Note: An ongoing mission of this blog is to help us all fight the fear and discouragement so many of us are feeling about our economy. Today’s post is an excerpt from Silver Linings: Meditations on Finding Joy and Beauty in Unexpected Places. Mina Parker’s uplifting 2008 book of inspirational readings is richly illustrated by photographer, Daniel Talbot. (The cover photograph, below is an example of these striking images. ) This excerpt appears with permission of Conari Press, no further reproduction without their approval.
“My friend’s house was flooded last summer, and she told me the story of coming home with her daughter and husband to find the place in total chaos. Books and papers were strewn everywhere, and there were brown mud stains 2 feet high on everything. She took it all in, a bit in shock. It might seem strange, but the most vivid memory she has of that whole day is of a vase of peonies on the fireplace mantle. It was one of the only things in the house left untouched, and the pale pink peonies were at their peak, as big as heads of lettuce.
“The sight comforted and calmed her as she started the task of cleaning up the mess and finding out what was gone and what could be saved. I don’t know if I would have been calm enough to even notice those flowers, let alone allow that image to permeate my recollection of such a tragedy.
“Flowers will continue to bloom no matter what–and there will always be beauty in this world. Maybe that’s why we give and receive flowers on the occasion of an illness, tragedy, or loss. They calm our nerves and serve as a reminder of the cycle of all things dying and being reborn.
“In the midst of devastation, keep something lovely and calm in your mind and heart.”
To order Mina Parker’s Silver Linings, call Conari Press at 1-800-423-7087 or go to http://www.conari.com. At $16.95, this uplifting hardcover volume would be a thoughtful gift for a friend or loved one who is going through a hard time–one that would bring comfort for months of recovery from an illness or loss.