It is eight o’clock at night here in Rhode Island. I am finally beginning my assignment. I’ve chosen to write about Sanctuary. It always seems to underlie each and every poem, article and story I write. It would appear I am smitten. The sound of the word resonates within me. Sanctuary…. After finishing A Berkshire Tale, I realized that what I had done within the pages of those ten children’s stories was to create my own world in which children and animals are loved and protected by the caring adults around them. They are accepted for their own unique selves and because of it they are able to safely explore, thrive and be successful in life. It is certainly a world in which I would love to inhabit and which I can choose to inhabit any time I revisit a chapter or share a segment with a class full of children or a friend in a nursing home.
As I read through our shared blog entries each day, I am especially taken in by the About Pages and the personal journals. Here, I’ve discovered people who have been disappointed, fractured even, by the casual cruelties encountered on their own life journeys. After reading my post, “I Had Plans”, other neighbors shared with me plans they’d once had. Their lives were not the ones they’d dreamed of once upon a time. Those plans had somewhere, somehow gone awry. Like the shared journal entries of those fractured during childhood by bullies or in adulthood by life’s events, they are all resilient in their own unique ways. But more than that, they are striving to make this world a better place for the people they touch each day.
My friend Kate in Australia welcomes children into her home while their parents are at work. An unplanned event; an act of kindness; a sanctuary around a kitchen table complete with crayons and paper. http://katesclippings.wordpress.com
And then there is my neighbor, Jeannette, in Saint Paul. Her hope to be an astronaut never happened, but she now writes a blog centered around helping people who are sick or weak due to age or illness. She has certainly rolled with life’s punches. http://hallenterprises132.wordpress.com
I find this all immensely comforting and intensely sustaining. Affirming Anne Frank’s belief in humanity and Blanche Dubois’ trust in the kindness of strangers.
Right now there is a typhoon bearing down on Japan. I am worried about my new friend, Elle, who has helped me as I stumble along through Blogging 101. I hope that she and her family are safe. She jokingly wrote today that if we don’t see her post, maybe her house has blown away. Her site http://daysofourlivesjapan.wordpress.com is one of a number of sites dedicated to creating a community for international mothers in Japan. I love the tag line of KA International Mothers in Japan. It reads “Surviving With Humor, Tears and a Lot of Help From Each Other” How wonderful is that? A group of mothers reaching out and connecting to create for their children and each other a small sanctuary in their corner of the world.
The clock shows quarter past eleven here in Rhode Island. It has taken me a long time to complete this blog post. Culling down to just three neighbors was more difficult than I’d expected. After I officially “publish”, I will be checking in with Elle to read today’s post and know that she has safely weathered the storm.
As I said in “I Had Plans” we create our own Bread Loafs. We also create our own Sanctuaries and they all, in some way, make our world a better place to be.