I write what (little) I know.

One afternoon when I was sitting on the sunny deck (still in Colorado for another few days) to read my book club book, Laddie came out and stood close by, searching my eyes and smiling his shy smile. He commented on how I wasn’t making much progress in Frankenstein. I teased him, “That’s because every time I sit down to read you come and talk to me.”

“You could go in your room and shut the door,” he said.

“But I like to talk to you, Laddie. It doesn’t matter if I finish this book. I can read it on the plane when I leave here.” Then we chatted for awhile, and more children came and went and climbed up on my lap and down again. Quickly and often the innocent and sweet conversation erupts into loud squabbling, but eventually equilibrium is restored and we go on.

The flowers and creatures that I typically focus on here are complex and fascinating, but they are nothing so glorious as the human soul. When that inner person is glimpsed in the clear eyes and honest, unselfconscious tenderness of a child, I so wish that my powers of attention and description were better, that I could convey to you something of this child, this unique personality.

If I put up a photo of a flower that I encounter, along with not much more than its name, it doesn’t grieve me that I have failed to “capture” and convey its complexity and deep beauty. But when it comes to people, everything I might say seems like an unworthy reduction and distortion.

When I was the parent bringing up my own children, my thoughts were naturally more on training and teaching, and forming the character of the children. Now that is not my job, and I am at more leisure to observe and enjoy each grandchild as he is, at whatever moment I am present with him. Since none of them lives near me, more and more the most important thing I can do to affect their future is to pray.

With my limited writing skills, I will continue to tell you about the birds and the flowers.

(Photos from previous years and younger grandchildren.)

13 thoughts on “I write what (little) I know.

  1. If you were to feel you could convey something whole about one of your dear people…it might feel akin to having knowledge about them…and puff you up as a grandmother. I like that you, guided by wisdom, are instead in awe of the unknown-fullness-complexity and sacredness of these precious people and your relationships…and turn to the true realm of influence. I suspect they also pray for you.

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  2. Those precious little people change so fast. Just when we get to know them they change again. It’s like trying to get to know many different people. They’ll be so different the next time you see them. Capture what you can. Happy Sunday, Gretchen!

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  3. You have it the nail on its head with “When I was the parent bringing up my own children, my thoughts were naturally more on training and teaching, and forming the character of the children.” It is as grandparents that we can truly enjoy the developing child in all his/her glory for we have both the time and perspective without the immediate responsibilities you mention. I see photographs of my youngest grandchildren and my heart aches for their presence. When I am with friends who have no grandchildren, I realise all over again what a privilege it it to be a grandmother. You describe this beautifully.

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  4. “…more children came and went and climbed up on my lap and down again” those words touched me and I felt sad for a bit thinking about how that stage of my life is over. It’s a precious time and passes all too quickly.

    I’m enjoying reading about your time in Colorado. That last picture is priceless.

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  5. You said that so well. I know exactly how you feel about those grandkiddos. I’m more and more aware of the fact that I need to put aside what I’m doing (which usually isn’t all that earthshaking) and pay attention to each of those precious little people. They’re growing up so fast, and these moments of innocence need to be appreciated right now. They need to know that what they say is important to us. Yes, we can’t really convey their wonderfulness to others who don’t know them. I guess that’s why God puts us in families. We can pray for our little “oikos”. I hope I’m using that correctly. My pastor preached about how God gives us a group of people close to us to pray for and have fellowship with. We can’t take care of the whole world, but we can pray for and effect those close to us. Thanks for this post. You shared a lot of my own feelings on the subject of grandkids! 🙂

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  6. Every word in this post is exquisite and every single thought accompanying those words fill me with joy. Yes, a flower is beautiful, complex, intriguing. But a human life — and the lives especially of those little humans is something altogether different and all the more rich and beautiful. I love this post, more than I can say.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Come, receive the light”. In that little cherub’s eyes, chubby cheeks and hands, devoted to that candle glow, he said it all, for all of us. I read St. Silouan the other day, say, “in the end, it gets down to love and pray”. ‘ Love and pray’ spill from the words of your post. Glory to God for that and for you and your loved ones. Christ Is Risen, Indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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