Friday, May 14, 2010

When it's Dark, You Can See the Stars



Yesterday was an excercise in being present. 

In the morning, I took Bronwyn for some routine bloodwork.  She gets this done on a regular basis to check the levels of medicine in her blood, and also to monitor her liver enzymes and other important vitals.  This trip to the Doctor used to be filled with anxiety, tears, and woozy tummies.  Now it's really routine; Bronwyn hardly flinches at the needle.  Of course we have an awesome phlebotomist, who loves and respects Bronwyn and that really makes it better.  But yesterday there was trouble with the vein because there is scar tissue developing there from so much use.  I can't tell you how much this broke my heart when I heard it.  I felt so sad for Bronwyn and how much she has to put up with; how hard she has to work for every little thing.  And yet, she is sweet and sunny and almost never complains.  She is such an incredible example to me.
Later, that evening, I was priviledged enough to be able to hear Greg Mortenson speak at our local college.  If you're not familiar with him, he is best known for the book he wrote called, "Three Cups of Tea," and now his new book, "Stones into Schools."  His life's work revolves around promoting peace through the education of children, especially girls, in Afganistan and Pakistan.  He does this very successfully because he works very hard to obtain support and "buy-in" from the local communities that will be hosting and running the schools.  In this work, Greg is surrounded by adversity.  And when I say adversity, I mean the kind that we really don't want to think about, let alone imagine the details of.  And yet he continues on with compassion, kindness, understanding, and respect.  His goal is to empower people to help themselves, not just to offer assistance to them.  

Greg quoted several people in his speech, but the two that resonated with me that night were these: "Even if the world ends tomorrow, I will plant my seed today." (Martin Luther King Jr.), and "When it's dark, you can see the stars." (A local village leader).  Suddenly I remembered that all that matters is what I'm doing right now.  And yes, it's important for me to think of how my actions might impact the future, but the future is created now.  And also, I realized that there is beauty everywhere and hope everywhere.  Even when (and almost especially when) it's dark.


9 comments:

juglans said...

Xoxo from KY!!!
Bronwyn is looking so grown up my goodness!!!
You speak the truth and I am glad to know your heart was lifted a bit - I should read his books, yes?

Colleen MacDonald said...

Thanks for the hugs and kisses! And YES, both of these books are a worthy read. The second one is a little "easier" to read; it has maps so you can see where you are and is just more "readable" somehow. BUT the first book is important, and gives the backstory to the journey.

juliasews@comcast.net said...

Hi Bronwyn..tell your Mommy she is wise and wonderful, just like you.
Hi Colleen, thank you for the thoughts...so true, they were good for my Sunday blog check in.
Hey! I got my store up on Big Cartel. I am making some progress and very inspired. We'll get together someday. Til then, take care.

Victoria said...

What an incredibly moving post, Colleen. Looking at beautiful and brave Bronwyn I am reminded of another quote, "... and a little child shall lead them". xo

Colleen MacDonald said...

*sniff*

Jenni said...

Oh, what a great post, Colleen. Those quotes make my heart ache. Sweet Bronwyn is a sunny and brave girl with a golden soul. Like her mama. Hugs to you all. xoxo

Colleen MacDonald said...

Thanks honey.

Georgina said...

A very thought provoking post - thank you for sharing.

picciolo said...

What a great post, I love the quote about the stars and shall keep it filed away in my head for when I need a bit of bolstering up. Bronwyn looks gorgeous in this photo too!
: )