HUMAN INTEREST STORIES

FLEUR-DE-LIS or (Boomers Counting Coup in a Topsy Turvey World)

by Ron Cook

We are in the midst of April showers making possible the eruption of May flowers. Louisiana seems to not lack moisture for its vegetation. Water is plentiful. Winter often is several months of misty, drippy, to downpouring liquid sunshine; and then come the flowers. Spring is a reset … a new chance for a do-over in color, energy, and life. The fleur-de-lis represents a flower that captures the essence of the Louisiana spirit for me. I love the many flowered images, the symbolism, and the courage this dynamic flower exudes. And this flower reflects the spirit of the “Who Dat” nation. Even the “winters” of Baby Boomers get a kickstart during this time of year. My indigenous Native American brothers and sisters know that counting coup remains available at any age. Where do we stand, as hopeful people, in this momentous time of history? What retains our spirits, our cultures, our traditions, our dreams; even as our strength may fade, our minds may falter, and our sight might dim? Here are some thoughts…

I know my editor will find some beautiful Fleur-de-lis images for you to enjoy. They sometimes look to me like images from my childhood of lilies in the woods of Michigan. They grew wild and were beautiful. The Easter lilies (from three weeks ago) as I write this are still putting out their sweet fragrance from those trumpety blossoms! Louisiana’s French heritage incorporates the fleur-de-lis in many of its representative images. The French sisters taught the Trinity with this flower instilling the stem as the feminine
aspect of God in Mary.

My oldest daughter has taken on a new position with a special soil company in the western-slope Rockies of Colorado. They work organically to infuse fertility into the life-bed of plants. This brings to mind the story/parable of the farmer who went about sewing seeds in the Spring. Some fell on the path, rose up quickly, then were trampled underfoot or eaten by the birds. Other seeds fell on rocks and withered quickly with no soil or water. Another group of seeds landed in the weeds which sucked up all the nutrition and choked off the seed. Finally, some seeds found the good soil and flourished-de-lised!!!! They gave back a hundred-fold and more!!! In the story/parable the seed is the life we are given to live. We can do anything we want with it, but we are free to get ourselves out from the rocky, hard path, weedy soil and into a life-giving soily environment.

I haven’t written much for some time. Thank you for putting up with a little rambling … There is a point on its way to all this.

What I want to say is that in the midst of my seventh decade, as a baby boomer, I find myself reflecting on what I have counted coup on, and where I have failed. Counting coup involves getting close enough to the enemy to give them a good slap, and yet then escaping with your life.

Have I planted good seeds on the journey? Have I chosen good soil in which to plant? Have I weeded and fertilized the soil? Have the seeds borne good fruit? Have I taken the right risks in my life? Have I persevered when I needed, or “cut bait” when I should? These are rhetorical questions that you can also answer for yourself.

If you are still a young traveler (whom I like to call TAB – Temporarily Able Bodied), you may answer these questions ahead of time so that you are ready when life happens. Wisdom is a lot about paying attention.

No matter where we are on the journey, the key is to just keep going. “All things work for the good for those who love and are called according to the purpose for which they were created. (Romans 8:28) It doesn’t say “some things.” It says ALL THINGS. It will all work out! So, just keep on keeping on!!!

So, let’s leave it with this…

Why Do We Do What We Do?

When people are unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered, we want to hold a grudge,

But

JUST FORGIVE THEM.

When you are kind, people may say you are selfish and have ulterior motives.

We may want to feel bad or get mean,
But

JUST KEEP BEING KIND.

If you become successful, some people will want to be your unfaithful friend, others may see you as an enemy.

You may want to retaliate,

But

JUST BE SUCCESSFUL.

The good you do today might be gone tomorrow.

You may want to give up,

But

JUST GO AHEAD AND DO THE GOOD TODAY.

Some people see honesty and frankness as naïve or vulnerable.

You might want to start becoming facetious,

But

JUST KEEP BEING HONEST AND FRANK.

Although people say they favor underdogs, they end up following the big dogs.

You may want to give up on the lowly,

But,

JUST KEEP STANDING UP FOR THE UNDERDOG.

You could see the building of your life’s work destroyed in one day.

You may want to give up,

But

JUST KEEP BUILDING ANYWAY.

Some people may bite the hand that feeds them. You may want to punish them and cut them off,

But

JUST HELP THEM ANYWAY.

When you do your best, you might just get kicked in the teeth.

You may want to stop giving,

But

JUST KEEP GIVING YOUR BEST EVERYDAY.

 

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