SYW: Of Trees, Burned Bridges, Heroism, and Priorities

It’s Monday and Melanie is back with her weekly Share Your World.

Do you have a favorite kind of tree?
Oh, that’s a hard one because I like all trees! I’m tempted to say maple trees because their leaves are so colorful in the fall. I like oak trees because they’re hardy. I like exotic trees like palms, because they represent warm weather and beaches, and olive trees because they can live for thousands of years and their trunks get wider and more gnarly. I love all kinds of evergreens – the smell of pine is one of my favorite scents. I also like birches because of their white bark. And redwoods – so tall and amazing!
redwood treesWhat bridges are you happy you burned?
The bridge that broke ties with my ex-husband. He could never take responsibility for his own actions (or lack of action) and decisions. There are aspects of this that I don’t really want to put on my blog, just suffice it to say that there were accusations made against him which he denied. Doing this also broke ties with his family, but only temporarily. His mother & sister and I reconciled, and his cousins too, and his sister and I continue to be good friends today.

Would you sacrifice yourself (die) for a stranger?
Probably not, but it makes me feel guilty to say so. I’m a coward in that regard. I was petrified that I would have to protect my students against a crazy mass shooter because I thought I wouldn’t be able to stand up to the danger and protect them – but they were not strangers and it was my duty to protect them. I would never have gone into a profession where I would have to constantly put my life on the line. I don’t need to be a hero!

How have your priorities changed since the C-19 virus took over?
I have made my priorities all the things I like to do as well as projects that I have put off and need to be done. Now I have no excuse not to do them, although I am retired and so my life has not changed as dramatically as it has many people. Yes, I am restricted in my movements and I don’t venture off campus, but my daily routines have remained basically the same.

Instead of writing what I am grateful for, I want to mention things I ought to feel grateful for and am striving to remember them. It’s easy to say I’m grateful for my family, my cat, and my friends, but I don’t often think about the food that I eat. I grew up in a household where we said grace at dinner every night. My husband and I don’t do that now, and we didn’t do it when our kids were growing up. My husband is not religious; although he respects my faith and that of other people, he has no use for religion and is basically an atheist.

However, I think it’s important to stop and meditate a bit on the food we are about to eat. This is what I’m trying to do. It doesn’t have to be a prayer to God, just taking a moment to think about how the food gets to our table: the farmers who grow it, the laborers who pick or gather it, the people who work in the meat plants (in the case of meat, chicken, even fish), the drivers who take it to various places to be processed or distributed or both, the people who work at the supermarket where we purchase it. And I also strive to be grateful to the bounty of nature that provides the environment for food to grow. I think this will become easier once I start working in my garden – planting flowers, tomatoes, peppers and maybe other vegetables. That should start happening this week since the weather is finally warming up!!

So here is something I am grateful for: the warmth of late spring and summer, my favorite seasons!

2 thoughts on “SYW: Of Trees, Burned Bridges, Heroism, and Priorities

  1. Thank you so much for Sharing Your World! I would guess that you really like trees :lol:… I do too! They are another thing that I feel ‘man’ isn’t grateful enough for…we take them for granted, but they are a miracle…their long lives (in good conditions), the fruit or nuts they bear, the shade they provide and the lumber they also provide. Where would we be without trees? A great deal less paper for one thing, which we perhaps overuse. It sounds like your particular ‘bridge’ didn’t get burnt, just an unreliable plank removed from it. How lovely that you stayed friends with your ‘family’ that way! πŸ™‚ Teachers are heroes, in my opinion, because they do one of the toughest jobs going – teaching the coming generations things they need to know. Well the good teachers do. I bet you were one of those! Terrible business about those nutjobs who shoot up schools. I can sort of see (from a perspective) the insane logic in shoot up politicians and their workplaces, or other unsavory parts of the world, but schools or hospitals? That’s truly insane. Lastly, thanks for spot lighting our food as a source of gratitude! We have it good in most places in today’s world and proper respect and honor for our bounty is a great thing to do. I always ‘bless’ my food, even though it’s only me, myself and I to hear it. My hubby was an agnostic (believed in a higher power, but not formalized religion), and he didn’t bless his food, and i fell out of the habit when I was married. Now? I remember that I ought to be grateful that I have food at all, and I thank God for it. I’m glad you do too! πŸ™‚

    • I think we should all appreciate nature more. Nature not only provides us with trees and flowers, but also the food we eat. Nature is dependable – humans are altering climate with our polluting activities, but still the cycle of life continues. I feel comforted when I am working in the garden, getting my hands dirty in the soil. It makes me feel the awe of how life continues and adapts. It’s pretty amazing, to me, that I can dig into the ground and put roundish flower bulbs and then winter comes, the deep freeze, and then in spring I see the fruits of that labor as tiny plants push up out of the ground. No matter what we do, the cycle of life goes on.

      As far as burning bridges, there were others I could have used, when I got burned a few times because I was outspoken; I asked inconvenient questions that administrators didn’t want to answer but they were important as to how effective my teaching was going to be. That got me let go at the end of the school year a couple of times, but I don’t regret it, because I always put my students’ interests first.

      One of my faults, as I see it, is that I complain too much. I want to be more grateful, more mindful of what I have and the blessings that have been bestowed on me. I have lived a good life, and why did I deserve it any more than anyone else? That’s why I need to be more grateful and less finding fault with things. I am reasonably healthy, I don’t have to worry too much about money, I have a great husband (I picked the best guy the second time around!), and a family that most people envy because of the unconditional love and support we have for each other. Not that I don’t have problems; I do. My son is struggling and I really can’t help him, but I do love him and I hope he will always keep in touch. I envy other people whose sons are successful and get married and have kids. I’m not a grandma and probably never will be. I am trying to learn to be content with what I have.

      Thank you for your comments! Stay safe, stay healthy!

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