Country Inn “Spiritual” Day

 

IMG_1119[1]
Stan Hywet Hall
Whenever I’m in need of some spiritual uplift I come here, to Stan Hywet Hall in Akron Ohio.  It is a notable country estate, the former home of F.A. Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.  He had the house built between 1912 and 1915 and it now ranks as the 12th largest house in the United States.  Stan Hywet Hall is built in the Tudor Revival style and sits on 70 acres of property.

But though I love country houses and this is a very fine country house, I don’t come here to see the house.  I come here to spend time in its gardens.

IMG_7461[1]
The entrance gates at Stan Hywet
As I enter the gates of this estate I like to imagine I’m leaving earth all together and coming home to heaven, to my heavenly father, just as a college student might leave school for a time in order to rest and revive herself  in the presence of  family. Living life on this earth is actually a lot like going to school.  Here on earth we’re constantly learning and being tested.  Hopefully we’re growing in many ways, but it’s not always easy.

IMG_5405[1]

In fact, sometimes it’s very hard as it has been this month for me losing my precious doggie, Alexander.  He died in my arms on May 13th from old age and because of this great loss I really needed to come here to the garden to spend quiet time with God talking and listening.

Years ago my sister Elaine and I wrote a song.  I composed the music and Elaine composed  the lyrics.  I think of this song whenever I come here to the garden to spend time with God.  Let me share the lyrics with you.

“I speak to God, God speaks to me

In silence, soft sweet silence.

He knows I’m here, I know he’s near

In silence, soft sweet silence.

We sit and listen give and take

 sharing secrets for love’s sake.

I speak to God, God speaks to me

In silence, soft sweet silence.”

IMG_1113[1]
The English garden room

I love to sit in the English garden and talk to God, pour out my heart and then listen for his response by reading from one of my spiritual books, books like “God Calling”.  This book was written by two listeners and edited by A. J. Russell.  These listeners claim that the messages they wrote had been given to them by The Living Christ Himself.  Who is to say just how this could be, but the messages are definitely a spiritual stimulus to me and to many thousands of other people as well.

IMG_1114[1]

As I sit looking at the sculpture and fountain in Stan Hywet’s English Garden these words from “God Calling” come to me, “What can I say to you?  Your heart is torn. Then remember “He bindeth up the broken hearts.”  That is me with a broken heart over my doggie’s death.

IMG_1115[1]

I talk to God telling him how I feel as I walk around gazing at all the lovely stonework, the flowers and the plants.  Then I sit here to read from one of my spiritual books.  I am reminded that “Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  I believe this.  I know God wants us to be happy and carry on courageously even after we’ve had great loss.  We must be strong and brave.  With his help I will try to be just that.

IMG_1117[1]

I read that God expresses his great love for us through the beauty of nature and as I gaze upon these roses climbing their way up the trellis to the sky my heart leaps up along with them.

IMG_1116[1]

I’m told In quietness and in confidence shall be my strength.  The quiet and beauty of this garden is comforting and in turning away from the world , tuning to God I feel energized.

IMG_1121[1]

I stroll through the Japanese garden and here I am told all is well.  The plants are so lovely to behold and the design is so ordered.  There is a sense of peace here and that peace runs over onto me.  I’m told nature is but the expression of Eternal Thought in Time.  The eternal is what matters above all and though this fact can easily be forgotten when out in the world here in this garden it seems quite believeable.

IMG_1126[1]

I walk through the Birch alley and I feel so safe as the beautiful trees seem to wrap me in their soft shimmering branches.  I would like to stay here forever, not go back to my life outside this garden with its assorted challenges.  I don’t quite feel up to them just now but I’m told “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  And you know, somehow I believe it.

IMG_1127[1]

I enter the rose garden and I’m overcome with the sheer beauty all around me.  Though I arrived at these gardens with little enthusiasm for life, feeling sad and downtrodden, the beauty of nature has cheered and inspired me just as it did for the characters in that famous novel, “The Secret Garden” .  It’s hard to look at beauty and not feel uplifted just as it’s hard to put a smile on your face, even if it’s forced, and not feel at least a little bit better. I read, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the Glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”

 IMG_1128[1]

I’m told to look for the beauty in the world and not just look at it, but absorb it and then pass it on to others through a smile or a kind word.  I’m told that nature is the embodied Spirit of God’s thoughts of beauty for the world and we can truly live a life not of the earth, but a heavenly life here and now IF we connect ourselves more closely to God.  I believe this.  I feel this connection here in nature.

IMG_1130[1]

It’s easy to feel connected to God here in this garden.  It will be harder when I’m back out in the world beyond, but I’m told to keep close to God by reading his words because the “Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life.”  Do you read scripture?  I will be reading scripture when I return to my earthly home for I love this feeling that I have here in the garden, this very heavenly feeling,  and I want it to continue.  I’m told to trust in God and the consciousness of Him will maintain this feeling of joy I’m now experiencing.

IMG_1132[1]

I leave the rose garden and enter the grape arbor and God says, “Walk with me. I will teach you.”  He tells me life is a school and there are many teachers.  He tells me we must say thank you on our greyest days.  We must be glad all the time.  We must rest in Him.  We must never be afraid.  We must pray more.  We must trust Him.

IMG_1133[1]

I’m told to ponder the truths I’ve been given and to search and I will find more.  The secrets of the Kingdom of heaven are there for us to discover, the hidden pearls of great price.  We might live in the world, but we’re really not of the world.  We’re meant for heaven.  I believe it.  Don’t you?

I came to this garden in a dreary frame of mind.  I came for help, to reconnect with spirit, and that I did.  I still grieve for my precious little doggie, Alexander, but if God created animals for our pleasure and joy I can’t believe he wouldn’t  let us reunite with them when we leave this world and move on to heaven for all eternity.  I’m hoping I see Alexander again but in the meantime I will not only try to live with joy, I will share that joy with others for I believe that’s what God wants us to do.

My Country Inn “Spiritual” Day was most refreshing.  I am inspired to keep the faith and work at enriching it through study, prayer and good works.

IMG_1118[1]

But before I leave this heavenly garden I sit here amidst the hemlocks and say this  prayer.

Our Lord, with a heart full of new life and enthusiasm

I thank Thee for the beauty found in nature

and all Thy marvelous teachings

which you showered on me

today.

Peace and Joy to you too.

Some Letters are quite a surprise – quite a Spiritual Surprise

spiritual surprise

Because I am a Lady of Letters it’s no great surprise when I find lots of luscious letters in my mailbox each and every day, but I am surprised by the ones that arrive in unexpected places at unexpected times from unexpected  sources.

One example of  receiving  surprising  letters such as this occurred when I was attending a retreat some years ago.  I was not particularly enthusiastic about attending this retreat, but I was talked into it.  There are all kinds of retreats out there and the more time I spent at this one the more I realized it was not the kind for me.

images (3) christian pop music

Though many people love Christian pop music I’m not one of them. In fact, I dislike much of it, so hearing it played all through the retreat was not my cup of tea. Music is a very personal thing and the same kind of music doesn’t suit everyone.  That’s why sometimes silence is the best background for spiritual prayer and meditation. The music that was supposed to inspire me did nothing of the sort. 

Group activities at this retreat weren’t any better.  The skits and games that were meant to draw us out and help us share seemed silly and childish to me,  not at all thoughtful and reverent.  I suppose I was just more serious than many of the other participants.

images (3) spiritual lessons learned

Prior to this retreat I had been working hard at learning my spiritual lessons, and as a result of that work I was already in a nice spiritual place.  I didn’t feel I needed a retreat to be inspired any further at that time and in actuality this retreat was not inspiring me one bit, but only making me feel dreary.  This was because most of the participants were very troubled and their discussions were down right depressing.  Though I felt sorry for these people I didn’t know how I could help them and being witness to their pain only brought me down until…

IMG_6860[1]

it was announced that letters had arrived for us.  Letters?  Yes!  I perked right up.  Letters are my friends and it seemed they had come to rescue me from this retreat. The people running things realized it would be nice for us to receive letters in which friends and relatives shared their faith through personal stories.   And in this matter they were right!

I had been blessed with a wonderful family and many great friends who were filled with faith. Being part of this circle was largely responsible for the spiritual joy I had discovered long before this retreat.  Receiving these faith-filled letters of love from friends and family was wonderful.

If it hadn’t been for these beautiful letters turning up when they did, surprising me with joy, well, this retreat would’ve been a total disaster for me.  The letters saved the day.  They were an unexpected, very welcome, spiritual surprise.

images (3) the hand of Jesus

On another occasion I was surprised by a letter from A Special Friend  who usually didn’t write to me.  Maybe He writes to you and if He does I’d love to hear about His letters. Let me explain.

My family and I were vacationing in Bermuda.  It was a Sunday. Nowadays a lot of people don’t bother to go to church anytime, but especially not when they’re on holiday.  I was having a wonderful, carefree vacation myself, so much so that I was forgetting about a lot of my usual routines, routines like daily prayer.  But though I was forgetting  about my  regular prayers I did feel we should all go to Mass on Sunday because good Catholics take Sunday Mass quite seriously.

images (3) bermuda church

We found a cute little church and settled in to pray.  The Mass progressed as usual and after the gospel was read the priest said he had a letter to read to us.  I figured it was one of those letters from the bishop asking for contributions to one cause or another, but no!

This letter came from My Special Friend.  Looking back, it now seems only right that since I’m a Lady of Letters This Friend should contact me in this way, by writing me a letter.  You see,  My friend was disappointed in me, disappointed that in all the fun of my vacation I was forgetting all about Him. Don’t a lot of us forget all about Him when we’re having a great time or when we’re busy?  We often only reach out to Him in times of need, but He wants our love all the time.

Well, His letter really hit the spot that day and made a big impression on me.  Maybe He sent this letter to me knowing I would be one who would share it with you too.  Why would I want to share it?  You know. Sharing doubles the joy!  So here’s what he wrote:

“Dear friend,

01_Sunsets sunset

How are you?  I just had to send a note to tell you how much I love you and care about you.  I saw you yesterday as you were talking with your family.  I waited all day hoping you would want to talk to me also.  evening drew near I gave you a sunset to close your day and a cool breeze to rest you and I waited. You never came.

images (3)moonlight

O, yes, it hurt me, but I still love you because I am your friend.  I watched you fall asleep last night and I longed to touch your brow as I spilled moonlight on your pillow and face.  Again, I waited, wanting to rush down so we could talk.  I have many gifts for you!

images (3)rain

You awakened late and rushed off.  My tears were in the rain.  Oh!  If you would only listen to me.  I love you.

images (3)blue sky and green grass

I try to tell you in the blue sky and quiet green grass.

images (3) leaves

I whisper it in the leaves on the trees

images (3)folwers

and breathe it in the color of the flowers.

images (3)mountains and streams

I shout it to you in the mountain streams

images (3)birds singing

and give the birds love songs to sing.

images (3) sun

 I clothe you with warm sunshine and perfume the air with nature scents.

ocean

My love for you is deeper than the ocean, and bigger than the biggest want or need in your heart.

Oh!  if you only knew how much I want to help you.  I want you to meet my father.  He wants to help you, too.  My father is that way you know.  Just call me – ask me – talk with me!  Oh, please, don’t forget me.  I have so much to share with you.  Okay, I won’t hassle you any further, you are free to choose me.  It is your decision, but I have chosen you, and because of this, I will wait – because I love you.

5546272683_3a96673545_zjesus

(signed) Your Friend

So there you have it.  Some of my letters are truly surprisingly spiritual. If you are a letter writer and a spiritual person you probably have your own spiritual letter stories to tell.  I hope so, and I hope you share your stories with others because this is the stuff that dreams are made of and not just dreams.  This is the stuff that makes living on earth a heavenly experience.

There’s Correspondence and then there’s Spiritual Correspondence

blackberry-52696_640 blackberies

Earth is crammed with heaven,  every bush afire with God.  Those who see take off their shoes.  Those who don’t see just pick blackberries.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I have learned that if we are attempting to learn our spiritual lessons while also having great passion the gates of  heaven will open and communication to and from the spirit world will be possible.  Yes, I’m talking about spiritual communication!

images (3) sun through clouds

I first experienced this spiritual communication years ago when my young son was in the hospital having emergency surgery. I sat in the waiting room all alone because my husband was out of town on business.  There, frightened and praying, I gazed out the window at dark grey clouds restlessly moving back and forth in the sky and a wondrous thing happened. Those dark, angry-looking clouds parted and a beam of sunshine appeared.  This burst of sunshine reminded me of scenes from religious movies I remembered seeing as a small child in Catholic grade school. The beams of sunshine were said to represent God’s love pouring down on us.

Was this parting of the clouds a coincidence just then?  You may think so, but I didn’t.  I think somebody up there was hearing my prayers and wanted to give me a sign that they were listening. Soon after the sun appeared so did a doctor telling me all went well in the operating room.   Relief! 

I’ve received lots of spiritual signs and messages in my life.  These messages have come to me in a variety of ways –  over the radio, through music, by way of books, or sunshine beaming through parting grey clouds or lighting up particular passages of a manuscript.  But once I became a Lady of Letters these spiritual messages found yet another way to reach me.  They began coming to me through the mail.  Spiritual correspondence in the form of postcards and letters.

images (3) children's choir

There was the time I was deciding whether or not I should accept a position as children’s choir director at my church.  I did have a degree in music education and  experience teaching music in schools as well as working in the Education department of The Cleveland Orchestra, but I had never studied church music. What to do? Should I or shouldn’t I take this assignment?  Help in answering this question came to me the very same day as the job offer. for when I returned home this is what I found in my mailbox.

IMG_6777[1]

A postcard from Austria and not just any postcard,

IMG_6778[1]

but a postcard picturing The Vienna Boys Choir.  Was receiving this postcard a coincidence?  I didn’t think so and now, twenty some years later,  I’m still leading the children at my church in song and having a great time doing it.

IMG_5790[2]

Here are just a few of my singing angels.

On another occasion I was reading a book about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi.  My Dad, whom I loved very much, was failing. I knew I would be needing a lot of spiritual strength to get through the months ahead.  Though I had always been tuned into spiritual life, I needed a lot more depth and wisdom to cope with the loss of a love.

images (3) saint francis

In reading the biography of Francis I learned of his struggle toward spiritual growth  and related it to my own spiritual struggle.  I learned how in Perugia Francis experienced what he called pergation, that is, a purging of his shallow, earthy material values, but in Perugia he was not yet instilled with solid spiritual ideas and habits so he felt lost.  He was struggling then as I was struggling at the time.

I wondered if I studied the life of Francis perhaps he might become a sort of mentor to me, a mentor who could guide me through this material world of ours into a place of peace and understanding. Could he be reaching out to me through this book that I was reading?   I wondered.  Should I be taking notes?  Should I record Perugia in those notes.  Perugia!  I never heard of that place.  Did it matter?

Perugia-vista02 perugia ital

Well, I took a break from reading because I needed one about then and I decided to get the mail, and did I get mail!  I got a postcard from Perugia!  I kid you not!  What unbelievable timing!  That friend touring Europe made her way from Austria to Italy, but did she send me a card from well known cities like Rome or Florence or Naples?  No!  She chose to send me a card from the little town of Perugia.   And when did that card arrive?  It arrived just as I was reading about Perugia, Saint Francis and pergation for the first time in my life.   Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Saint Francis did become a mentor to me and now Francis is one of my favorite saints and “dead friends”.

In the following months after meeting Francis my faith grew and I continued working at my spiritual lessons.   My Dad also continued to fail, and then…he died.  But I received yet another spiritual message to help me through his loss.

rose-111312_640 silent night

I was working on an arrangement of “Silent Night” for my children’s choir.  Just as I was singing the words ‘sleep in heavenly peace’ the phone rang.  It was my brother-in-law calling to tell me my dad was now in heaven.  Yes, he was sleeping in heavenly peace.  Wow!

There were other spiritual messages that I’ll save for another time, but all this is leading up to a remarkable letter I received in the mail, spiritual correspondence, this time from my Dad.  The correspondence was once again most remarkable because of its timing. First of all, the letter arrived after my father had died and furthermore,  it was in answer to questions I had asked my Dad minutes earlier.

images (3) dads birthday

To set the scene it was my Dad’s birthday. I wondered how I should celebrate his special day now that I could no longer drop over to his house bringing  cake, balloons and presents. So I sat by a window once again looking up to heaven filled with great love and passion and there  I proceeded to pour my heart out to him.

I asked my Dad all sorts of questions. Where are you now?  What’s death about anyway?  How does death work?  How do I carry on without you?  How do I celebrate your birthday now?

Of course I never expected an answer, but I got one.  It came, yes, when I went to the mailbox and fetched a letter addressed just to me.  The letter came from a member of The Letter Exchange, that wonderful organization which connects letter writers everywhere to each other.  But it wasn’t her letter which was so magical.  It was another  paper within the envelope that amazed and delighted me. This extra message was not mentioned by my pen friend yet it addressed all the questions I had asked my Dad just a few minutes earlier.

images (3) death

After reading the first sentence on this,  “Death is nothing at all”, I knew this was another of those very special spiritual messages I get from time to time when I’m not only working at my spiritual lessons conscientiously but also when I’m filled with great passion.

I continued to read very slowly, one sentence at a time, holding on to each thought because I was sure this message was coming directly from my father.  Maybe he interceded the letter from heaven as it flew through the sky. Why not?   The spiritual realm works in mysterious ways.

So before I share my father’s letter with you, this very special spiritual correspondence, I’d like to encourage you to not only work learning your spiritual lessons, but also to work living  your life with great passion for then joy will be yours as faith grows.  And I encourage you to share your joy and faith as I share mine.  Why? You know.  Sharing doubles the joy.  And now…

images (3) love letter

The letter from my Dad

“Death is nothing at all.  I have only slipped away into the next room.  I am I and you are you.  Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.  Call me by my old, familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used.  Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity.  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?  I am waiting for you for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.  All is well.”

images (3) happy birdie

The Sacred Art of Letter Writing

1933651200cgangel

Writing a letter is a physical, social, and intellectual activity, but did you realize it can also be a spiritual activity?  I didn’t until a friend sent me a book entitled “Secular Sanctity” .  This book, written by Howard Hayes, made me realize The Art of Letter Writing does not only have spiritual possibilities, it can actually become a ministry.

In his book, Hayes talks about all sorts of ordinary things that we do every day and he suggests if we can put a spiritual spin on these things they can be made holy. This idea was interesting to me, but because I’m an avid letter writer an even more interesting idea was presented in his chapter entitled ‘The Sacred Art of Letter Writing’. I always knew letter writing was an art, but a sacred art?  Hmmm…

IMG_6261[1]

In this chapter Hayes suggests writing a letter is far more than a relaxing physical activity in which we dabble in art play, choosing or creating our stationery and carefully penning our script.

rainbow-84829_640friends

Writing a letter is also far more than a social activity where we visit with existing friends and family while also meeting new people from around the world through pen pal organizations.

IMG_6263[1]

Writing a letter is even more than rich intellectual activity as we share facts and personal thoughts, writing them down for our pen friend to read, and for generations to read in the future (for as you know letters are quite lasting).

Letter writing can become quite the spiritual exercise as we reach out to others showing concern and interest in them.

Letter writing is such a rich activity – physical, social, intellectual fun all rolled up into one. I’m totally amazed most modern people don’t realize how rich an activity letter writing is.  Don’t they see it can be a complete treat? How many activities accomplish so much all at once?  And adding the spiritual implication too?  Now we really have something that’s truly worthwhile and even of everlasting significance!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hayes suggests the writing and reading of letters can be a form of prayer.  Not only that, he ventures to say letters can be sacramental. After all, aren’t letters an essential part of Christian worship. the reading of epistles written by Paul, Peter and others?

Hayes reminds us that the New Testament of the Bible contains 21 letters, letters not essays, which were originally sent and read to early Christians, but now, all these years later, they are still being read to Christians in services all over the world.

IMG_6264[1]

Well, I’m one of those Christians, a person of faith who goes to Church regularly and hears those letters read week after week, but until I read “Secular Sanctity” I never related the letters I write to those letters written by saints of the Church.  I never realized what a great opportunity we all have to spread good news in every letter we write, good news in the form of faith, hope, and charity.

We sure hear a lot of bad news these days.  The media doesn’t seem interested in spreading good news of any kind.  All it reports is doom and gloom.  Television and movies aren’t much better.  Too many plots thrive on crime and other dark topics.  Gone are the days when sweet innocence is praised and moral wholesome entertainment is predominant.  Thank God for PBS!  It’s no wonder people aren’t beaming from ear to ear as they walk down the street. Too many dreary thoughts are floating around in their heads. Maybe if we all make an effort to write and send more positive letters filled with joy and love, letters that focus on beauty and goodness, we can help the citizens of our weary world feel more optimistic.

images (3)saint jogn the beloved

Writing positive, loving  letters is not only a good deed, but Hayes suggests these letters filled with goodness are also prayers, for as Saint John the Beloved wrote, “God is love”.  Therefore, Hayes deducts to send greetings of love, affection, and affirmation is to send God to one another.  To receive love through the mail is to receive a beautiful form of holy communion.  Wouldn’t you like to find your mailbox filled with love instead of junk mail?  It can happen if you write loving letters yourself for when you give good things come back to you.

IMG_6265[1]

So now, with the help of “Secular Sanctity”, I realize letter writing, as well as many other secular activities, can become holy activities if we inject these activities with a loving, hopeful spirit.  And infusing our letters with that beautiful spirit will transform the already beautiful Art of Letter Writing into an even more beautiful Sacred Art of Letter Writing.   As we and others make this effort we might just be able to help renew the face of the earth – one letter at a time.

When Things Come Together

The other day I received an important  message.  Today that message is coming to you.  The message came at me from three separate sources:  from Mister Rogers of classic tv’s Mister Roger’s Neighborhood,  from Eloise, a fictitious little girl of the classic Eloise book series by Kay Thompson and from Amy Hollingsworth, a writer.  These three  individuals directed me to another book and the source of the message, to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince.  I don’t know about you, but when things come at me in two’s or three’s I pay attention.

It all started when I was reading The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth

IMG_2863[1]

and a lovely book it is too,  filled with many warm and wonderful spiritual reflections. (I highly recommend this book to you.)  It seems The Little Prince was one of Mister Roger’s favorites.  Amy, one of Fred’s pen friends, said Fred spent most of his life quoting the following words from The Little Prince: 

L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux

Well, I always loved Mister Rogers and I’ve written to him myself.  I also love the French language, along with many other  French things – French food and the restaurants that serve it, the French countryside, and my lovely  French friends, Stephanie, Patrice and their sweet children – Llyona, Marc-Aurele and Arpad.  So, when the above French words popped out at me from the Mister Rogers’ book, of course I took special notice of them.  In case you don’t speak French here’s what they mean:

“What is essential is invisible to the eye”

Have you ever given thought to this idea?  I have, especially in regard to  letter writing.  You see, I write to very many people whom I’ve never met ‘in person’, never even seen in a picture.  I get to know many of these people by way of  The Letter Exchange, (www.letter-exchange.com) an organization which puts letter writers together.  Though some folks I meet in this way will send pictures of themselves, most will not, but pictures or no pictures,  great friendships evolve as letters are shared.  You may think it strange that people could become great friends even though they have  absolutely no idea what each other  look like, but it is possible.  I have many of such friends. (Hello to Gwen, Patricia, Erika, and all the rest of you)  Why, I could be sitting next to one of these favorite people on a plane and never even know it!   But  I’ve often thought how wonderful this is, for  in letter writing people can get to know each other’s spirit without  letting physical appearance get in the way.  Looks can be so deceiving you know!  And I do believe

“What is essential is invisible to the eye”

But besides the spirit of a person being invisible yet very important, there are many other invisible things we should not  neglect.  What do you think they are?  What is essential for you? It’s good to take time out for serious reflection now and then, the kind of reflection letter writing provides, for only with thoughtful reflection will we ever come to know what is essential.

My “dead friend” Lord Byron, the poet,  put it very well when he used to say: 

             A life without reflection is a sad affair 

But you may be wondering where Eloise comes in to this story.  Well, I was having a movie night for the children in my church choir  and  I needed a good film so I did a search on Net Flix for something fun, but something that was also thoughtful.   I came upon a Disney remake of the classic Eloise at the Plaza.  Ah, the Plaza!  I love that hotel in New York City.

IMG_2724[1]
The Plaza

So that was enough for me and the film proved to be just delightful.  I suggest you check it out no matter how old you are.  Julie Andrews plays a darling nanny (nothing like Mary Poppins).

IMG_2726[2]
An older nanny, but very sweet

    And Eloise is so cute, so devilish, but  so full of life and thoughtful too – I found her very inspiring.  We’d all have a lot more fun if we acted like Eloise now and then.

IMG_2714[1]
Eloise

Disney was so true to the book too – a wonderful thing.  Here’s an example.  Just take a look at the book and then a scene from the film.

                                                                                   IMG_2699[1]

                                                                        IMG_2704[1]

And the film had a little prince in it too -not Antoine’s Little Prince but a prince just the same, a prince who was quite touched by the message in Saint Exupery’s  book, a book which became  important to Eloise’s story.  The prince was touched by the  message in The Little Prince as was I, as was Mister Rogers and  hopefully as  you are too… because it’s so very true.

“L’ essentiel est invisible pour les yeux”

WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE

Let this be your thought for the day

(or at least one of them)

by way of Mister Rogers, Eloise,  Amy Hollingsworth

and

ME!