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

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Peace Perfect

The Prayer Perfect

Dear Lord! Kind Lord!
Gracious Lord! I pray
Thou wilt look on all
I love tenderly today!
Weed their hearts of weariness,
Scatter every care
Down a wake of Angel-wings
Winnowing the air.
Bring unto the sorrowing
All release from pain;
Let the lips of laughter
Overflow again;
And with all the needy,
O divide, I pray,
This vast treasure of content
That is mine today!

James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), American writer, poet, author

Dear Readers,

I’ve been out in my garden soaking up the gorgeous sunshine the Lord is sending down to us today. Things are humming out there! The hibiscus, phlox, daisies, and Black-eyed Susan’s are making a veritable rainbow of bright and cheerful colors, and attracting butterflies and bumblebees by the score. My elephant ears are thriving — giant, graceful, and green — and the birds, singing their hearts out. Overhead could be heard a pileated woodpecker rat-tat-tapping on the trunk of a juniper. An observant little squirrel, perched on a high branch of an adjacent cedar tree, watched me for a long time. I spoke quietly to him, and he didn’t seem to be at all afraid. Just sat there and looked at me. The neighbor’s well-groomed poodle was gamboling back and forth in his yard, leaping with joy, grinning from ear to ear, yipping and barking at anything that moved. He’s a happy camper!

The sights and sounds in my backyard have given me such a welcome sense of comfort and peace. I’ve been reminded that, in spite of our current challenges — worrisome and frightening though they are — our world is still full of good things for us to enjoy and be glad about.

Been thinking back to a long-ago meeting at my church when Henry, one of our most respected Elders, gave the opening prayer. Henry, who often portrayed in local productions the famous writer James Whitcomb Riley, recited the Hoosier Poet’s “The Prayer Perfect” (printed above). Perfect it was that evening, and perfect it is today. I will always remember Henry’s impeccable delivery of the beautiful words of that prayer — dramatic and moving. It was as if Riley himself were standing there speaking to us, blessing us with grateful and loving thoughts.

“The Prayer Perfect” says everything I’m feeling today. Hope you all will find it meaningful, too.

Here’s to Life!


Saturday, July 04, 2020

Happy Fourth of July

The flag is just as bright today as ever in the past –
Eyes are just as misty when on their banner cast,
Hearts are just as brave as on the day some centuries ago –
When fighting was igniting and freedom stole the show.

Undimmed by Deedy Woolling Coble, 1957

Here’s to you, my wonderful Aunt Deedy!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Write It Down!

When my father was in active medical practice, beginning back in the 1950s, long before the days of answering machines and voice mail, doctors routinely employed the services of what was called the Medical Exchange. During off-hours, when patients could not reach their doctor at his office, they would call this glorified switchboard and leave a message.

The lady who took the messages was a Mrs. Kendrick, who had been with the service for many years. When the doctors would later call in to retrieve their messages, Mrs. Kendrick would always insist, “Write it down! Write it down!” She wished to emphasize that our short-term memories can be fleeting and fallible.

We may think that we shall always be able to recall life’s details with full accuracy even after lapses of time, but Mrs. Kendrick knew better. Most probably early in her career she had received many call backs from doctors, asking, “On that telephone number you gave me . . . did you say 341? Or 321?” Or, “Was that patient’s name War-ren or War-den?” The longsuffering Mrs. Kendrick would sigh and patiently repeat the information, along with the admonition “Write it down! Write it down!”

Throughout our lives, we experience many memorable events. We also have some rather profound ideas. Things we wish to remember always, but sometimes the exact details of which escape us. If you have special tales and insights you wish to keep for posterity, write them down! Now. While the facts are still fresh in your mind.

What are you most grateful for in your life right now? Where do you find comfort and peace for your journey? Who are the individuals who make your heart go pitter-pat? Whose presence sustains you? Write it down. Tell your story.

I have discovered that much of what I wish to say to the world is brought out simply through the act of remembering and then writing those thoughts down. It’s kind of amazing, actually. I often see my work coalesce on paper right in front of my eyes, even before I consciously realize where my thoughts are taking me.

I’m reminded of the story of the little child in Kindergarten who was intently sketching a picture one day. He was deep in concentration on his work when someone asked him, “What are you drawing?” The little boy, with a rather exasperated tone, replied, “I don’t know. I haven’t finished it yet.”

I venture to say that every one of you has recollections and perspectives running around in your head that are definitely worth sharing with others. I encourage you to grab a pen and a pad of paper, put on your thinking cap, and let your thoughts flow.

As Mrs. Kendrick would say, write it down!

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