The View

My Photo Stream1

I love the hokey view from our kitchen.  Even on the most piercing, hot, sunny days, our kitchen can be dreary due to its placement in the house.  Even with the blinds open, the location of our kitchen’s one window, towards the west-ish, means that rarely is sun streaming through enough to illuminate cooking projects.  Well, I take that back.  Often around 9am, a big beam comes in, blindingly, just as I’m finishing up breakfast clean up.  It perfectly spotlights the crumbs, coffee spills and grease which I THOUGHT were cleared and so I usually pull the curtains shut  to push out the light.

I have almost taken almost 100 pictures from this window—-sunrises, sunsets, foggy mornings, brilliantly blue skies with fluffy clouds floating by.  I think I take so many pictures because the views continually surprise me.  I am entrenched in the routine of the morning, unloading the dishwasher, toasting bagels & scrambling eggs and it non-failingly startles me to catch glimpses of the view.  Or I am walking, bleary-eyed, to boys’ rooms to check on them before going to bed and I will pause to look for stars or at the moon.  Some days I just like to take in the clear blue skies if I am “stuck” indoors with LEGO projects ongoing.

It’s not a  glorious view.  The window is smeared by greasy fingers, the trees include tropical to deciduous to who knows what shrub.  A beat up chain link gate is in the foreground and my neighbor’s carport blocks a clear view.  In spite of it all, every “oddity”, I treasure it.  

Today as I saw a Martin Luther King, Jr quote, posted by my friend, Susannah, I halted.  It made me think about so much, in part to the fact that I am indeed 38.  Maybe it was the way he addressed fear and the unknown head on.  Martin Luther King doesn’t mince words, that’s for sure.  Read it, and I’m sure you’ll agree—-

It made me think about the view—the view we see, day in and day out, the people we are surrounded by, the circles we “run in”, the dishes we scrub, the paths we walk and drive….those views can be seen as ruts.  The views can feel like a dead end.  The view can look routine & expected.  Or sometimes, the view can produce great fear.  What storm is brewing right beyond that palm tree?  

But, Martin Luther King, Jr., pushes us to think about how we want to live.  Do we want to be dead in spirit at 38, or alive, standing in the midst of our fear and apprehension, in the face of unpopularity, loving deeply?  Should our decisions be ruled by fear or by love?  Are our choices made in apprehension and safety or driven by justice?  I think I’m the poster child for fear, apprehension and being stymied, but the message of his words were working in my heart today.  It was that swift kick in the rear that his messages often stir.  Get up, soak in the view and LIVE boldly for a great principle, issue, or cause.  By stepping into the “arena”, as Roosevelt says, we often find purpose in the midst of great risk.

Happy 84th, Martin.  I am so grateful for the way your words continue to push me, convict me & comfort me in new ways.  

 And because it just doesn’t get better than this, here’s a little treat from Stevie Wonder….

Stevie Wonder and the artists from Mandela Day perform “Happy Birthday” from mandeladay on Vimeo.

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