Just Around the Last Hairpin Curve

by ....RaeDi


Today I was thinking about so many things, the Japanese and what else could come their way.  The Middle East and what the actual costs are for freedom and democracy.  It is a high price to pay, but nothing can compare.  I wonder how many younger Americans have full knowledge about what gave them the lives they live and the high cost (the ultimate cost for many) so many scores of years ago.  The hardships the military and their families went through.  I think we should do a better job of teaching our children about the everyday negating circumstances they faced and the deprivation that confronted them everyday like how long they fought without pay, proper clothing, weather-survival, diet-or lack of, health-disease of which any or all of these adversative were as deadly as the war itself.  There is more to war than just the battles.  Could or would they stand up and live down to do the same thing our ancestors did?

It really is a shock when you look at it that way; I wonder what our ancestors would think about how we live today with the freedoms they gifted us?  How have we put ourselves in harm’s way, have we yet learned that Mother Nature has strength on her side, as we can see man made can be just as detrimental and devastating.  Could we do better for our nation as a whole, what would our ancestors think of our ways, especially with the knowledge we have.  What better way to help ourselves than by using our knowledge and cleaning up our nation so natural and man-made disasters can be contained and hopefully diminished to some degree.    Seeing the domino effects in Japan should teach all of us something, I sincerely hope.

We none of us have a crystal ball.  I wonder how many of us would actually want to know what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next year.  Disclosure can be a two edged sword.   Knowledge is good, with it comes understanding and comprehension and too responsibility.  Realization, but if we choose to ignore ‘faults of all kinds’ human and natural it will be our own downfalls.  The experts in the nuclear fields could better inform all citizens that there are ‘high costs’ involved in having alternate energy sources to sustain all our power for needs and wants.  I wonder should we each stop and think about all the energy we use and if there is a way to cut back.  Do we really need to use so much?  We need to be reminded and educated intermittently about all of the ‘overall’ cost of nuclear energy and why it is important for all of us to respect the whole process.

When we build know where to build, when built have only the most dedicated, experience scientists and technicians.  We have to set higher standards, regulations, and no pecuniary manacles.   We want top-notch updated equipment at all times; I do not want to know that some five dollar gadget not replaced because of budget restraints has cost lives and how many gazillion years of a dead zone?  I hope at some near future date we can better handle the aftermath with the spent fuel rods and all long-term storage of radioactive waste and all the requirements that are necessary to have a safe way of storage and disposal.  We really need to get our ducks in a row.  There are 104 Nuclear Plants in America, we need to go through and investigate each one to scrutinize everything from the ground up, and including the ground it was built on.

The financial environment that our country is in, that is just as alarming, can you imagine if this were to happen in the USA right now, where our government would get the money needed is beyond anyone comprehension, one calamity would be followed by another.  When we see the way our government handles our countries budget, is it any wonder why some of our citizens lack understanding, the simple grasp of organizing their own budgets,  it seems at times (?) it is really hard to get them to think about what is a need and what is a want and the true difference.  For some it is troublesome to do without, I wonder if the price of food keeps going up and with the inflation rising, and add the cost of oil to the mix in what order will they give up the wants to keep the needs without burdening someone else, lacking order in one part of one’s life is eventually compounded in so many other areas.

Do you ever see someone that needs help, really needs a helping hand, a friend was waiting in the car at a grocery store and watched an elderly couple come, park and go into the store.  When they returned they could not find their car.  It was all the elderly man could do to get into the store and now after having been on his feet it was a struggle to keep up.  She was not in much better shape and add to that she had been to the eye doctor that morning and her eyes had been dilated, she could not see and could not remember where she parked the car.

So many folks passed them by; busy with their everyday routines, most everyone could see the couples despair.  This friend finally approached (he was several rows away) them and they were both leery, they did not want him to cause any problems, they were already in trouble.  Finally he got through to them that they had parked their car next to his.  She finally let him take the groceries, take her hand and lead them both back to their car.  I wonder how they even made it home with her driving.  But, numerous folks coming and going just ignored the situation, I see this sort of thing a lot more today than in times past.

So many souls who will not take the time to help someone, is part of it being inconvenienced,  I sometimes wonder if they even realize what it is to lend a hand, be of assistance for someone else are they blind, maybe no manners?  I do not think they see themselves as any kind of hindrance.  When did they lose respect for others, in losing that respect they lost respect for themselves.  Not until they are in a dire situation or something like in Japan, Haiti, or Argentina, Chili, New Zealand, the Gulf Coast to name a few disasters that have happened in recent time, well reality hit home.   It seems times of despair teaches what it is truly like to need support and assistance and get and give in return.  A disaster sure opens one eyes.

I think my thinking has been influenced by all the news and pictures that I am seeing, but it also brings to mind all those souls who always put the other person first.  It is a true blessing to see how we Americans can be one of the first countries in when disasters hit.  How when so many of us are living on budgets that could not be restrained financially anymore, even though we felt that way months ago, we are still able to do and keep doing.  I am blessed to see the good in so many people.  They do have the makeup and backbone to stand up and fight for this country just as our ancestors did for our freedom and democracy.  It seems it is a two-sided coin when you look at the world, I guess it is what are we looking for.  Do we want to find the good, or do we want to find the weak, the problems.  With some give them a problem and it is solved.

I myself try to find the good in everything.  It is hard when you see the suffering the Japanese are going through right now.  Sometimes the uncertainties about what will tomorrow bring, what revelations will be made known not to just the Japanese but for each one of us as each new day starts, but we cannot live in fear.  We can take each day as it comes and make the best of it.  It too, usually goes a little smoother when we put others first.

I love getting up each day and seeing and experiencing things in the present moment.   I still have hope that tomorrow will bring the sun, relief, healing, and water for the thirsty, and food for hungry.  It amazes me so that in times of the worst disasters how many wonderful things truly happen.  We can allow the bad to overcome the good, or take the good and hope that each new day will bring more of the same.

Certain pictures touch my soul so much differently now; I have a small mark on my heart that is still tender after more than three years.  It was pure raw pain, when I was first told my sister had passed.   I had never experienced that kind of pain in my heart ever.  I never knew a person could have grief that hurt to the core.  With time and memories it has healed, but there still is a little spot that is marked, maybe for life when I see that pain, the grief in the eyes of those that have just lost, a realization hits, one I know well, it will be a long road, but it will get easier with time and once again you will be able to smile, I remember the first time I laughed after my sister passed.  Truly laughed from the soul, it was like a wakeup call, it made me stop and think about how good it felt to laugh to have the wholeness of that expression is like nothing else, when it has gone silent (for me almost six months,) adrift, like grief, it changes the soul, but I think in time the soul heals and we have added knowledge that at some point we can put to good use.

It is a life altering experience that is for sure, something that is not forgotten, the thing that makes a spark, the acknowledgement for me at least, seeing the grief in their eyes, through to their souls.  Not only could I see it, I could feel it and know, that tender spot just let me know it was instant recognition.  Give them time, give them what they need to get back on their feet, give them respect and let them keep their dignity and they too will become stronger in the end.

It’s been a day of thoughts, scattered here and there, it not easy being me, I do not know for one minute to the each what I will be thinking or wondering about.  I have to have free thought days; I have shared before my Mom telling me as a child to save some questions for another day.  But I do know I am one blessed person with all I have, I could not ask for anything more.  What would I like more than anything, but I know I cannot feed the world, bring back the dead or heal the pains,  but I can hope that I can in  some small way make a difference, even if it is in just one person’s life.  That is all I ask of myself is to somehow, in some way touch someone in a positive way each day.  If we each did just that, what a wonderful world we would all be living in.

I do not think I am over thinking this in the least, I think it is innate humanity, something we are born with to be shared, not a Pollyanna Syndrome.  I hope to put the positive in the forefront, the negative, the bad news reports bring about just that…more of the same, we need to know, knowledge is power, it gives us strength to survive and strength to help too.  Let’s hope we start getting some good reports, pictures, videos and such from Japan, and the Middle East.   I want to know what is happening, but I too want to know the other side of the coin.  I hope the news gives equal time to both.

One other thing I was thinking about today, believe it or not all this is connected…years ago I had to make several business trips each year to Boise, ID.  I would save one business trip each year to be taken in the month of August.  I would take along my children, the ones who wanted to join me on the business trip and make it a long weekend before heading home.  You have to understand, Idaho is hot and humid and in August it brings with it misery for those that live in the area.  But for us Northwestern Washingtonians it always put a smile on our face.  Our summers start here in July, mid-summer for everyone else.  We are lucky if we break 80 degrees more than one day in a row, we have had some warm weather that can bring temps into the 90’s not often, but then when you have rain, rain and more rain and grey dreary skies for most of the year and a wet cold that can be described in so many ways I will not go there.

We were in heaven, we stayed by the pool afternoons, it could not get to hot for us.  We always had pizza one night, ate out at a nice restaurant another and up in the air for the rest.  Field trips of one kind or another usually in the mornings, we could not ask for anything more.  We had smiles on our faces for a month after a few days spent in hot and humid Idaho each summer.

One such trip, (it turned out it was our last trip to Idaho) we had the most amazing thing happen on our way home.  This year’s trip had been a good one; we all enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.  We were headed home and coming down out of the Blue Mountains, God’s Country in Eastern Oregon; it is pure utter natural beauty in all directions.  For miles we had been watching the biggest, widest rainbow anyone of us had ever seen.  We were talking about where the end of the rainbow was at, watching to see if we could see it.

It was hard for me to keep an eye on; the road is pretty hard to drive as it is.  Lots of hairpins curves, steep inclines, some with both, one has to keep both eyes on the road, no finger pointing, keep both hands on the wheel, full attention, nothing less.   But just around the last hairpin (the relief always flooded in when I had slowed way down as we approached the last hairpin in the steep slopes of the last hard curve to the right.) I knew this road well, there it was the wheat fields as far as the eye could see in all directions with the Blue Mountains in the background, such a beautiful site each time I saw it.

There in the middle of all that wheat was the end of the rainbow.   We pulled over to just take it all in.  We got out of the Blazer and joined the other folks who had done the same.  All of us amazed at what we were seeing, a once in a lifetime event.  It was probably one of the most amazing sights I have ever witnessed.

The breezes kept the wheat shafts in a constant sway and with added swirls, it was like a graceful ballet of sort.   The rainbow colors were being thrown around from the reflections of the wheat head.  Each ear or head of the wheat stalks where the grains are were reflecting the rainbow colors like a prism in sunlight.   It was an amazing field full of all the colors in the rainbow reflecting off each other throwing colors like in a miraculous dance, it was so spiritual, a divine imagery if I ever saw one.

The kids had asked me where the pot of gold was, joking!   I just kept looking, and thinking I cannot believe we have no film left in the cameras (not digital yet!).   I did not take my eyes off the wheat fields, I told them the wheat, the wheat is the gold.  I asked them if they had any idea how many souls that wheat field would feed?  To this day I think about how many souls that wheat field feeds, we have enough to give, no one should go hungry in our world.  Some years are harder than others, but we will make it.  That vision I have held for twenty years this coming August, it is no less vibrant in color than it was that day I stood with my fellowman and family in awe.  We will make it one way or another.  We have faith….