"The glass is half empty....or is it half full?" How many times have you heard that? And do you remember these
other classics "turn lemons into lemonade" or "see a flower, not a weed?" From childhood our moms and grandmoms passed these well known momilies from their generation to ours. Every repetition served to mold our personality and moods. I suppose I learned the lessons well (and passed them on) and know the intent of optimism. But I must say the struggle of half full or half empty wrestles me more often than I care to admit.
Little did I know, sixteen years ago, that I would live in the country, fifty + miles from a strong bookstore or shopping mecca. I'm not even a true shopper but from these passing years I have come to realize my psychic need for availability--just knowing it is there. I love the creative energy of merchandise, color, theme arrangements, more magazines and books, pencils, paper and pens, t-shirts, jackets and skirts than I could ever want or need. For me it is joy just to know the product availability is within reach. Each store, each item communicates energy packaged in creativity and possibility.
But not to be. Instead I look out my window to grasses, cows, occasional deer and the endless land of trees and brush.It is miles from a creative mecca of books, clothing and gallery. The quietness and solitude are contradictory to me. I love and disdain the silence and the emptiness; I love and disdain the natural beautiful vs. organized landscape; I love and disdain the distance from everything, not unlike similiar feelings toward too much traffic or stores with ill arranged merchandise. So, what to do?
I reflected on the dilemma and caught myself seeing exactly two ways to observe everything, all holding true to the "half full-half empty" synopsis.
Here's mine from the "half-empty perspective"
Same location...same day...same window
--53 miles to nearest mega bookstore
--53 miles to office store
--a desolate road, infected with oak wilt and dead thistles
--lizards and the lurching possibility of a snake under the bush
--minimum flowers--deer eat them all
--loud dooley trucks heaving fast down the one lane road,hauling hugh loads of hay and pushing the walker (me) to the pasture
--technology deficiency-no cell phone service except outside-computer comes and goes
--the gate is locked-the best friend, daughter, grandchildren, sister are on the other side, down the road and across the way
--loneliness bellows; my heart cries for community
OR "the half-full perspective"
--native trees and dry-stacked rocks tell the hill country history and stroke the land with beauty
--charm of home in a house 1 1/2 centuries old, filled with stories of yesteryear--each board lovingly restored
--7 miles to a destination village, crowded by city dwellers seeking to run away
--7 miles to quaint, old-world German imagery or heritage and
--attractive and appealing small stores standing strong amid marketing to keep the big boys "out"
--moderate traffic--easy access to grocery, produce stands and fresh summer peaches
--old time tradition--parades, county fairs and Germanfests--taken for granted?
--solitude and peacefulness in the quietness of 'none'
--freedom of being--in the middle of nothing
--luxury of space and land, privacy and comfort
What's your view-- same location, same window, same day? Is your glass half empty or half full?
a favorite scripture: "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 106:1
a favorite read: Louisa May Alcott, a personal biography by Susan Cheever. The bottom line--"life is slow in 'changin'. Many of her problems and opportunities are only different chapters in today's world.