Earlier this month my sisters, Jane, Mary Ellen, and I attended a play at Centre Stage in Greenville entitled Let Nothing You Dismay, a delightful comedy about a couple awaiting the birth of the baby they’re going to adopt. Yesterday, my mother, Mary Ellen, and I attended Miracle on 34th Street at the Greenville Little Theater. At the end of the first act, when Kris Kringle has been remanded to Bellevue Hospital because he’s been deemed insane for saying he’s Santa Claus, the music playing was…you guessed it…God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. As the actors scurried off stage in disarray and the lights went down, the music seemed to stop on exactly that line…”let nothing you dismay”.
That kind of sealed the deal for me. Right then and there, I decided that my mantra for this year will be “Let nothing you dismay.” Whenever I feel discouraged or blue, I will remember those words and carry on. After all, no matter how bleak things might seem on any given day, there is always something to be glad and grateful for.
Now, I’ve already admitted in previous blogs that I am a Pollyanna, and to my chagrin, my cheerfulness over the years has sometimes been dampened with that chilly glass of frosty words, “Oh, it’s easy for you.” Maybe. I won’t deny that I have been extremely fortunate in my life. I never take that for granted and every day I feel a profound sense of gratitude for my good fortune. But my life has not been free of tough choices, and a bit of hard work and determination have also been part of it. I may be wrong, but I also think my constant search for the silver lining doesn’t hurt. Let me give you an example.
This Fall I was hard pressed to find the silver lining in a notification from our local Department of Public Works that the city would no longer be collecting glass for recycling because manufacturing new glass was now cheaper than recycling it. At the time, I scratched my head, questioning this logic. I thought we recycled because we wanted to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and save our environment, not because we made money doing it. Recently, as I put a glass bottle in the regular trash, I shook my head and asked the air, “Doesn’t anyone do anything unless they’re making money anymore?” A dismaying thought indeed.
Well, I thought about it and I am pleased to say I came up with an answer. My garden club works for no money to fulfill its mission “to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening among amateurs; to encourage civic plantings and recycling of solid wastes; to aid in the protection of nature’s plants and birds; to promote the study of gardening, landscape design, flower arranging/horticulture and environmental concerns through schools and non-commercial flower shows; and to encourage the love of all phases of garden club work among youth and seniors”.
That’s right. All of that is accomplished by a dedicated band of woman who generously volunteer their time and work tirelessly for the sheer joy of gardening and a deep-seated belief that what they are doing is good for the environment and good for the community they live in. The Simpsonville Garden Club:
- conducts monthly meetings, free to the public, with speakers who teach us how to be better gardeners
- plants the garden outside of the Police Headquarters in Simpsonville
- maintains an eco-friendly planter donated by the club and placed in front of Simpsonville’s historic clock tower
- conducts a yearly garden show at the South Greenville Fair that members of the public can participate in for free, and
- conducted a tour this summer of home gardens volunteered for viewing by members of our community.
So my feelings of dismay are dispelled by my fellow gardeners. I salute you, Steel Magnolias, who give so much to so many, asking no money in return for the work you do. You are the silver lining I was searching for. I am cheered knowing that no matter what gloom and doom is reported in the news today, no matter that you won’t receive a penny for the work you do, you will continue “to touch the earth and make it grow”. Tidings of Comfort and Joy! Merry Christmas, Everyone.