Off the cuff
By Shelley Fowler
I am glad to once again be writing “Off The Cuff”. I took a hiatus and about fell off my purple chair when I realized it had been seventeen years since I last shared my thoughts and ideas in the Boise City News. A proverbial “my, how time flies” moment.
When I was a little girl of about seven Thanksgiving was very simple. It was comprised mainly of the joy of laying my left hand on a clean white sheet of paper. With black crayon I traced that hand's outline, then colored it in with yellows and reds and oranges until it “handily” resembled a turkey strutting his stuff. Add to that image a pilgrim with buckles on his black shoes and black hat and I was happy. Not forgotten were the Indians who fed our forefathers, so the next picture drawn and colored with crayons was of a long table with lots of ears of corn, a giant turkey and Indians on one side, white men on the other. Oh, but how the years have added to those innocent ideas. Now, Thanksgiving means the splitting of the word - giving thanks. For family and friends, for freedom and faith. And somewhere within me is still the child who happily colored that turkey and blunted the silver crayon filling in those giant buckles.
So, now that you have served the turkey and its trimmings and fed the leftovers to the dog I have an exercise for each of you to perform. Wherever you are at this moment stop and take a deep breath, exhale, then relax your shoulders. Were you surprised when they dropped from somewhere up around your earlobes? I challenge you (and myself) to not get stressed out by this time of year. I know, the Christmas carols are chiming from every port and portal, advertisements are making us feel we need to “shop ‘til we drop”, and the days are propelling us towards the end of December. But the hustle and bustle need not steal our peace if we stop and lower those shoulders every once in awhile.
A well-known preacher, Adrian Rogers, died recently. Without realizing it would be one of his last sermons, he talked of heaven and eternity and the inevitability and joy of arriving there. I am reminded of his words when I hear of the death of friends in our community. We are all on the same road towards what we call death but what many of us view as rebirth and reunion. We must keep walking in faith of the unknown and unseen, and find reassurance for a heart that is broken by loss, but touched by the hand of God, that some day we will understand “why” and be blessed with the reunion of loved ones who have traveled the road before us. May God bless the heart and soul of each of you who is hurting right now.
Boise City News