Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Vision Statement, Part 1

I don't think I've ever written down my own vision statement. So, this is a first. Like the church, I am pretty sure  I have a vision for my life, but since it hasn't been articulated, my energies scatter and even boomerang. It's worth a try. I'll follow the same guidelines I gave Don & Jessie for our Sunday service.

My own vision took shape, albeit a murky, shifting shape, in childhood. I knew from earliest times that my passions were two: nature and words. I loved being out of doors, and I was blessed to live in a big, very old house with several acres of trees and meadows and lawns in which to play and imagine.There were no happier moments for me than those I discovered on a beautiful spring or autumn day, squirreling myself beneath a tree or behind a shed to dream, breathe, and write or think.

Inside the house was tension, veiled anxiety, and (I see now) evil. I don't think evil is too strong a word for people whose narcissism and addictions lead them to acts destructive of self and others. We appeared "normal" on the surface, I'm sure, but even as a child I must have been aware of the tentacles of control and the utter lack of affirmation. Since my stepmother stayed indoors, I could escape by going outside. I still treasure the sounds, the colors, the textures and intricacies of almost any sort of natural environment.

Words. I can barely remember a time when I didn't read voraciously. I crawled into books and stayed there as long as I could. Almost anything I could find around that offered a change of scenery, a different era to contemplate, a character I could befriend for a time would be read over and over. I didn't go to bookstores, and rarely got to go to libraries, so, unlike kids today, my choices of material were limited. I read whatever was around our house and whatever people gave me for gifts. Luckily, this included books like Heidi  and Little Women  that I read many times. Just words on paper could save me, so I knew my loyalty to them would be life-long.

It's come to pass that this earliest of loves, nature and words, are still the core elements of my personal vision.

(to be continued...)