The strangers that knew me – a postaday on the daily prompt

IMG_0718 seascapeI was on my way to Norway from Indiana to attend my mother’s funeral. She died quite unexpectedly while traveling, which meant there were weeks from her death to having the body back home  for burial. Weeks of intense grief and stress. During those weeks I experienced to be part of a caring society, I have told many stories of the many ways people we knew only vaguely were a great comfort. I did not know all the ways one could be a comfort to others before then, I guess that is another post.

IMG_0728 landscapeEven so, I was totally exhausted. I was traveling alone, as the boys had their finals and my husband was staying with them. Of course there were delays. In the most unorganized way, as only airports can muster, we went back and forth between the gates at Newark, not having time for eating, being lined up and then dismissed for several times. When we finally were at a promising gate, I was so tired my legs were shaking. I tried to rest against a pillar while trying not to think sad thoughts as I had no strength for crying.

IMG_0294 purpleThen from the other side of the crowd a woman came over and stood beside me. She started to talk, softly, comfortingly, not asking any questions. Turned out  she knew a wonderful person I had worked with, I got her card, and while we boarded the plane she disappeared. I never found that card again, and I my friend had never heard of her.

IMG_0697 brownThen I got to my seat, a small crowded plane and a transatlantic flight. My heart sunk as I saw who  I was to share the row with. A young couple with loads of hand luggage, guitars, bags, pillows, everything spreading into my seat too. I needed just a small private space, and it seemed that even that would be denied me. I sat down with a sigh.

IMG_2528 greenThen it was as the scene changed before my eyes. Turned out the young man was blind, and his girlfriend was also taking care of things. Before long all the paraphernalia were stowed away, they both sent me warm smiles and settled into their seats, the girl in the middle, me in the aisle seat. Then she turned towards me and had a closer look. You are cold, she said, let me get you a blanket. And she did. Put it expertly around me, turned towards her boyfriend and went to sleep. I am normally  a person who takes care of everything and everybody. It is not easy to help strangers though. Even so, when I needed it most, someone else listened to the small voice in their heart that showed them what to do  and did it.

IMG_0292 sunnyI do believe in angels, and if this was fiction I would have given this persons an added glow. They were humans though, as I am, given new possibilities every day to give a gift of comfort to a passing stranger.

IMG_2808 light

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Why do the birds sing? Or a postaday answer to Why do you blog?

Blogging is reflection

Blogging is reflection

Carl Barks has this legendary story about why birds sing. His character Gyro Gearloose starts an experiment with a bird and three theories:

May be it is sad, maybe it is happy, maybe it just sings?

IMG_1120 sandpiper

What would the sandpiper tell us?

After having trapped the bird, in the ordinary way ( you did know how to do that did you not? By sprinkling salt on its tail of course!) he questions it by wiring it’s head. The answer is : May be I am sad, may be I am happy, may be I just sing.

Perhaps I am sad

Perhaps I am sad

Just like with blogging. The thing is the communication, to share into the world regardless of who is listening. Which to me is what being a human being is all about, to communicate, to share and to learn from another. Whether I am sad, whether I am happy, whether I just want to sing.

Perhaps I am happy

Perhaps I am happy

The beauty of it, both in talking and writing, is that by arranging my words and sorting through my mind, I get closer to understand  why I am singing just now. The best part of it is to grow wiser both by knowing myself and by listening to the thoughts of others. Blogging is like a big campfire, where there always is a new story to listen to, new wisdom to take part in and a new song to join.

IMG_0352 sharing joy

And then again, sometimes I just want to sing.

I’ll run into the water! On sharing the love

Britt Arnhild's green house, we share the love of gardening

Britt Arnhild’s green house, we share the love of gardening

Summer camp, we were 14, we were sharing thoughts, beliefs, singing, joy, addresses and then we went home. Some days later I got a letter in the post from Britt Arnhild. I think we would make friends, she said, tell me about your life!

Our friendship grew through the years, through shared secrets, joys, sorrows, travels and belief. We are now both mothers of four and live in the same city, most of the time.

We share the joy of quilting, reading and coffee

We share the joy of quilting, reading and coffee

Then we moved to the US. Tell me about your life, she said. Why don’t you start a blog! She had been blogging for years and have made friends all over the world, her posts are truly inspiring and accompanied by her own great photos. Wonderful! I just did not feel up to it, and kept sending travel letters by e-mail.

We came back, I kept reading her blog, she kept laughing and saying, why do you not start a blog! And then I did. I have been blogging for some years. I have had so much fun making advent calendar blogs together with my siblings. I have had private blogs with my children. I have used my blogs as training grounds for speeches and presentations, and I have a new way of sharing the pictures I take.

Reading in the green house

Reading in the green house

Almost, ok then, totally addictive!

Then we moved to the states again, and Britt Arnhild says, hey why don’t you get to know and love my blogging friends over there! Yes, why not indeed?

And here I am, planning adventures with, and getting to know her friends.

Shared faith

Shared faith

I just heard the lyrics of that old country song,” I’ll be waiting on the far side banks of Jordan” and knew that on the other side of Blogging Jordan, Britt Arnhild will be waiting, running through the shallow waters reaching for my hand, to encourage, to share, and keep me blogging.

Why don’t you visit? http://www.brittarnhildshouseinthewoods.typepad.com

Her latest project is a monday series of portraits of the friends she has made through blogging. She won’t be running out of subjects any time soon.