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.
Maintain that positive attitude Pollyanna…less stress, fewer wrinkles!
Thanks, Ruthann! Got your card…you all look so shiny and bright!
Love this SO much, Sally. Thank you.
And thank you for reading, Murphy. Wishing you painless therapy and an accident free New Year!
I have known you, Sally, for over thirty years, and though you may say you are so fortunate, I see you, Sally, as so wise. You answered every knock of opportunity that came your way and when there was no knock, you went and found one. Don’t sell yourself short, my dear friend! You worked hard and earned everything you have. No one deserves to have no dismay more than you! You asked nothing of anyone but yourself and you have merited every moment of joy you have. That is how I see you. So comfort and joy to you!
You made me cry, Joanne! But it was the good kind of cry. Thanks for your kind words. They will keep me warm and joyful all day. Sally
Yes, I know you too – as the always hard working angel toiling in the garden of life – and always producing fragrant, vibrant flowers. Always helping and encouraging and lifting up all who crossed your path. So no dismay for you, dear Sally – only rejoicing in a life well-lived!
Love and Blessings to you and yours, dear friend.
Ah, Carol, thank you so much for your warm words and well-wishes. Your comments mean so very much because we worked side by side in a not so nurturing environment. I always try to encourage people and I’m so glad you say that I did that. Have a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year!
OK, first of all, I’m in awe of you. Your poinsettias rebloomed! I’m good with orchids, but not with those. Also, kudos for your attitude. I love your mantra and will try very hard to do the same in 2017. Have a good holiday!
This is the first time I’ve ever had a poinsettia re-bloom. It’s quite miraculous to me, too. Glad you like the mantra. Now if I can just stick to it, 2017 will be beautiful. Happy Holidays to you, too, Kaye.
I’m a big fan of Pollyannas, Sally – what an excellent post! Reminds me of the quote, “if you always keep your face to the sunshine, you cannot see the shadows” (Helen Keller). How wonderful that your poinsettias returned. You found them a happy spot! I will carry your mantra into 2017 as well. Happiest of holidays!
Thank you, Lida for reading my blog, and especially for taking the time to write. Love the Helen Keller quote. Happy Holidays to you to!
Merry Christmas, Sally! I too, will adopt your motto for 2017. Let nothing us dismay!
What else can we do? Happy New Year, Mary!
Accentuate the positive! Way to go, Ms. Handley. I’ll take your advice and try to see the bright side this year.
Thanks, Ellis. It’s not easy, but we have to try!