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student of life
By meterological standards, the winter of 2005/06 has been fairly mild in Tennessee. It got cold enough to kill the bugs by the quick freeze method, and we had a scenic snow day or two. Just last week I pulled out my heavy coat for the first time this season and actually shivered underneath the warmth. As usual, the shivering was followed by hot flashes as soon as I entered a building. Menopause knows no season and takes no prisoners.

The winter of the soul is something akin to a six month Siberian freeze. Though I have been there before, I occasionally revisit the chilly domain, as do most earthly travelers. The principles of relativity are constant in that understanding of a particular need becomes apparent only after the lessons have been learned the hard way. This man has hopefully heard your prayers. The state of the ex-family has been heavy on my heart for some time now as BabyGirl struggles to cope with adult things and I, as the captain of her cheerleading squad, have sought to keep her life raft floatin'. The detachment required of me has been a gift from Big Ernie, to say the least, for it is not my true nature. Perhaps fatigue and needs of my own have put me in the zone where I let go and leave room for the Spirit to work. The same applies to my angst over the state of our government. Ever since September 11, 2001 we, as Americans have operated on the basis of fear. We gave the powers that be a blank check to protect us and they have furthered their own agendas at the expense of our integrity as a world leader in humanitarian aid. Check out the Gulf Coast if you don't believe that.

Years ago, I noticed a pattern in life. When things were going well, I relaxed and felt almost cocky at times. Then something would come out of nowhere and smack me square in the jaw and bring me back to the humble place where little things matter and pride is a stranger. Over and over again, I have learned this lesson. And over and over again I have forgotten it and learned the hard way that I am not in charge of the universe. Nor this country. Nothing but my own peace and contentment. Am I a bad American? Not at all. I salute the flag of the USA and pledge allegiance to it even though I don't believe in what it stands for right now, because I am a loyal sort like that. My parents taught me to be that way, yet they feel the same doubts that I do at this point in time. Political games have gone full circle from Vietnam to Iraq to Medicare part Z.

None of this bothers me very much because of something my Daddy told me years ago. When I wrung my hands and whimpered over hatred and persecution and the unfairness of it all, his words to me were simple: " Ahh,Janie..it has always been thus and so."

Wise man, my Dad. I'm learning. ^j^
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