shared by
classmates on birthdays: cookies, cupcakes, suckers or other goodies are
enjoyed by all. Some American schools encourage receiving an inscribed book for
the school library from the birthday celebrant.
Birthday spankings, one for each
year of life and one to grow on, were first administered to soften the body for
the tomb, with the theory that good fortune may be offset with a bit of
distress so the good luck would last. Now birthday spankings are part of the
fun guests enjoy and the receiver suffers good‑naturedly.
All the celebrations and
traditions that surround a child's birthday go into his memory bank to be drawn
on later when he hears those magical words, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
She is a nymph, in love with being loved
As some of us are with loving ... and her
Naughtiness, her wondrous nakedness
Are but practiced
Deceits ... ploys ... no more...how will
It be when she comes to know, Domani,
Who the deceiver?‑‑Who deceived?
It starts as a gentle prodding
This feeling somewhere within
I plan no special timing
For the flow of thought to begin.
A flash in my mind of a dear one
A smile on an aged face
Remembering a love, a closeness of God
Or the seasons changing pace.
I know I cannot dismiss it
My thoughts will not settle down
Until finally I write what I feel inside
Oh, I savor it yet, with a moment of pride
Then I put it away and forget.
Kathryn Renner Barnhart
"If only I could pull up my
arms ... they are so heavy...if the people on top of me would just move a
little so I can reach out. I am on my stomach wedged between the floor and the
window." People, people, people ... everywhere. Moaning and groaning ...
silent prayers. The smell of gasoline is so prevalent. "Wre trapped,"
someone said. "Please, God," I whispered, "don't let the bus
"I looked up and for a
fleeting moment saw Our Lord carrying His cross up the hill. 'Dear God,' I
prayed, 'they scourged you and pinned you down and you couldn't do anything
about it ... here I am pinned down ... here is my suffering, I offer it to
you.' Silently I began to cry.
"Then I heard voices ...
people ... help is coming, I thought to myself. Will they get us out in
This was my mother describing to
me her narrow escape with death.
August 15, 1975, Feast of the
Assumption of Mary, my mother, along with the Senior Citizens of Akron, Ohio,
had chartered a bus to take them to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in
Carey, Ohio. The celebration of its 100th Anniversary, a trip she had decided
to go on the evening before.
"We were having such a
delightful time," she said to me in the hospital emergency room as she
choked back the tears. "We were only 15 miles away from the Shrine. There
was a slight drizzle. I was looking out the bus window taking in the
countryside. Suddenly the bus began to skid, left the road, crossed over to the
left side and struck an embankment.
"I lay injured and pinned
down on the floor of the bus which had toppled upside‑down after that
terrifying skid on the wet road. The last thing I remember was the bus going
through the air, people, purses, glasses flying in all directions.
"They told me at the Tiffin,
Ohio, hospital where most of us were taken, they weren't equipped to help me.
They feared a punctured lung and all the internal bleeding... of
Mother was rushed 75 miles back to
Akron. She lay in the emergency room with an intravenous in her leg. Her broken
arms and wrists were in partial casts. She had fractured ribs and vertebrae.
Multiple contusions covered her face, chest and kidney. Ice bags lay on her
chest, face and neck now swollen beyond recognition.
Her eyes were closed as I bent
down and kissed her pain‑wracked face. She lay there in silent prayer
repeating again and again in a low, audible whisper: "Thank you, Lord, for
After several hours of X‑rays
and blood work, Mother was wheeled into a private room. Three days later she
went to surgery where her arms and wrists were set and put into casts from
fingers to elbows. Now she was totally helpless, unable to feed herself‑bathe
or even wipe her constantly drippy nose.
As I fed Mother her lunch, she
looked at me quietly saying, "I will always remember that bus trip to
Carey, Ohio, that I never quite completed. I will never be able to erase the
memories, frightful moments of anguish, pain, suffering. A mark has been left
on me; I'll never be the same. I will remember the beautiful doctors and nurses
who helped me... tried to comfort me."
"Yes, Mother," I said.
"It was a miracle the bus didn't explode...a miracle you
were all pulled to safety."
She closed her her eyes and prayed
aloud: "My God, I offer thee what thou appointest me; what the day will
bring, of joy or suffering; what thou givest today; what thou takest away; what
thou would'st have me be, my God, I offer thee."
She opened her eyes, smiled and
said, "This is the prayer I was whispering before I lost
consciousness." She then drifted off to sleep as I tip‑toed out of
The muttering of distant
Trembling flickers on the
No more‑Shards of
sound and light
Blurred remnants of memories
Fleeing to the edge of
Only echoes remain
In the sylvan keep
Incapable of voicing
The blazing thunderous incoherent frenzy
That was And is no longer.
In the deepening quiet
Still‑boughed trees stand
Like ravaged virgins
Steeped in silence...
In the dank forest musk
Night sounds indent the
scrim of dusk
With their primal cry
What is the universe?
Is it too big to understand?
What is a peanut?
Is it too small to understand?
People in gardens find
Wisdom with the lowly,
While people on stars see
Wisdom drop from heaven.
if you are a recent widow or
widower, there is nothing I can say or do that is going to make it any better.
Only time will help. The scar will always be there for it is a scar that will
never completely go away. I know because I have such a scar.
There is a portion of the twenty‑third
Psalm that frequently came to mind in the weeks that followed Bill's death.
"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil for thou art with me." Death has a way of strengthening your faith
and making you realize how much you need someone or something to lean on;
something to cling to.
In those weeks that followed
Bill's death I certainly felt that I was going through the valley of the
shadow, where there is no sunshine, no joy, just the awful pain and feeling of
loss and loneliness. I'd tell myself that it would take time, that in time I'd
feel better, but, Oh! did time pass slowly! I thought I would never get out of
that valley, never get to greener pastures. But, time did pass‑‑the
sun did begin to shine, sometimes for only a minute or two, then for days at a
time. Then the awful loneliness and depression would hit again and I'd wonder
if life would ever return to being beautiful. There were days when I'd walk the
floors, nights when I couldn't sleep and I'd ask why? Why me? Why my husband?
We'd had so little time, so much happiness, why did it end so quickly? We had
both just begun to live, to find happiness. Why was he brought into my life
just to be taken away again? There had to be a reason, some reason for it‑‑but
what? God? Somebody, tell me why. There were days and nights when I thought I'd
lose my mind wondering why. So many questions unanswered, so much happiness
lost, so much living unlived, so much stopped, so much ended.
Some days I felt like I walked
around in a black cloud with no silver lining, no sunshine, just gloom and
darkness. I wondered if I would live again. I went through the motions of living.
I got up, ate, went to work. I did my work like a mechanical robot, came home,
ate, and went to bed. It was as if I wasn't part of life, that there was a big
wall around me, separating me from everyone else. I was all alone. I felt no
one knew or understood how I felt. There were times when I felt I couldn't go
on living, that surely I must die. I just couldn't live through all this.
Gradually I came back to life, gradually the black cloud lifted and gradually I
came back among the living to take my place in life.
has its silver lining,
Every day its sunshine shining.
its joys and sorrows,
Every day its bright tomorrows.
sunshine follows rain,
Joy will follow pain.
will fade from view.
Peace will return to you.
THE WAY WE
I hear the mad dash of boy and dog,
The slam of our back screen door,
There goes the milk I needed for lunch,
Mud tracks across my clean floor.
I must tap on the door, "It's three A.M."
A pajama party holds sway,
Silly girls giggling and a growling Dad,
“I'll not allow it again,” I'd say.
I wash a sweater and with a shock I remove
Old fish worms and hooks from the pocket.
I smile when I think of our son's happy face
When I announce, "There'll be fish on the docket.'
"Mom, can we sleep in the playhouse tonight?
We'll clean it all up, right after."
"Our muscle building club is meeting here, OK?”
I worry they'll tear down the rafter.
Just echoes from out of the far distant past,
Our yard has no home plate worn clear.
Does our house seem empty? Does order prevail?
Oh no ... our grandchildren are here.
Kathryn Renner Barnhart
The American poet William Carlos
Williams said that one way to get to know another person is to live as he
lives, eat what he eats and sleep where he sleeps, Advising us to walk in the
fields where we can get our shoes in the mud and return home with the smell of
soil on our shoes.
Taking the poet's advice, I let my
shoes pick up a fresh country odor in 1965, In Irimote, a South Pacific island
of farms and rain where natives tell visitors of their legends.
Chizue Sesoko, for example, lifted
my G.I. morale once with a story she told of how nations sometime help one
another on a personal level. Chitzue said that a Japanese tilemaker was asked
long ago to teach the islanders how to make tile for their homes, to protect against
typhoons. But the man from Japan was homesick, she explained. In fact,
Tokuyama, the tilemaker, was so unhappy he asked the king if he could return to
"I won't allow it," the
King said. "We need you here. You are too valuable to us.Where is my advisor?"
The advisor came running and
explained to the King, "This young man knows alot about tile ... what he
needs is somebody who knows alot about baking cakes and cookies."
The King thought his advisor was a
wise man because he spoke in riddles. "Explain your plan," insisted
"I mean he needs someone who
can bake bread as well as he can bake tile," said the advisor, "I
know just the girl for him. She's a farmer's daughter and Iives near Shuri.
She's intelligent, industrious and beautiful ... she knows how to bake!"
A messenger was quickly sent to
find the young girl, who was indeed the most intelligent, industrious and
beautiful girl in the Ryukyu Islands. Inside the castle, the King told the
bright‑eyed girl the story of the homesick Tokuyama.
"I know it takes more than
flowers, colorful sunsets and tropical sights to make people happy," she
replied. "They must have love."
Soon after she went to work in the
tile shop, the farmer's daughter made the tilemaker like her and the islands
even better than life in Tokyo.
"I've decided to stay with
your people and teach them everything I know about how they can make
tile," he told the maiden. "I will stay with you and make the best
bread I know how," promised the girl.
Tokuyama continued: "I see it
doesn't matter where I live as long as there are people who need my help. I
must stay and teach your people the art of tile making."
As a result, people in the Ryukyu
Islands today live in remarkable safety against typhoons. Chitzue Sesoko, the
storyteller, said that the girl taught Tokuyama how big love really is.
"He learned that the more you
love, the more love you have. Love keeps growing and growing. You never run
short of it the way he sometimes ran short of clay."
HOW MUCH DO
I LOVE GOD
How much do I love God,
How much do I love thee
How much do I love my neighbor,
How much does God love me?
Do I love the Lord my God,
With all my heart and soul,
Do I love my neighbor as myself
As the great commandments told?
Do I love the poor,
The sick, the weak,
Do I love my brothers
From across the sea,
Do my brothers there
Can I look beyond the outer
And see the Christ within,
Beyond their weaknesses
Or color of their skin?
Can I truly love my heavenly Father,
Whose children all are we,
If I cannot also really love
The least of all of thee?
Marjorie D. Cornell
Ruth R. Gerberich
Today we find people everywhere
hungry for good news. It can be found in the greatest story ever written, the
2nd chapter of Saint Luke's gospel. The Christmas Story.
Have you read it lately? Here you
will find refreshing new hope, peace and joy which shall be to all people.
Through Isaiah the prophet God
told his people that a Savior would be born and his name would be
called..."Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace."
To a man named Micah, God gave the answer as to where Christ would be born. In
Bethlehem, a small Judean village.
Now in Caesar's day he put out a
decree that all the world should be taxed. in this same country where there
were taxes, travelers, and little room at the inn, verse 8 in Luke, chapter 2,
tells us there were shepherds abiding in the fields, "watching over their
flocks by night." An angel of the Lord appeared unto them and the Glory
shone so brightly they became frightened. The angel spoke to the shepherds
softly, telling them not to be afraid for he was bringing them "good
tidings of great joy, this day in the city of David, a Savior is born, which is
Christ the Lord."
The shepherds began searching for
the babe whom they were told by the angel could be found with Mary and Joseph,
in a stable. Wrapped in swaddling cloths!
What an amazing story, but true,
the birth of the Son of God, announced by an angel to a group of humble
shepherds and they found the Christ of Christmas. Returning to the fields
glorifying and praising God for what they had seen and heard.
A shepherd is one who cares for
lost sheep, just as God cares for lost people, ones who have strayed from the
flock, ones who are ill, bruited and bleeding. The shepherds abide in their
fields, just as God has a field for each of us.
Where is your field? It can be
anywhere, in the home, at work, at school, in our neighborhoods as long as we
have love and compassion for lost men and women, boys and girls.
A little boy named Mike, from our
Sunday school sent us a picture he had colored which told the Christmas story.
Our hearts were warmed and touched because it came from a child.
May God grant you the warmth of
Christmas which is love; the light of Christmas
which is faith and all of
Christmas which is Christ who came to save his people from their sins.
LOST ... A FRIEND
We walked together through many years
Our lives were so entwined.
We shared our thoughts, bared our souls
Such fun ... we wined and dined.
Over sorrow, we cried. Over success, we rejoiced.
As a sister you would always be.
Then something changed the course of things
Life does this, you see.
We had to travel a different road,
We changed along the way.
I look at you now with heavy heart
We really have nothing to say.
Kathryn Renner Barnhart
LEARNED IN THE FASHION WORLD
I didn't know much about proper
dress in 1961, but that didn't stop me from accepting a job in the Fashion
Department of the New York Times. At 21, my knowledge of men's clothing was as
limited as my wardrobe‑consisting then of one black wool suit and plenty
of white socks. Fashion editor, John Willig, assured me I didn't need to know
anything about fashion.
"Just answer the telephone
and take messages for us," he said as he hurried out the door with the
rest of the fashion staff. They were going to cover the Spring and Summer
fashions in Miami. "By the way," he suddenly turned and asked,
"do you know something about plants?
"Once I grew some peanut
plants," I answered.
"Well, I'd like you to water
my wife's rubber plant over there while we're away." He waved his finger,
they were gone for two months. I should know all about rubber plants, I
thought. I'm from Akron.
At the Times I learned that, far
more than just good looks, Mr. Willig wanted to use models with character and a
good attitude. I discovered that most models are talented in art, writing,
possess several talents, but without character and personality one s future is
dead‑ Talent cannot make up for lack of vitality. Beauty alone is banal
I also learned that the biggest
asset is to let your individuality show in your work. Looking back, I recall
the fashion editor most often chose the older, more mature men to pose for
pictures in the "Men's Fashion Report," because they usually radiated
a nature not found in younger faces.
Why is an older person sometimes
chosen first? The reason for selecting a 40‑year‑old model Instead
of a 20‑year‑old is the facial lines of middle age. Honesty either
shows through these lines, or it doesn't.
Aspects of abilities like
tolerance, sincerity, honesty, dependability and common sense are easily
recognized in the older faces. Patience and good‑naturedness will show
through if it's there. A model's loyalty and desire to work become obvious, and
this can win him the honor of posing for a national audience.
For example, Mark was a model with
the right approach. He always appeared clean, neat and intelligent. He was a
great fellow who knew how to dress.
One day Mark showed up wearing an
orange necktie. The orange tie made for energy, accent and character. It
clearly revealed his outlook on things. He was rewarded with the opportunity of
posing with a beautiful girl who wore a short skirt and shared his interest in
photography. Like gold, his good‑naturedness is acceptable currency
anywhere, while fortunes may perish, character and personality live.
How do you acquire a good
disposition? I have learned the answer in the fashion world:
The best way to gain a good nature
or temperament is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. This is how a
good temperament is developed. Put another way, the easiest and most effective
way to form your own success attitude is to begin to live, act, talk and feel
like the person you want to become. Just act toward others as you want them to
act toward you. Some call it the "Golden Rule."
Along a quiet country road
A yellow farmhouse stands
I seem to know its secrets,
I've walked, before, its lands.
Of each unseen interior,
I can envision every part.
The attic with roof so low
Holds quiet in my heart.
The willow tree I stand beneath
What a strange spell it casts.
It brings forth sweet longings
Of a life I lived, long past.
What is this nostalgic feeling
That so often comes over me?
Do I search for a kind of healing?
Is there somewhere I long to be?
Then as over the fields I wander,
Through wooded groves I roam,
A feeling of peace engulfs me
My soul is longing for home.
Kathryn Renner Barnhart
Doris dropped the dog‑eared
magazine onto her lap as she reached for the ringing phone.
"Hello," she answered
"Hi there! I hope you arentt
too busy to chat just now. I wanted to tell you how capable I think you are.
You do so many things well, and yet put a touch of yourself in them. Kind of
sets them apart," the voice hurried on.
Doris felt her brows shoot
skyward. She laughed as she asked: "Virginia, what in the world
"Virginia?" the voice
cut in, "Isn't this Karan Botts? You sure sound like her."
"Sorry, wrong number, but I
wish I was Karan, or at least knew her. Is she your daughter?"
"No, a newly‑wed
neighbor. I can't imagine making a mistake. 4147780 is what I dialed."
"The last digit is the error.
My number ends in 9. The rest is the same. Karan will be glad to hear all those
nice things from you," Doris said.
"Karan is really upset. Her
mother‑in‑law is coming for a visit and Karan is cooking her first
meal for them. You know how it is, everything must be perfect."
“Yes, I remember going through it
myself many years ago." Doris pulled the worn robe close and balanced the
magazine on her knees. "We all go through it, don't we."
“We sure do and it reminds me,
when I see her all upset, how nervous I was for my in‑laws."
"I remember," Doris
sighed, staring at the large strawberries on the page as the sunlight danced
across them. "1942, rationing, a cold‑water flat and a mother‑inlaw's
birthday. I got the ingredients and mixed the batter carefully. I put it in the
pans and slipped them into the oven. My old stove wasn't level and the batter
ran over the edges. I took cookie cutters and propped the pans level. It was a
hot day and as I rushed in and out cleaning, the back door slammed shut making
the pans slide off the props. I was heartsick with two very lopsided
"What in the world did you
do? You couldn't buy baked goods then like now."
"When they cooled I trimmed
and trimmed. They ended up looking like two big pancakes. I had some
strawberries so I made it a..short cake," Doris said quickly as she
flipped the page.
"How did your mother‑in‑law
"Loved it. She didn't know
for several years what I had done. She was so nice about it." Doris bit
"I remember my first meal,
too. I was being so fancy, roast duck! I was a bit upset because I'd made so
much stuffing and there was hardly any room in the bird. I had to put it in a
pan and bake it alongside the duck. It wasn't until I was clearing up and tried
to remove the little bit of stuffin from the carcass that I found the neck and
giblets still in there. I'd forgotten to take them out."
Doris shook with laughter as she
asked: "Any complaints from the guests?"
"None, but I felt so DUMB! It
was years before I even told my husband."
"I'm so glad you called this
number by mistake," Doris said. She smiled down at the profusion of
creeping phlox. "I just know Karan will feel better after talking to you.
Would you let me know how her meal turns out?"
"Sure, I'll just make the
same mistake twice! I feel better too, seeing the funny side helps."
Doris replaced the phone gently.
She put the magazine aside and took her hair brush and wielded it through her
white mane until it crackled with static electricity. She began singing all
the old songs she could think of and as the volume increased, the more distance
there was from the right key.
Her finger touched the red tea
rose and she asked aloud: "So who's to hear?" She leafed through the
magazine and spoke to the pictures. She set it up on the table while she ate
and stared at the sweep of lush green grass.
She went to bed early and dreamed
pleasant dreams of the good times in years past. The persistent ringing of the
phone wakened her. She glanced at the clock and gasped: "10 AM! I
overslept! Me, the insomniac ... overslept."
"Hello?" she asked the
"Hi there! Wrong number
calling again. This time on purpose. I just now talked with Karan and I've got
to tell you. Everything went just fine. I talked with her after I called you
yesterday and she enjoyed hearing about our experiences. Her mother‑in‑law
is a gourmet cook, a terrific homemaker and it really terrified Karan. Well,
Karan's mother‑in‑law was delighted with the meal and had a grand
time. Karan said that later the conversation turned to bothersome phone calls
and she told them of us. When she told them about our first meals she said it
broke up her mother‑in‑law of course she had a story for Karan
about her own disaster and it made Karan feel like she was with her own mother
again. Now I've got to say thanks, thanks for recalling the past and
brightening the future. I'm Mary Monahan, and if you don't mind, I'd like to
call you again."
Doris wiped at the moisture in her
eyes and answered, "Gee, I'm tickled to have helped. Sometime I'd like to
talk with Karan, too. Mary, call this number anytime. I'm always here."
"I'll do that! I've got to
run down to the laundry room ... oh, I hate the stairs!"
“Be careful," Doris cried as
she put the receiver in the cradle.
Doris rolled her wheelchair to the
window, gripped the magazine on her lap and sat looking at the pictures. She
traced the outline of the Peace rose with her finger, the red‑‑and
yellow roses in front of the evergreens that contrasted sharply with the deep
Doris sighed and dropped the
garden magazine, lifted her eyes to the window and looked out the dingy glass
at the almost rungless fire escape ladder that dangled like a semi‑toothless
comb over the trash‑strewn alley below.
For whom do you grieve
As you stand with head bowed?
Have you come to be near your loved one?
Was she always by your side?
Are you lonely for her voice
And the touch of her hand?
Do you come each day to tell her this?
As I pass by each morning
I share your grief.
The day you brushed the snow from her grave
With each dawn I looked for you.
You stood so quiet, so sad,
But not alone‑‑I was there.
I slowed my pace as I passed,
Though I would not stop.
These moments were communion for you.
But my prayers went forth to sustain.
The days passed. You are no longer there.
Has your grief been eased by time?
Can you go along for now?
Or are you with your dear one once again
Walking hand-in‑hand far all eternity?
I will never know.
I was only passing by.
Kathryn Renner Barnhart
I cannot do great deeds
To help mankind.
I cannot find
That special aid
I cannot feed
The hungry mass.
Words of solace for the sick
Or the grieving
Tend always to elude.
I cannot give the world
A work of art,
Nor solve the problems
That plague all nations,
In my very busy day,
I can somehow
Find a moment
To listen to the lonely soul
Who comes my way.
Kathryn Renner Barnhart
From the cumbersome
Burdens of my mind
I carried on,
Wishing to be alone
And putter around
I've always thought
That I could be content
And on my tombstone
They could write,
She left this world
When she missed a putt!
I ought to be arrested for vagrancy,
For no clear‑cut pattern for my life,
For drifting, one way then another.
I ought to be fined for littering,
Stacking up piles of interesting things,
To be lost in a box in the closet.
I ought to be nabbed for polluting,
For not clearing clutter from my mind,
Wasting precious thoughts that flee.
THE PUT ON
The coolness of the sheet
feels smooth and good
against my nakedness.
I embrace the one
brief moment before I dress.
With no one watching
still I cannot bear
exposure as I lie;
I feel too vulnerable
to unseen eye.
Perhaps it stems
from girlish fantasies
of lovers, and being more
than who I am.
Only Venus (lovely Aphrodite)
in flawless ivory or marble likeness,
has the right
to unveiled observation.
The closet bulges with its wares
I continually increase the shrine.
Shifting them around now and then
is a hobby of mine.
It is hard to part even with old things.
The covering I wear
is a part of my life;
A part of me.
I don't know who I am.
I face confusion.
Is it all that I am they create?
Just an illusion.
As I looked out my window,
The lilac was so fragrant,
on the wing.
Children playing happily,
Voices full of joy.
Two angelic little girls,
And just one growing boy.
The little robin darted
Into her hiding place,
The little boy watched with awe,
And wonder on his face.
How did she know the spot to choose,
So snug and hid from view?
To build her nest in such a way,
To him was all so new.
But ere the spring begins,
Each bird has known the way,
It is the plan of God above,
Just as the night and day.
And as the mother robin
Strives to do her part,
I sense the love of God,
Grows greater in my heart.
For He has told of love,
For all the creatures small,
And for the little children,
That love is best of all.
So guide me now, I pray,
That in each bright new day,
I too may strive to do my part
And show some child the Way.
By Elizabeth MyersSeitters