buddy

child-cuddling-teddy-bear-16188541I recently learned a new name for the controversial ‘transitional love object’ young children often bond with and carry around. I call them ‘loveys.’ Depending on the particular object, of course, it is often simply called by name: ‘blankie’ comes to mind as an obvious example.

The new-to-me name for this self-soothing companion is ‘buddy.’ As I ponder this, it seems a wonderfully helpful concept. From a young age, you are encouraging a child to understand that, when faced with fear or discomfort or sadness, s/he can call upon a trusted buddy. A friend to actually help. Can’t you hear the conversations? Seeking advice; telling one’s heart; holding tight to get through the dark…

According to the dictionary, ‘buddy’ means a close friend; a working companion with whom close cooperation is required, a partner. It can be used as a term of endearment for one’s son, or a generic name for guy friends. Some definitions suggest it actually came into usage as a child’s version of ‘brother.’ How wonderful to start early to understand the ties that run deep, the ones that truly nurture and help us in need: family.

Of course there are crude uses of ‘buddy’ and repugnant allusions to ‘big brother’ …  and far too many families that do not support one another. Perhaps, though, if we remember the origins of the word, and carry with us the vision of the child who turns to ‘buddy’ for reassurance and comfort, we can help rebuild a world where the kindness and support of family and trusted friends can become a cornerstone of our lived values and experience.

Thank you, WP Daily Post Challenge, for nudging us into ever-expanding and varying word explorations.

 

saved by daylight

Twice a year we go through this matter of daylight savings time change. Confusing enough to move through the seasons and keep the old biological clock ticking onward. Although it goes against the grain (I being indelibly and unshakably bound to nature’s seasons), perhaps the way for a staunch New Englander to be saved by daylight is to wake each morning to a dawn simulator. Seriously. I’m considering looking into it.

Because moving to California is not an option. Yes, I need the sunlight. I also need the seasons, the brisk snappy chill on winter cheeks that eventually drives me indoors to hot cocoa and a bone-warming fire. The first hint of spring emerging through sweet-scented dirt, the joy of visiting old friends and finding new volunteers in the garden. The lazy summer days that suggest sand, waves and a refreshing evening breeze. The raucous blaze of a lingering autumn in its multiple shades from coral to burnt umber.

Yes, I am saved by daylight, daily.

I need light
follow light, am
nurtured by light;
cat like, move
into each patch
as it shifts
through the day,
anticipate each spot
claimed a moment
to lift spirit,
set it free.

swb

to be or to do

To be or to do — is that the question? For reasons perhaps found in the stars, this thread has run through no fewer than four intense conversations I have had in the past 48 hours with thoughtful, creative, middle-age women.

The specifics are less important than the shared tug-of-war within. Between feeling a need to be ‘out there’ offering proven gifts to others, tugged by a sense of generalized obligation; and a vague sense of being called by a very different need, the one that lives deep ‘in here’ at the core of who we in fact are.

Universal? You bet! And I could ask a whole host of additional questions, such as ‘why do we only ask this question in our 50’s or 70’s?’ ‘What has our culture DONE to us that we no longer value our BEING?’ Or ‘what about the moral imperative to make the world a better place?’ Apparently us Vermont women are not the only ones poking around in the hearts of ourselves; Parker Palmer recently wrote, in part:

. . . Who we ‘be’ is far more important than what we do or how well we do it  . . We pay a terrible price if we value our doing over our being. When we have to stop “doing” — e.g., because of job loss, illness, accident, or the diminishments that can come with age — we lose our sense of worthiness.
– Parker Palmer, On Being March 26, 2014

For my part, I come by this struggle honestly. One parent ‘just wanted me to be happy;’ the other wanted to know ‘what I had done to justify my existence today.’

Perhaps, after all, the question is NOT whether TO BE or TO DO. Perhaps, it is how to truly live a balance between BOTH being AND doing, such that one is nurtured sufficiently to be able to give well.