Flowers in the Snow

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“Come in, come in! and know me better…”

~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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Through mists of snow and dove grey skies, this Friday before Christmas dawned, the air brisk, yet a warmer bookend to the week’s beginning.  Standing before my kitchen window, hands in suds, I watched a cardinal flash scarlet wing, land — hop, hop – searching sodden ice for unseen nibbles.

“Hopeless,” I thought.  Still, the creature looked up and around, quizzically.  Seemed to be thinking that food predicament out.

My own thoughts wisped about me, like peering through a fogged window on a train passing along remembered paths, chugging a rhythmic refrain… if only, it could… if only, it could…

Mentally, I reached across that mystical window with the side of my hand, rubbed a patch clear, as if to see more clearly.   Saw then the stone walls, the brick building, the shapes of trees lining the courtyard; recognized the wide-windowed rooms where once upon a time we met over poetry and literature and lively conversations.  Making my way to the front of the “train” of these thoughts, I alighted.  And there, a quote inscribed on a hanging sign swung back and forth on a breeze.  A sign that was never there physically…yet, one I seemed to feel had been there all along…

“Come in,” the swinging words invited merrily as Dickens’ Christmas character. “Come in and know me better…”

I stood there silently, taking in the import like water from a glass, and the silence filled up with other sounds.  The scraping of chairs moving closer to desks.  Laughter from one corner.  Someone posing a question on the topic of the day…another answering with differing thoughts… a sharing back and forth where it wasn’t necessarily valuable to agree with one another as much as to let all openly throw out their viewpoints, listen, consider… offer your own.   See the other side of the cup.  Know me better…

I never came away from those class discussions with anger boiling against another’s ideas.  Or felt as though I wanted to write them off as not worth knowing.  Instead, I couldn’t wait till the next time we came together… to uncovering a bit more about how and why one person saw a piece we’d been reading this way and another that.  That give and take… it made me want to really know my classmates and teacher.  Their stories.  Their dreams.  Their hopes.

“It seemed so much more natural in those days, to care about people just for the joy of getting to know one another more and more,” I mused then, leaning over to stack plates in the dishwasher, remembering years of bits and pieces of conversations with family friends from all walks of life and sometimes different faith and how we loved each other for opening lives and hearts.

But, why has that changed?

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What has altered life these days that makes us casually write off anyone who doesn’t think exactly the way we think?  How have we arrived at this place where people feel righteously entitled to openly disrespect anyone with a differing view?  Or to throw up walls and freeze someone out when they, falsely or truly, determine…hmm, maybe we don’t think enough alike.

Do I have to vote for the same person you vote for in order for you to be interested in knowing me as a person? Do we have to have lived identical lives for me to want to know more of what makes you laugh, cry, hope, dream?

“I am becoming increasingly convinced that our inability to let people be people and to love them whether or not they agree with us is really blinding us to truth,” someone astutely commented here recently, starring my eyes.

For I think of someone I’ve reached out to, wanting to know them more as people than I ever have before.  I’ve always understood we didn’t share identical views on every little thing in life.  It never mattered back when, because something in the talking of who we were made me love them.  They made a difference in my life, shaped me in lovely ways.

Somehow now though, a high wall seems to have sprung up.  A hand held up as if to say… I suspect we don’t have matching ideas so let’s just not communicate.   

Words that seemed to begin flowing, suddenly trickling few and just barely enough.

I am saddened.  Sorry to never hear more of the stories that make up this person’s heart.  Sorry they don’t seem to want to know mine.

I believe we are meant to read each other’s stories like a book… to take wonder and joy in getting to discover what we value.  And in this world where more and more we stand on opposite sides of a glass divider and just cast one another off as unworthy of our time… I can’t help thinking of my Christmas wish–

I want to send you flowers in the snow.  To see your eyes light like sun diamonds on the winter white world.

And I want to receive some from you, too.

The little cardinal is still hopping vainly on the snowy drive outside my window.  But… is it vainly?  He sees what mist momentarily blinded me to…  The Provider will not abandon…

“Ask and I will send My angels to sing circles of joy over these, for re-tendering, for melting away of fear and walls,” He offers to you and to me in this season of Christmas roses… “and watch the bouquets I bring forth…”

Bouquets of stories, shared heart to heart.  (Can you think of someone you wish that for too?)

Now that would be heavenly grace spooling softly from heaven, snow on snow, this Christmas.

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©   Pam Depoyan

Love the antique photo of the child up top as much as I do? Click here to see the drawing I recently did from this charmer:

Christmas Wonder

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I need your help…

Do you have any vintage photos like the one of this child (up top) in your family?  Oh how I’d love to draw more such lovelies! (I particularly love images of anyone from the ’40’s or English looking ones like this one above.)

Send them to me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com… and if I draw them, I’ll gift you with a greeting card version of that drawing.

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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19 Responses to Flowers in the Snow

  1. This is so incredibly beautiful. Glad I’m your neighbor at Crystal’s

  2. sandi magle says:

    Very thoughtful and provocative post. I don’t think anyone could say it more complete with such heartfelt soul. And may the New Year be happy and bright. Sandi

  3. Dawn Boyer says:

    Pam!!

    I love this post. I love it, love it, love it. 🙂 I love that you shared your heart in it and how you found a place to let your ideas flow and find them reciprocated even if they were not the same. I am always astounded by the freedom there is in that little gift… giving and sharing ideas and not having to agree on everything. It lets us be, it lets us be who we are.

    I think we could have a lot to chat about over a warm drink together. 🙂
    Blessings to you!
    Dawn

    • Thank you for such lovely words, Dawn. It is a “freedom gift” we maybe took for granted before, never realizing it would be in jeopardy, isn’t it? I wrote this post really as a lament over the loss of a reconnecting friendship before it even took off… especially because it was one that began in that once upon a time in our lives when we did let our ideas flow. I’m not sure what we can do to get back to those times in this world, except maybe one post at a time, one sharing of our hearts at a time. And over it all, a lifting to His heart! 🙂 I’m so glad to know how this has connected with yours, Dawn! Mm… over a cup of tea, or a cozy one of hot chocolate! Blessings to you too!!

  4. lynndmorrissey says:

    Pam, as always your writing is so lyrical and lovely and your word pictures a delight. And how I love cardinals (and not just he St. Louis kind)! I’ve thought a lot along these lines, and people’s unwillingness to hold the tension of difference in respectable debate, even among the best of friends, was more than inexplicable to me–it was unutterably sad. I even had a friend unfriend me on FB, b/c I didn’t agree w/ her presidential choice. It stung, but she was actually a new friend I really don’t know. Still, because the closed the window of her world on me, know we never will get to know each other. Antoher friend lambasted me over this w/ ugly words. Now that really did hurt, b/c we have kjnown each other for years. Sad beyond belief. Tolerant. That word has taken on whole new meanings, hasn’t it? It used to mean that I will be patient as you express thoughts different from mine, and I will respect your right to say them. Thank you for keeping your place on the Internet a place of beauty, tolerance, respect, and invitation… invitation to your guests to express their hearts and to receive what they say (even should you disagree) w/ kindness. This is a lovely piece and perfect counsel for the New Year. … which I wish you now. Happy New Year, Pam!!!
    Love
    Lynni

    • I love cardinals too, Lynni! The male has always been my favorite since that red is so amazing, but recently I found a photo of a gorgeously colored female and couldn’t resist trying to capture it in pastels (was excited to just put that drawing on my art site, https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com, under “pretty little birds”).

      I’m so sorry that you’ve been experiencing what this post is about too… it just floors me every time I hear a story like yours too, the crazy way that people are breaking off communication over a personal choice of a vote in such ugly and stupefying ways! Just shows how the darkness is influencing and inflaming things, doesn’t it? “Lambasted beyond belief…” it is so hurtful as you say, but so unbelievable!! I just keep hearing God whisper how He alone knows how to change hearts and heal. Last night on the news they quoted the most horrifying example of how someone in the elite was even tweeting death to others who don’t believe the way they do. I am truly gobsmacked at the lack of human decency. Prayer, more prayer… that is truly what we need… I have an idea I want to write about for the new year and how we might combat this all thru love. More on that soon.

      All New Year blessings to you too! Thanks for sharing your heart!

      • lynndmorrissey says:

        Pam, my friend used these words… “derogatory, vitriol, inflammatory, and disrespect” to describe something I said online. Granted, in this case, I was a little bit sarcastic (and she knew me well enough to know I’m usually not), but that hardly warranted a vicious response. Those words were really angry. I think that Christians had many reasons to disagree over this election, but beyond that, Christians will usually disagree with people who are not. But that hardly means they are demons. We need to listen and try to understand their point of view and to be able to share lovingly the words of Christ. How else can we reach people. If anyone can speak love into our new year, you certainly can. Keep me posted!!! Still can’t access this blog via email. Ugh.
        Loved your darling lady bird! Really pretty and delicate. And btw, the little “Shirley Temple” girl has Shelly Miller’s face! I swear it looks just like her, if she were a little girl! You should show it to her and tell her what I thought. Don’t mean to sound bossy! :-), but it does look like her to me.

        Have a blessed NY, and I look fwd to your post.
        Love
        LYnni

      • I am smiling big right now that you thought that about Shelly! It’s actually the drawing I did from the photo in this post (not Shirley Temple, though the curls are like hers!). The minute I saw that photo, I sent it to Shelly, because it is so like her! I am gifting her with a mini drawing print of it too. 🙂 Sent it to her last week. I was going to ask you if it reminded you of anyone, but then thought I might wait and see if you mentioned it. It IS amazing, isn’t it? I think that photo must be from early 1900’s… I absolutely love that photo and would love to find more from that era to draw. I think it must be of somewhere in England too…

  5. Jann Olson says:

    Pam, I love your writing! The photo image of the girl is not showing up for me. I’m sure it is delightful! Wish I had one to send you. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • Occasionally the system blocks a photo temporarily. This happened the other day, then it came back. It also just happened when I pulled up my blog right now, but just now it is back. It’s like it sometimes needs time to load or something. So hopefully if you come back here to read this, you’ll see it. But you can also see the drawing I did of it on my other site. 🙂 Thank you so much, Jann!

  6. I love your words and, more importantly, the thoughts you expressed. Thanks for making me think more deeply about how I should respond to those with whom I disagree.

  7. What a fun quote to open this post with! So glad you shared it with us at #FridayFrivolity

  8. lynndmorrissey says:

    Pam, I can’t believe it. that is so amazing about Shelly. Where is your drawing now? At least I’m not seeing it at the top any longer. It’s blank on my screen. I’m sure she will love it.

    • Hi Lynn,
      I put the photo here in this post, but for some reason it sometimes disappears momentarily and then returns. It is there right now. My drawing is on my art blog… I had it in the communique spot, but just updated that for January. The drawing is in the category of Christmas Wonder right now… I wish I could have sent Shelly a larger print, but wasn’t sure about sending it all that way… so I sent her a card and mini version. I like it small, but really love it in the original 11×14… She just received it and says it speaks into something for her too 🙂 It really is amazing how much it looks like her. Glad you saw that too, more confirmation! 🙂

  9. lynndmorrissey says:

    Pam, again it is not visible. can you psl. link me to the other place? I mean with a lnk via email?
    did you mail this to Shelly by post? and I was a bit unclear. Had you purposely drawn it to look like her? it is uncanny I should “see” her, unprmpted by you! That’s how great you are!

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