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These flowers started popping through the ground and then we got hit with snow. They toughed it out with glorious results.

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Kristie is quite beautiful. Even with braces.  The hat she wears as part of her uniform covers eyes that trust and smile all at once.  I’m not sure if she’s an “A” student but I don’t doubt her effort.  Some may label her “slow”, or “ADD” , but she knows what she’s doing-she just needs to learn it.
 
I brought the milk to the counter and she rang it up.
 
“Seventy-five cents please,” she said with a smile.
 
“Are you sure?” I responded.  I knew it cost more than that – I had bought the milk before.
 
“Wait…” She glanced nervously at all the pre-labeled keys.  Nothing else was there.  She called a senior employee over.  Perhaps it was her manager even though she looked less professional than Kristie.
 
“No, you have to press, here…” her voice trailed as she showed Kristie which buttons to push to bring up the proper charge.
 
Register popped open with a new price of $1.01.  The manager grabbed a penny from the “give-a-penny-take-a-penny” tray and tossed it into the register but missed the penny trough. 
Kristie carefully counted the change.  The manager  made a comment, but it was lost in the shuffle of money.
 
“What was that?” Kristie asked her boss with a gentle urging that screamed she just wanted to learn and be better.
 
The boss’ face scrunched and she lightly huffed.  It was a face that said, “You should have listened when I wanted you to listen.”
 
I turned to the smiling braces, “Thanks Kristie!”
 
“Thank you, have a nice evening!” Kristie professionally but joyously shared.  I actually could if more people were like her.
 
The boss lady…
 
Cascading thoughts, a waterfall of life…
 
…and words from Christ: “I tell you, when you did it unto the least of these, you did it unto me.”
 
Kristie…Christie…Christ….
 
We all get our chance….this one was obvious….

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Michael Plishka, 2008

copyright: Michael Plishka, 2008

within your eyes
tears falling
touches soul
I gaze
wonder
hoped once
once ended…
to know
yours is joy
is mine;
to know
you smile,
is mine…
shared words
paper white
cuts
bleed not
when
your heart beats
with love…
when winter’s wind batters,
your eyes look west
I pray that arms
keep you warm
that love beats within your breast
that lover’s kisses
taste snowflake on your cheek
that joy
fills your heart-
you smile….

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While walking along a pier and gazing into the lake, a flash of gold caught my eye on the bottom of the lake some feet off the end of the pier. I walked closer and looked. Nestled in the green growth of water plants was a leaf, a maple leaf to be exact. It was one of the first leaves to drop this fall. It no doubt, landed softly on the surface of the water and danced with the waves for some time. Then, as time passed and the rains began it became soaked….

 

…it sank.

 

We’ve all seen leaves floating gently on the surface of a stream, spinning and gliding effortlessly along. They, quite literally, go with the flow. For this reason we think of them as a great metaphor for how we should approach life. Yet, that same leaf,when it stays in the water, gets buffeted by the waves, gets overwhelmed and eventually sinks. It’s not easy to sink a leaf. Try it sometime. I did. You can push it under, put holes in it, abuse it- yet it wants to float and does. The leaf seems, well, invincible, unsinkable if you will.

 

When the word, “unsinkable” is used, the first thought that comes to mind is the Titanic. It sank too, just like a leaf.

 

We too, are not unsinkable. We are not indestructible. If buffeted by cares and concerns, if soaked with worries, we will slowly lose our bouyancy – we’ll sink.

 

We feel there is a need then to make sure we stay on the surface, that we don’t let ourselves get waterlogged by life. There are times when it seems difficult to get out of the stream of life. We can’t, so we can latch onto a rock and let the sun dry us out. But the rains will come and the leaf will once again begin its journey as the waters rise. It will, eventually sink.

 

But what happens when we sink? A leaf that spent an entire season pondering the water from above, plays upon the surface, and then views the water from within. It sees the tree from the perspective of the water.

 

“So this is what has filled my veins,” says the leaf looking around as it descends through the crystal coolness.

 

“You, green plant, this is your world,” says the leaf as it touches the water plant and nestles into its arms, “I was once green too!” and the water plant smiles and welcomes the maple leaf.

 

“You have traveled much,” says the water plant, “You felt the wind on your face, the sun warmed you, you fell freely through the air, and now you’ve joined me here. Now, rest in my arms and please tell me what it’s like and I will tell you of my life here with the fishes.”

 

We are creatures of experience, we can let go and latch onto. We can move in three dimensions. Our feet are not anchored to the earth. Our souls are not anchored to our bodies. We can breathe the air and swim with the fishes, we can orbit the earth and go to the moon and beyond. What is sinking?

 

Sinking is perhaps the wrong phrase as it carries negative connotations-but it needn’t be so. Sinking can be viewed a passive event. An acceptance and willingness to move on. It is, going with the flow but in three dimensions as opposed to two. Yet it somewhat akin to learning to swim- that adventure into the unknown with unproven skills. It is also exhilarating and wonderful. It is a moment to learn anew, to share and to grow. It is a new beginning.

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