On this blog page, author Mary C. Woolling posts an ongoing series of her essays showcasing the positives of life.

New essays are added often. You are cordially invited to become a regular reader. Also, please feel free to share this site with your family and friends via the “Tell a Friend” link, located in the right-hand column below.

Comments on Mary's essays are most welcome. Simply click on the “Post Comments” link appearing at the end of each essay, and share your thoughts.

If you'd like to contact Mary, you may do so at mary@herestolife.us

Sunday, September 12, 2021

A Day to Be Happy

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

~Anne Frank (1929-1945) Famous Holocaust victim

For two long years during World War II, Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding from the Nazis, confined in cramped attic rooms of an office building in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In spite of existing in a state of ever-present fear and isolation, young Anne never stopped believing in the goodness of life.

Except for her father, Anne and the other members of her family ultimately died in concentration camps. Anne’s gallant message, recorded in her red-checkered diary, however, was not silenced by her cruel captors. The little cloth-bound book, later discovered on the floor of the Franks’ former living area, has prevailed as a timeless statement of hope to the world.

In the spirit of Anne’s words, in spite of our individual challenges, major as they may be, there are still so many reasons to be happy today. Life in all its simple pleasures is precious and a gift to be savored. We don’t have to look far. An infinite variety of things to gladden our hearts is right before us.

Here’s just a sampling:

The irreplaceable sound of a loved one’s voice calling “Good Morning”

Brilliant sunshine streaming through a window

Fluffy white clouds in vivid blue skies

Beckoning green hills with lush valleys below

Delicious aroma of freshly-brewed coffee

Cheerful song of robins twittering in the trees

Regal purple iris and friendly daisies in full bloom

A rainbow decorating the sky after a thunderstorm

A little white farmhouse with red rosebush nearby

Tinkling piano music drifting across the air

Children’s voices raised in shouts of delight

The merry peal of a grandmother’s laughter

The sight of a baby taking her first faltering steps

The contented purring sound of a tabby cat

The soulful eyes of a cocker spaniel

What makes you happy today?

Monday, August 02, 2021

Lighting the Way

On stepping out into foggy darkness one evening after leaving a neighbor’s house, I was suddenly alarmed and at a total loss to proceed until I spied a street light nearby. There it was, shining boldly through the blackness as if to guide me.

While I could not clearly discern my surroundings, I discovered if I made an effort to focus only on the lamplight in my view, my immediate path would become clear. By searching out each successive street lamp as I progressed along the sidewalk, I was ultimately able to find my way home.

We all need lights to find our way home. Travel down any street in any town on any evening, and you’ll see rows of houses with lights burning in the windows. Interior luminosity seems to transform basic dwellings into veritable lighthouses–—alive, warm, cozy, and inviting– guiding the return of their occupants to safe harbors in the night.

A few years ago, a well-known radio commercial for a roadside inn, Motel 6, promised, “We’ll leave the light on for you!” To know that someone has left a light on for us and is anticipating our arrival, no matter the hour or the darkness, is comforting. We are not alone.

A light in the window means someone is there anxiously waiting to see us, hear about our day, and share our news. We know once we reach that light we’ll be home–where we belong–with those to whom we matter most in this world. That light is our goal, its outstretched beams a clear path to follow.

I’ll never forget coming home late at night from school dances, parties, or babysitting sessions and finding my dear mother faithfully staying up–well past her bedtime. The bright porch light was always on and, there inside the door by her reading lamp, was Mom, waiting for my return. She’d pretend she was so engrossed in her book she’d lost track of time, but I knew the truth. She loved me and was worried about me. She couldn’t sleep until she knew I’d made it home safe and sound.

There’s reassurance in a light piercing the darkness. Lost in the fog of life, if a ray of hope beckons to us, we intuitively move toward it. When shadows are dispelled by a beam of comfort, promising victory over the gloom, problems that seemed momentous and even insurmountable regain their true dimensions and qualities. Things appear less daunting and more manageable. Brilliant new solutions may even be seen. In the light, we take heart and keep going.

Like lights in streets and lamps in windows, certain people we meet along life’s journey light the way for us, through their acts of kindness, warmth, and encouragement. Often, thanks to them, we find our way when before we couldn’t clearly see the path ahead.

In turn, we who have successfully navigated difficult roads can help those coming behind us, by offering bright torches of faith and hope gained through our experiences to help them visualize their way.

As Edgar Guest wrote:

“Teach me to do the best I can
To help and cheer our fellow-man;
Teach me to lose my selfish need
And glory in the larger deed
Which smooths the road and lights the day
For all who chance to come my way.”*

Night has come again, and the enveloping darkness has fallen, but all is well. Someone has left a light on to guide us home.

*He Who Serves, by Edgar A. Guest

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Word Power

The power of the written word. Much has been written about it. In a word, it is mighty. Its effects can be far-reaching, long-lasting, and even life-changing. Words can build us up, bring comfort and happiness. They can also motivate us to try once more, when before all seemed futile. Often, by virtue of such assurance, we accomplish things we would not have believed possible.

While each of us has his own unique challenges to face, everyone benefits from hopeful words. The good word is there are so many reasons to be hopeful! The goal of Here’s to Life! is to give word to such positive food for thought, to celebrate the joyful and beautiful aspects of life which surround us, and thereby to offer inspiration for the readers’ life journeys.

Here’s to the good word!

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