May 1, 2017

A Melancholy Mood

A fog was hanging in the air today which encouraged me to walk to town in order to organize my thoughts - almost tripping on the thick murky ground. One thing about wandering in a literal fog is the quiet, which made me feel as if I was in my own little private bubble. I entered the local coffee shop where Christmas music was being piped in, which felt, surprisingly, lonely.
Exchange daughter, Mei Moriguchi &
daughter, Addie Geissel

Today is the anniversary of when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and I am feeling melancholy thinking about World War II and all the physical and emotional lives lost. Generations passing has allowed healing, thankfully. The Japanese people I have come to know and have sponsored for study abroad are respectful, gentle, and gracious. All the current tension between nations and peoples breaks hearts and families apart, and am wondering how to make a difference. 

I'm not a bra-burning crusader, feel insecure in joining protest marches - but do thank people who do. My predilection is to be kind to one person at a time, showing respect, even to dirty and smelly people. This fills my soul ... beyond words.

My family and I traveled to shop at a Detroit area mall. The media constantly roars on about being prepared for an attack, to keep a watchful eye, to be a little paranoid and distrustful of those from other countries. We refuse to look at others as potential threats and were surrounded by a plethora of individuals and families from all parts of the world dressed in brilliant colors, stunning religious garb, speaking beautiful languages we could only guess at, and yet, we felt comfortable and safe. 

A large Muslim family was standing at the mall rail on the second floor with one of their daughters taking the family picture with a beautiful Christmas tree in the background. I quickly extricated myself from the escalator and approaching the family, asked if they would like their picture taken.* They smiled and appeared happy with my offer, freely handing me their cell phone - obviously without fear I would steal it - they posed and I snapped away. The family was beaming and thanked me profusely for taking their picture and wished us a "happy Thanksgiving and many many blessings".  It felt right and good. My youngest daughter was not embarrassed over this spontaneous move on my part. Isn't life suppose to include making the path more pleasant for our neighbors? 

*My husband and children have witnessed me, on many occasions, stopping our car to hand someone a cup of coffee, cookie, or a few dollars. In particular, to watch for opportunities to take people's pictures. This time around it felt absolutely the right thing to do. I only hope my children have learned to do the same.


  1. as a Witness to this event, I can attest to the joy and goodwill that past between barefoot and the family. it brightened my day.

    1. Thanks. To make something a little clearer, we did keep our eyes open at the mall, on the alert, but what we witnessed was a great deal of happy, laughing and pleasant people. I think most people seem to not want to give in to fear.

  2. Well written blog post with an important message, Connie.

    1. Thank you Philip. A difficult subject, but feel if we each do something positive, maybe we cn make our part of the world a more pleasant place. Connie


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