It is Sunday morning in Boone. There are snow flurries in the air that dip and swirl in the steady breeze. It was about 61 degrees in the house this morning when we woke—it’s about 65 now. My goal is to get the temperature up to 70 before we leave for a friends house for lunch and then church afterwards.
Bessie, our little puppy is playing with a very large pooch in the backyard. She is all over the older golden retriever who just lays on the ground and lets our little puppy lick its face and bite its ears.
Hundreds of birds, mostly finches and the like, flock around the bird feeders in the front and back yards. It is just that type of day when I guess it is cold enough that the feeders are easier to find than food in the wild. That’s what they are there for—not that I feel at all like that saint who had birds eating out of his hands—but they do bring a lot of joy to my day.
The birds are everywhere—almost like the snow flurries—they seem to fly around and catch themselves in mid-air and then either find the feeders or float back into the surrounding trees. It is a sight to behold.
All this said, it is an amazing thing where words can take you. WIth this in mind, I will share a poem written by Rudyard Kipling from a book entitled “If and Other Poems” that my wife found among some other books when she was arranging stuff for a yard sale back in the fall. It is an interesting bead on life and the experience of it. Enjoy.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!