Wisdom and understanding

“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

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Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.

(Proverbs 3:13-18)

The morning light, streaming through the kitchen window, hit the raspberries in such a way that it magically appeared as if a scattering of plump rubies had been randomly tossed across the bowl of cornflakes. Lusciously translucent, a smattering of iridescent and succulent gems beckoned to be tasted.
No longer did breakfast seem so unimaginably ordinary.

It was a morning, just like any other morning, as the early rising sun worked its magic to warm the kitchen, despite the bitter cold air on the opposite side of the window pane. The silence was heavy but pleasing as she was lost to her own thoughts.

Thinking back, racing backwards across time, back to the younger girl she had once known, a slight smirk formed at the corners of the mouth which was now anxiously anticipating the crisp crunch of the cereal. How does one start out as that, tossing in a few decades, and voila, is now this. . .as whatever “this” is, is perceived to be so much better than that. . .
A musing mind now ruminated over all of the events that had worked together to bring both she and the ruby red raspberries to this particular kitchen on this particular morning.

“Life is nothing but one big mistake right after another,” she heard a voice echoing off the kitchen walls, coming as if from some place far away other than that of the empty room as she realized she’d caught herself speaking the silent thoughts out loud to no one in particular but herself.
“Hummmm” she mused.
“Mistakes aren’t really mistakes now are they” . . .again hearing the silent thoughts spoken out loud.
“More like the continuous onslaught of life lessons, one right after the other—picking up steam, say around 13, and not letting up until 50 or so . . .”
“Some lessons simply being easier than others. . .as others are more fun with some being downright wearisome. . .” she chewed over the words with each crunch of cereal.

“Cut, honed and polished . . .”
Her thoughts trail off as she works to corral the last raspberry onto her spoon.

The younger girl wouldn’t have bothered with the raspberries, let alone the cereal, preferring to unwrap some sort of cardboradesque breakfast bar while driving to work. “Who has time to sit down for breakfast anymore–“grab it and go” being her mantra of the day.
“Maybe just an extra coffee instead.”
So busy rushing off to some place she didn’t really want to go, preferring to just stay home, as the fleeting thought raced across her mind “the baby wouldn’t stay so sick if he wasn’t having to go to daycare everyday of his life. . .” This as she pulled into the daycare center’s front drive.

Yet the choice not always hers right?
There were the bills. There was the career. Wasn’t that what this was all about. . .the marriage, the family, the career, the “things” that made the life “special”—isn’t that why we did it? What about his schooling, college. . .what about more kids. . .a bigger house. . .isn’t this what we do. . .the quintessential chasing of the “dream”. . .

“Juggling, balancing, and managing. . .”
Her thoughts trail off as she unbuckles the baby’s carseat.

The younger girl races through life hurrying everywhere she goes, never seeming to have time to enjoy, let alone savor, the moments of the present. Her mind is constantly working on the next step, the next errand, the next meeting, the next hour, the next day. . .never on the current time or events at hand.
What of the little boy?
Daycare sees more of the baby.
As do the endless sitters.
And what of her. . .doesn’t she see more of her own students than their parents?
Isn’t that the way it is, everyone raises everyone’s else’s kids. . .as everyone is just so busy tending to their piece of the pie, of this thing known as living. . .
Just part of the price paid for the job, the house, the car, the trips, the clothes, the life. . .
Maybe next weekend will be different, maybe this summer. . . she rationalizes there will be time sometime in the future. . . sure there will. . .we’ll have more time then, right?

The older woman merely casts a knowing smile

the continuum of New

“In joined hands there is still some token of hope, in the clinched fist none.”
― Victor Hugo

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What was—
Long long ago, there in a different time, lived New
And in this New existed,
hope
dreams
imagination

It was a marvelous time–
A happy time–
For there rested within New,
innocence
wonder
joy

It was a time for—
adventures
delight
journeys

In addition, as fate would have it, within this New, there also endured
tears
sorrows
falls
bruises

as well as
pain
frustration
disbelief
and even necessary truth

All of that had to be there–toegether
as that is all a part of how New could and would grow

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There was a magical as well as rocky time of growth
sometimes happy
sometimes sad
sometimes fun
sometimes hard

New emerged into–
something else
something older
something wiser
New became Grown

Yet there remained buried deep within New, which was now Grown,
wistful thoughts
desires
ambitions

Unfortunately it had become a
busy time
a frantic time
a hurried time

Hope ran toward Regret
Dreams turned into Reality
Excitement became Tired
Adventures suddenly Distant
Imagination Disappeared

sigh. . .

Nevertheless, when all seemed stuck in a motionless circle—
Life reappeared
Hope returned
Joy was renewed
Excitement again relished

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And so it was, just as it all had begun—
Hope
Dreams
Imagination
Every last one returned,
They returned to New, who was now Grown
They were all now a part of the newest New

For as New had grown older, all that resided deep down in New had never vanished
it simply—
changed
morphed
transformed

And just as New, now Grown, had become somewhat weary as well as Cynical
A Miracle
New, now Older and Grown, gave way to another New
This was a smaller New
The same New but different
A brand new New

All the good things that were there in the first New, all came rushing back
as well as some of those troubling things—
but without the good things along with the troubling things, little New could not, would not
grow–
giving way, eventually to an entirely different New

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Old New, now Grown, watched the little New grow as well
There were bumps and scrapes
laughter and tears
But New, now Grown, was now also Proud
Happy
Beaming
Satisfied
Content

And so it is with New and how it grows—
Inside of New lives–good things and bad
happy and sad
And as New grew, it witnessed the birth of the smaller New
and there, all within the latest New,
Hope
Joy
Renewal

But most importantly, New, who was grown, was now also becoming old, looked back happily over the growth of the youngest New and smiled with satisfaction feeling happily Complete.