One Heart’s Fortune

2

November 30, 2018, Prescott-

This evening, with a fairly peaceful week of work behind me, and a resolution to the dilemma, that I described in the last post, having been put into motion, I attended the opening night of a play, “Hannah’s Heart”, about a 10-year-old girl in Depression-era Prescott, her family, and two benefactors.

Like many families in the 1930’s, the Meadows’ were a brood led by a swaggering father, who was, ironically, recovering from an injury, and a stoic mother, focused on what she could do to make up for the loss of her husband’s productivity.  The ebb in their fortunes led to older daughter Hannah Grace, stepping up to make tree ornaments, by the sale of which she could provide gifts for her family.

The flow that this effort provided helped reverse the family’s low fortune, at least temporarily.  She was aided in her work by two angelic figures, an elderly woman who lived alone and who was befriended by the Meadows’ and a robust man from Texas, who took on the work, around the family farm, that Mr. Meadows was unable to do.  Both of them mentored Hannah, encouraging her to follow her heart.

I enjoy this sort of down-to-earth, human interest story.  It mirrors the many tales I’ve heard over the years, from both sides of my large extended family, as well as from my departed in-laws.  The format of the play has an elderly Hannah Grace, in the present day, telling her Millennial granddaughter about the events of that long-ago Christmas.  It behooves all present-day youth to learn what they can of that time in history, from those who lived it if possible, so as to be better able to handle similar situations, which could very well arise, in their own lifetimes.

 

Giving All

17

November 10, 2018, Prescott-

I woke up from a longer nap than usual, this afternoon.

Getting up this morning,

at my customary workday time of 4:30,

and going through my customary

workday morning routine,

I got going and made it

to Flagstaff,

in time to help a small crew

of firefighters and Red Cross workers,

in checking on homes,

for smoke detectors

and coaching residents

on fire safety and escape plans.

The proactivity in all this,

is not lost on the citizens

of that forested community.

We all watch our neighbour to the west,

and have friends or family,

in some cases in both north and south.

We see Paradise lost,  Malibu mangled

and the San Fernando , smoldering.

People are doing

what is necessary

to get out of harm’s way.

Teachers piled students

into their own vehicles,

and damning the torpedoes,

got their precious cargo

to safety.

This is what it looks like

to give all.

We watch, from Arizona,

and elsewhere,

and we remember.

North Carolina remembers,

the storm surge,

the rivers rising,

and people tending to one another.

Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts remember,

much the same,

and people tending to one another.

Florida remembers,

priceless communities leveled,

and people tending to one another.

We remember, here in Yavapai County,

the gaping maws,

of one fire after another,

consuming subdivisions

and forest dream houses,

and threatening to devour

the centers of thriving towns.

This has been the lot,

of man up against nature,

worldwide,

and from time immemorial.

Now, we see it in Real Time,

in places some of us have been,

and in places we can only see in our minds.

I recall visiting Malibu,

a few years back,

and standing on a ridge,

with a troubled young woman,

sobbing and smoking a cigarette,

nearby.

She put out that cigarette,

when she no longer needed solitude,

and walked, with the extinguished butt,

back to her car,

her emotional state somewhat calmed,

by a few minutes in silence,

looking out over the glorious expanse,

called Mulholland.

She barely noticed me,

but I recognized her immediately,

a public figure,

whose privacy was  honoured that day.

I hope she, and her neighbours and friends,

escaped harm, as this most recent

burst of wrath scours the land.

I visited the Martin Theater,

in Panama City, Florida,

nearly four years ago.

I see that it did not make it

through Hurricane Michael,

just as much of the community

that greeted me so warmly,

did not make it through

the Monster, unscathed.

The Martin will return, though,

and Panama City will rise again.

on more solid footing.

Malibu will rise again,

and the Mulholland wilderness

will remain a refuge

for the disconsolate and the world-weary.

Paradise will be regained.

We who love,

will give our all,

again and again,

for as long as it takes.

Today started out

as an homage to my late mother-in-law,

whose memorial service,

I was unable to attend.

It turned into a statement,

that we will stand

with our family,

with our neighbours

and with all of our children,

to keep this divine trust

called humanity,

in a sacred place,

called home.

 

 

 

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 270: Esperanza

9

August 25, 2015, Chino Valley- This part of August has often hung heavy on me, both weather-wise and emotionally.  This year, things are a tad different.  I have taken sage advice, from three of the people I trust the most in this world, and have set aside my own apprehension about one of the two most important people in my life.  She will be fine.

Today was the second of four days, working with a varied and somewhat troubled group of youth.  Time was, when I thought I had NO IDEA how to reach out to adolescents, and hung back, accordingly.  The time I spent as a counselor, on the Navajo and Hopi Nations, helped mightily in that regard.  Both the bonds I developed, and the criticism I got from others, worked to help my sense of proactivity, in helping all young folks.  Then, too, raising a child through turbulence smoothed many of my own rough edges.

The past two days have gone well enough, for me, and a fair amount of meaningful work has been accomplished.  Towards the end of the day, a student came in, sat down, and wept, in as private a manner as possible.  This is the human face of the whole immigration imbroglio.  It is too easy for those who “have theirs” to demand:  The Fence; the Military Force; No Dream; No Daylight.  There are those who are struggling, among the people who were born and raised among a long line of “True Americans”.  They are, quite often, being duped by the puppetmasters, who call for whatever it is they sense the public wants.  Demagogues have done this, across the globe and down the centuries, and so it goes.

The Fence will not end the struggles of those who look like me.  The young person who was surrounded by love in our classroom, this afternoon, has more than just immigration with which to contend.  There are the normal day-to-day matters of adolescence, which know no frontiers.  There are the hopes, the trust, and, yes, the dreams, which short-sighted people would squash.  Make no mistake:  This nation is not alone, in keeping up and “Us vs. Them” mentality.  The very nations, from which many new arrivals come, are themselves keepers of a draconian mindset, when it comes to “The Other”.  It is wrong, no matter where it is promulgated.

The young person left class today with some hope, esperanza.  I wish the same for any child or teen, anywhere.  There is so much to be done.