Rocket Ships

Do you ever feel like you are losing your mind? Or maybe you are lost in your mind? It’s that sense of walking into a room and not remembering. When you actually had to dial phones to talk to someone, it was called “dial lapse.” By the time you finished placing the call and someone answered, you couldn’t remember who you had called, let alone what you wanted to talk to them about. Sometimes when I’m writing one of these posts, I leave in the middle of the writing, before I get to the finish line. Then when I go back to continue writing, I realize I’ve lost my train of thought. What was the point of this? What was I trying to convey? I have this lovely half-written piece about how much time people work, and filled with statistics like, “Studies suggest that you will work an average of 100,000 hours from the ages of 18 to 68.”

I’m sure at one time I had more to say about that. Maybe it was that, with all the time we work, we might as well find something that we enjoy. Or maybe it was about how many hours of work you or I have left, and counting the hours down (or up!). Many of my family and friends are talking about retiring now, so that topic seems to come up a lot. It makes me ponder several questions: When do I want to retire? What do I want to do when I retire? How much money do I still need? What if I don’t retire?

Random thoughts keep interfering with the work at hand. One strategy to deal with that is to be a little more disciplined, a little more focused. Perhaps, however, life might become too predictable, even boring, without those random thoughts. Life would be less marvelous, like a world devoid of rainbows and shooting stars.

Now, back to those rocket ships. Well, shoot. I have no idea what that was about.


Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
~ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

I came across this earlier this week, and the simplicity of the reminder struck my heart. You see, with everything that has happened in the last months—San Bernardino, Paris, Beirut, Ferguson—I’ve been discouraged. I have been thinking about what our world has come to. How can we treat each other this way? Are we losing our humane-ness? It’s not unusual for me to listen to the evening news and simply want to cry for what we are becoming.

But then this gentle reminder comes along to make me stop to re-evaluate my view. It has made me hope, again, that we are not all defined by the irrational acts of a few. It has made me open my eyes to the wonder of the everyday mundane things that I have been taking for granted. What is the wonder I can see?

In Charlotte’s Web, a pig named Wilbur is saved from the usual fate of pigs by a web-spinning wonder of a spider, Charlotte. Charlotte weaves her webs in the corner of Wilbur’s pigpen, including such words as “radiant” and “terrific.” As wondrous as the words in the web are, another character in the story points out that a spider’s web, in itself, is the true wonder. How do spiders know how to spin webs?


On my dining room table sits a Christmas cactus, which was started as a slip taken from a plant that has been in the Hoese family for three generations. I’ve had cacti in the past, but I’ve never had one bloom in my house. Perhaps I just never acquired the knack for caring and coaxing the plant to bloom. But this morning one of the buds on the plants had fully opened to show a beautiful, deep pink flower.

A little bit of wonder, showing up right in my own home. For today, that is wondrous enough for me.