Hold With Both Hands

When I was six years old we lived on a main street directly across from my elementary school in Southern California. The things I remember about that year are faded now, mostly disjointed memories that are more about how I felt, then about any particular event.  

I do, however, remember a few things and, as always ... I remember the music.  I used to sit on the floor of the garage with my dad, who seemed such a giant to me, so old and wise.  Funny, but if I count out the years, he would only have been about 27 at that time.:) There was always music playing in the background, in my life. He loved some things and some songs that I still love as a direct result of that time with him.  I remember being surrounded by motorcycle parts as he worked to create an entire chopper out of the pieces of many, scattered around us.  I always thought it was somewhat miraculous when he was done.  It was kind of like a puzzle, I guess. To be able to create something out of nothing, is still a gift I admire a great deal in him. He's a welder, and a good one.  I knew him only from a distance then; fascinated by him as only a daughter can be, but distant.  I would come to really know him years later, when I was sixteen.. and he was a much different man than I had previously believed.  Today, I cannot imagine my life without him in it.  But that is a story for another day.

In some ways, when I look back now, there are things about that time in my life that deeply influenced who I am today.  I had a teacher at that school across the street in first grade that I remember to this day.  Her name was Mrs. Byrd and she was gentle and soft spoken.  She got the attention of her classroom by whispering until we quieted down.  20 years later when I became a kindergarden teacher myself, I would employ the same technique and it worked like a charm.  I never flipped a light switch.  I certainly didn't yell. I didn't clap, or herd those kids, because I didn't  need to.  They responded to a still, small voice.  I believe we are wired that way.  So...I simply did what the best teacher I had ever known did.  I whispered.  There is something uniquely intimate about a whisper, isn't there? It reaches in and grabs ahold of the heart.  I have often wondered if she knew the proverb that I later memorized myself.    A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  

I also wonder what kind of world it would be if we could all just do that.  

There are so many songs from 1972 that bring a flood of memories back to me.  But this one still speaks to me today.  I'm definitely on a journey this year.  I've come to liken it already, to a car ride, warm, with the top down and the radio playin' my soundtrack through the years. I'm just surprised it's a journey backward in time since I believed I was moving forward into 2014. But then maybe... maybe sometimes we have to travel back, in order to move forward, I don't know. Or maybe, you gotta wander the desert, to remember your name...

I keep a box full of things that have special meaning to me.  It is full of old photographs and bits and pieces of my life from birth to now.  And words.  Words I've held dear. Words that are still precious to me.  Words that matter. Words that come back to me through the annals of time, to speak truth to my heart, when I need them.

Hold with both hands... each precious and glittering moment of your life.