On the Sunny Side of the Street

Preface: Thursday November 28th 

We are entering a wonderful time of the year.  Special days galore surround us: New Year, Christmas, Hanukkah, plus endless family celebrations will be the norm.

In the midst of this happy milieu we all struggle to handle our ongoing daily commitments.  I have a writing due for my creative writing class on each of three closely grouped days – November 28th, December 4th, and December 18th.  Necessity provides the incentive to create a “do-able” solution.  I have decided to present three loosely related vignettes, one on each of the dates mentioned.  The first one is today.  A cautionary note: the dictionary defines a vignette as “A short, graceful, literary sketch.”  I can guarantee only the short part.  The other three elements may, or may not, be achieved!  

On The Sunny Side Of The Street

Age is interesting.  There are few “How to Navigate” or “How to Understand” instructions for this very special portion of life.  Each day brings surprises.  Some are not welcome, some even very difficult, but many are delightful.

Musing about this, on one morning walk, I marvelled at the beauty of the sky.  Clouds battled with sunshine, creating a checkered pattern from horizon to horizon.  My sense of pleasure was intense.  A complete stranger stopped and pointed out to me a flock of crows, engaged in a real battle over one small chunk of bread.  We watched, laughed, visited, and then moved on.  

The ache in my legs turned me back to my home in the Manor, with a feeling hard to describe.  A sense of well-being and contentment flooded over me, and I said out loud, “What a wonderful day.”  With some amusement I recognized my contradictory feelings.  Limping into my suite, I sank into my easy chair and tried to reconcile my conflicting thoughts.

Rubbing my legs to ease the pain, I was aware of a phrase racing around in my head: “God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world!”  Legs forgotten I felt like jumping with joy.  “That’s it!  That is how I felt when I came in.  Despite all life’s difficulties, sometime things do balance out, and then that’s how I feel.  What is that poem – wonder if I can find it?”

It took some hunting, but I found it.  In 1841 Robert Browning wrote a verse drama, titled “Pippa Passes.”  It is long, complicated and not to my liking, but in it is a wonderful piece that has a life of its own.  It presents a young woman, perhaps an indentured servant, off on her one free day a year.  Despite her extremely difficult life, she revels in the joy of being free, in the beauty of God’s world, and in the hope which keeps her going.  For all of us, she is a cheerleader from the past.

Pippa Passes

“The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”


Filed under This & That

6 Responses to On the Sunny Side of the Street

  1. Morag Dornian

    You have a poetic soul. I enjoy your blogs. I can relate to the Nature you describe in this one. Mornings have always been the best for me and this describes how I feel. Thank you for this.

    • Marjorie

      Morag – Much as I miss the prairies, I also love the beauty that Vancouver embodies. It does lift the soul! Nice to have you as of one of my readers.

  2. Eveline

    I am so glad you have that wonderful writing mentor at Amica. Otherwise I might not get lovely vignettes like this. Graceful indeed. Thanks Marjorie.

    • Marjorie

      Eveline – Our writing class here is a very interesting group, and the leader a seasoned writer mixed with good teaching skills. We, the class members, are certainly in the aged group. It is a unique experience, and one that the class members and our leader, all enjoy.

  3. Alison Uhrbach

    You are such an inspiration to me! I continue to pass your blog along to others that I feel would benefit from your wisdom and wonderful way with words. At this time of year I see sunrises on my way to work, and sunsets on the way home. They are wonderful! and I find it reassuring to know that whatever problems I think I face that day, the sun will still rise and set with such beauty that you know there IS a GOD. Alison

    • Marjorie

      Alison – Nice to be met in the morning with an email from someone I have known since she was born! Also glad you can connect something voiced in the vignette to realities in your everyday life. Try to remember that life leads us all through ups and downs; from periods of belief through periods of disbelief – and still the path leads on. The miracle for me is that despite all the harsh realities, there always seems to be the other side of the coin. Who knows were I will be standing when my path ends?