"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent." (Isaac Newton)
I began this blog a year ago. It's not surprising that the historian in me would remember and want to "commemorate" this anniversary - my wife often marvels at how I can remember the when we first kissed; our first dates; when we moved in together; our birthdays, when I proposed, etc. (but I can't remember where I left my keys - or what she "just told me" the day before :-)...
At the end of my first entry, I wrote this in explaining the name of my blog:
"I called this "Looking For Pearls" because I am interested to see what unexpected "lessons" I will learn from doing this. What types of "gems", of insights, will I stumble across on this journey? "
So, one year later... what Pearls have I discovered through the 39 entries I've written so far?
- I say I love writing, but a part of me always "panics" and "squirms" when I first sit down to write. "What will I write about? What will people think about this? It's no good if it isn't perfect! This is too hard!" Bedeviled by the same gremlins that sit on the laps of all writers. But I've learned to perservere - and to enjoy patiently waiting for something new and fresh to be given me. Taking the first step in the direction of what I love, guided by what I love, has always been rewarded.
- How the simplest things make me happy: the Sunday newspaper, raking leaves in the fall; fixing a meal and then sharing it with my wife on our back patio; saying "Good morning" to our little dog Izzy; holding hands with my wife every chance I can. I'm grateful to enjoy a life so full of blessings.
- That raindrops could be gymnasts. I loved this image that came to me in an entry I called "Nature's Reality Show"! It was happy and magical, and reminded me of the value of simply observing the beautiful world around me.
- The most unsatisfying entries I wrote? The seven "Today's Tidbits". They were things I wrote years ago that I simply added to my blog because I hadn't written anything for awhile. I thought I'd enjoy sprucing them up and reading them again, but I really didn't (though others did). There was nothing new in them for me - nothing discovered. "Everyone one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character. Blessed is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul." (Author unknown). So I learned the value of daring to always explore - and not hug too close to the shores of the familiar.
- The most enjoyable entries I wrote? The eight entries I've written (still a couple more to come!) on our trip to Italy this summer. It's been such fun to remember and then share all the adventures and fun Deborah and I had on this trip. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of her dad in sending us on this, and we hope we'll have a chance to return to Italy sometime in the future. (After all, there's still more gelato and limoncello there for us to enjoy!) And I was reminded that traveling is always an opportunity for discovery - not just of things "foreign", but also about yourself.
- The most valuable entry (for me personally)?: "Take The Road Alone"...this entry was a difficult and emotional one for me to write - but an important one in establishing for myself why I was doing this.
- I was surprised at how little I wrote about school and my job. I thought I'd have lots to say during the year, sparked by all the "craziness" that working with high school students for over a quarter century would bring. But I didn't - only 4 entries in a year. I wonder if I'll write more about this in the future? I wonder why I didn't? Was I really just "too busy"? Might be worth exploring this year.
And so I'll continue these literary expeditions... hoping as I wander along... whether in the company of others...
Me and 4 of my sisters - Summer 1967
Me and back-packing buddies Chip and Kent - 1976
Or just traveling by myself... "taking the scenic route", as I'm prone to do (God bless my wife for her patience!... it seems I've always done that, as you can see below)
Me setting out on a "scenic tour" - 1962
Along the way, I will continue to look for life's Pearls... hidden lessons meant for me to discover.
Me at Shore Acres Gardens - August 2011