Thursday, August 12, 2010
This Old House
I just got back from my morning ramble. The area our hotel is in has a lot of old stately homes and I love to walk past them and people them with happy families. The homes are about 100 years old and I imagine how proud and excited their original owners must have been when they moved into their dream homes. I imagine the table set for Thanksgiving in the formal dining and I can see the Christmas tree in the parlor and the wreath on the door. Such a loved and well taken care of home.
And then right smack dab in the middle of the block will be one that has been forgotten. Neglected. You can see that it once was lovely but now the weeds sprout through the cracks in the sidewalk and the paint peels. It's off kilter windows are so dull with dirt and grime that sunlight barely filters in. I always wonder how someone could let such a beautiful home get in this state. Where are its happy people?
I imagine it happens insidiously at first. A few dandelions go unnoticed. There isn't enough time or money for paint this year. It snowballs. Upkeep becomes daunting and the repairs overwhelming until the very foundation of the once treasured home starts to rot and crumble. The happy family thinks the house is hopeless and walks away. Soon someone comes in and declares that the house is no longer safe for habitation and it is condemned. It will be torn down and forgotten except for wispy memories of laughter around the Christmas tree, the smell of turkey wafting upstairs from the kitchen on a Thanksgiving morning.
Unless. Unless someone sees that under all those layers of neglect is still something beautiful. Something worth saving. First we'll have to rid the house of the pestilence that is eating away its foundation and the foundation itself will have to be replaced with stronger, hardier stuff that can better weather the attacks that will be inflicted on it. It will be stronger than it ever was. Next we need to tear down some walls to make its spaces more welcoming and comforting to its inhabitants. Finally, we'll paint it with bright colors and plant beautiful plants so we can show the world that we are proud of this house and it is loved, once again. It'll be hard work, sometimes it will seem insurmountable, but it'll be worth it.
I am that house.
Out doing the best I can today.
P.S. I've said that I believe in most if not all the beliefs that AA professes. My favorite belief is that if you get "better" the miracles will start happening. I totally believe this. One of these days I'll explain my relationship with God but anyway my writing this blog was kind of a bargain with him. I live in a poor village in Mexico for part of the year and I have become very involved in a Christmas Toy Drive down there. I have started an online raffle to raise money for the drive but it has been difficult getting prizes donated. Since I have started this blog the donors for prizes have been coming out of the woodwork. This morning I really didn't want to sit down and write this so I was wasting time on the computer as usual and there in my email was a major prize donation. So I got the message. Thanks, God.