The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Friday, March 7, 2014


It's almost time for Daylight Savings Time, only one of the silliest customs our culture endures.  We all, whether we know it or not, miss that hour from March until November, or whenever they let us have it back this year.   

And as if we needed more divisiveness between humans in this world, as if religion and politics and personalities and money and gender and personal preferences were not enough, there is Daylight Savings Time to frazzle harmonies, real or possible.

I looked it up on Wikipedia and it is an amazing list:  the countries which participate in Daylight Savings Time, and the countries which do not.  Here in the not-so-United States, not all states participate.  Some simply decline. 

Well, I have to participate, because my state does, but I don’t like it.  And I will likely grumble from now until I get that hour back sometime this fall.  Because the hour they take is an hour of my sleep.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


There is an old saying that at the end of our lives, it isn’t necessarily the things we have done that we might regret, but the things we did not do.  Now we all have instances of stupid or foolish things we have done, that we regret, that we wish we hadn’t done.  But most of those are not terrible things, simply regrettable acts that happen to us as humans, because of immaturity or inexperience or ignorance or a combination of any of the three.

On the other hand, it is an unfortunate aspect of human nature that so many times we postpone and postpone even the simplest things.  A wise writer, Erma Bombeck, wrote a wonderful essay years ago urging us all to use our candles, our ‘good dishes’, our most cherished items rather than putting them away for ‘special occasions’.  In other words, she urged us to try to make every day a ‘special occasion’.   

Now I cannot sit here, even after all these decades after I first read that good advice, and state that I have followed it.  I can plead the rush and distractions and demands of everyday life, or just plain old laziness, or any of a number of excuses and reasons, but, I can also, by writing these words, remind my own self of this advice, and I can start, right now, to follow it.


Right now in the faraway lands of Russia and the Ukraine, events are unfolding that will make problems for those areas and the rest of the world as well.  From where we live, it would be ridiculously presumptuous for us to comment on what we think should, or should not, happen.  We have far too much to be concerned about right on our own home turf.

But it occurred to me that one wonderful way the rest of the world could help these troubled areas while things are escalating, would be to invoke the old Amish method of witnessing.  I remember so vividly the wonderful Harrison Ford film, ‘Witness’, when, at the end, the villain was determined to remove witnesses to his crimes, and the witnesses were vulnerable, and a group of nearby Amish farmers simply appeared, with no intent to interfere or to participate, to simply witness what might happen.  It was an incredibly powerful scene.  What more powerful weapon than for someone to say, “I see you.”

So wouldn’t it be possibly wonderful if all or most of the most powerful countries in the world each sent one or two representatives to a gathering, say at the city of Kiev, not to take sides, not to interfere, but simply to witness events, so that if another country decided to seriously invade that country, they would be there, just be there.

There is just so much strife and misery and suffering in this world, and what I would really love to witness, from my faraway vantage point, is more outcome of peace, of communication, of understanding.  And wouldn’t it be possibly wonderful if solutions could be found and violence and anger could be avoided, and futures could be built, without outside interference, by the simple means of polite witness?