These are the Days that Must Happen to You

“Sometimes right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives you a fairytale.”

These are operative words.  These are the words that I once stamped on invitations to my hurried, imperfectly perfect wedding.  As in once upon a time.  A once upon a time that did not include a big poofy dress or much glitter.  It was a good requiem to our life.  In our wedding, a friend read the words to a Walt Whitman poem that turned out to be prophetic-The Open Road:Image

Listen, I will be honest with you
I do not offer the old smooth prizes
But offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid up stores,
However convenient the dwelling, you shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port, however calm the waters, you shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
You are permitted to receive it but a little while Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before you the long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money; I give you myself before preaching and law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Ironically, Whitman also wrote “Song of Myself,” so he is a fitting object lesson.  I read today that a representative from Planned Parenthood openly confessed that the organization supports the right of a mother and doctor to decide what will “happen” to a child born after a botched abortion.  Of course, “happen” is code for disposal, in the case that said mother and doctor agree that such a child does not have a right to exist.  It just so happens that today is the day my daughter and I got to the Spartans in her history book, and read about their practice of killing baby’s at birth whom they deemed too weak to exist.  It is a chilling parallel to our times, as genetic engineering is more of a reality than a theory, and we call the woman who reject their off spring “mothers.”  Too often, we are more interested in songs to ourselves, than the road less traveled. George Carlin died this week, and after years of associating him with crass humor, I was surprised to read a quote demonstrating his great wisdom.  I can’t plagiarize the whole thing, but here’s a marvelous bit:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

As the mama of a kidlink that was so unplanned she didn’t even come from my body, and arrived quite inconveniently when I was a single in grad school, I think I can safely say that LOVE gives you a fairy tale.  Not selfishness, or fear.  Love.  And even though we all know life isn’t usually a fairy tale, it doesn’t hurt to hum the theme song to Charlotte’s Web once in awhile, and remember that perhaps we have the wrong color of glasses on, and maybe it is, more than we realize.

“It’s not so unusualImage

when everything is beautiful;

it’s just another ordinary miracle today.

The sky knows when it’s time to snow

Don’t need to teach a seed to grow

It’s just another ordinary miracle today.

Believe me, when you live near the dryest desert on earth, a seed growing and snow falling are both miracles.  And raindrops on spider webs-exquisite!  Take it from my own little fairy tale-it’s her favorite song!  May love prevail.  May love, like grace, fall down on you and me.  May it give you the fairytale that nothing else will.  May it save the lives of precious children, and give us all new eyes for the ordinary marvels of our lives.  May we be more like the Athenians than the Spartan’s.  Concerned with truth and beauty, and leaving something for the future.