One joy scatters a hundred griefs. ~ Chinese Proverb

The message in church this morning was one about the River of Life and how we need to get into the middle of the river, rather than clinging to the shore, if we are to live life to its fullest. The pastor also invited us to celebrate life, even in the face of our toils and struggles.

I wholeheartedly agree with this message. Of course when life’s struggles become overwhelming, it is not always easy to find something to be grateful for or to celebrate. However, even when we are downtrodden, the sun still rises in the morning and sets in the evening, the birds still sing, there is still beauty in nature. We only need to be open to perceiving these gifts from God.

One evening last week, I was cutting up veggies for dinner, and I looked out my west window. The sunset was startlingly beautiful. And it changed by the minute, getting deeper and more beautiful. Finally, I just had to go and grab the camera and take pictures.

David and I were celebrating that 34 years ago today, we had our first date. We just recently wrote about this for our book. I will give a little excerpt of my account of that date and another of David’s recollection. I had changed my name to Linda when I left the Amish.

The wonton soup was served. I was glad for the interruption because I didn’t really want to think about what was happening at home. There were times when homesickness snuck out of the shadows and took me by surprise. I wondered if the closing hymn was being sung in our church district. I decided to change the subject.
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” I asked.
“Yes, two brothers and two sisters.”
“Where do you fit in?”
“I’m smack dab in the middle — I’m third, with an older sister and an older brother and I also have a younger brother and a younger sister.”
“I’m third in line also, with an older brother and an older sister.”
“Do you follow astrology?”
“I know I’m a Gemini, but I don’t know much else.”
“Oh, when’s your birthday?” David said excitedly.
“June nineteenth.”
David’s blue eyes widened and a grin crept into his face. He rearranged his fork and spoon on his napkin and said, “You’re not going to believe this.”
“What?” I said, now curious.
“My birthday is the day before yours — on June eighteenth.”
“Oh, really!”
“Does that make us the Gemini twins?” David said, the grin having spread across his whole face. Little crinkles formed at the corners of his eyes.
“Oh, you’re right!” I said laughing. “What year were you born in?”
“So we are three years apart — I’m twenty.”
David looked at me with those blue, blue eyes and I could see that the attraction I felt for him was mutual. At that moment there was no other place I would rather have been than sitting with David at the Tiki Garden on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, Vermont, with the sun sparkling on Lake Champlain in the background.
* * *
Sometime later than day, David recalls…

“I should allow you the rest of the day, Linda. I had fun,” I said.
“So did I and thank you so much,” she said.
“Would you like to go out again?” I asked.
“I’d love it,” she said with a big, beautiful smile.
“I have a craft show in Massachusetts next weekend, but perhaps we could have dinner a week from Friday?”
“Friday is my best day.”
“That would work for me.” I said. “I will call next week and set a time.”
“Sounds great!”
I took her hand and gave it a gentle shake, then walked out the door to my pickup truck. As I drove past the kitchen window, I saw Linda looking out at me. She waved, and I waved back.
On the way home, I thought about how much I enjoyed the afternoon with Linda, and I sensed she enjoyed it, too. I had never experienced this kind of understanding with any other woman before. Then I knew — just as clear as the crisp, blue, winter sky on that bright Vermont winter day, I said out loud in the cab of my Datson pickup, “Gemini twins.”

So, besides the beauty in nature, today I am grateful for that Sunday afternoon in January 1978, when my relationship with David was just beginning. I am even more grateful that we share our life’s journey with one another now.

What are you celebrating?

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16 thoughts on “Celebrations”

  1. For too long now our carpenters had been working on an extention of our school. It’s finally done! Over Christmas break we moved in – so we’re celebrating more elbow room.

  2. The details that are in your posts are amazing. You are such a gifted writer. I was so excited to read in my local paper that you will be coming to Springfield N.J.. I can’t wait to see you. Vicki

  3. Linda, isn’t that a great feeling after the upheaval — to have the extra space AND have the upheaval overwith. It’s a great metaphor of life, isn’t it? Our joys are greater after a struggle or going through pain.

    Joanne, thanks for the compliment, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    Thanks, Deb, I am very fortunate. I count my lucky stars each day…

    Vicki, I cannot wait to meet you! It’s always great to meet in person, the people I “met” through blogging. Thank you so much for the compliment.

    Have a wonderful week, all!


  4. I’m celebrating your first date with David, too.

    For me, it was 11 weeks ago today that a nurse wheeled a little bundle into my hospital room and I got to meet my son. I guess I celebrate a little everyday as I find my footing on this new mountain of responsibilities.~Monica

  5. Sweet recollections Saloma and an absolutely stunning photo! :) I finished your book the other day and thought there might be a continuation on the horizon.

    Fritz and I believe Karma brought us together in our closing years. We had each heard the term, “soul mate” but never expected to actually experience it. We celebrate that discovery daily!

  6. What a sweet retelling of a special moment in your’s and David’s life.

    There is much to celebrate on a daily basis and it is so easy to get caught up in the drama of life we sometimes forget the beauty all around us. Your picture of a sunset is a great reminder. I can’t really remember a time when I have not enjoyed sunrise and sunset. Whenever we went camping I would try to make sure I greeted each one.


  7. Marilyn, thank you for your comments… ditto and wanting to get that second book into print.

    Richard, thank you for your comment. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’m glad I hung in there during the tough times, because it sure is worth it now!

    Monica, I send my prayers for your footing, too. Motherhood is intense: the responsibilities can be overwhelming at times, but the joys are incredible, too. I pray for sleep for new parents, cause it sure is what I needed at the time.

    Merry, it sounds like you have the right name. So glad you get to discover daily.

    Nancy, that is so true. So glad we share the love of beauty in natures.

    Thanks all, for your comments. Each time I receive one I feel like I am opening a gift…


  8. I’m celebrating “getting” it…finally, at long last, just “getting” certain things in my walk with the Lord that have eluded me my whole life. This is huge for me.

    For today, right now, I celebrate having a guest column appearing in my hometown newspaper. Makes me happy.

    I’m so glad we got to meet you and your husband this fall. It was a blessing!

    Waving and smiling,


    P.S. – The picture is truly glorious.

  9. I am celebrating my oldest sister. We lost our 3rd sister last month just before Christmas. Her memorial service was yesterday & the whole family was there – except for my husband & I who were stuck in Seattle due to horrendous weather-related flight cancellations. When we finally gave up and decided to come home, it took us 8 hours on an airporter bus because of road conditions, a bridge closure, and an alternate route. But we made it safe & sound. My sister has kept in touch with us by phone, filling me in on all the details of their dinners out, the conversations, and every detail of the lovely service. Because of her, I still feel a part of the group experience there, in spite of being “stranded in Seattle.” Today is looking much brighter!

  10. Sweet, sweet story!
    I’m celebrating my 60th birthday this summer … need to get a head start so it won’t startle me so much when it actually happens!!! Two days later, Bill and I will celebrate 38 years of marriage. Weird…it feels like we are only 38 years old! Not sure where the time has gone, but every year has been a gift from God! Oh, the things we’ve learned and shared and will continue to do the same!

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