When I was a very young girl – just starting out learning to play the piano – I somehow ended up with a little paperback hymn book. It was so old that the notes printed on the music staffs were not the “rounded” notes of today – but the little triangle, square, oval and rectangle shapes of long ago. These were known as “shape notes” with each shape representing its position on the musical scale.
August has always been a significant month in my life. I was born in August, married in August, had my first child in August, always started school in August, began law school in August, moved to New Jersey in August, began a new law school in August. Yes, August is, indeed, just that – “august” in my life.
A friend mentioned yesterday that she supposed I “pondered” a bit before I actually begin writing. (That was said at the church we’ve attended – since – you guessed it – August – 16 years ago) To say I ponder “a bit” is an understatement. I over-ponder. Sometimes I think I’d be much more productive without so much pondering.
Years ago, when I was a very young attorney, on days when there was a little “lag” time in the office, my boss – as he hurried by my office – would call to me to head out the door with him to whatever meeting he was scurrying to get to. I would grab a legal pad and my purse and scurry out with him.
One day we headed out to the country (we were in a fairly urban area in New Jersey) to visit an older client. She lived in a grand old house in the, then, more rural part of the state. The house, he explained, was almost 200 years old. Yet, despite the home’s age, each of its walls remained “square.” There were no cracks in the plaster, gaps in the windows, doors that wouldn’t close properly or sags in the ceiling. Though it had stood for two centuries, the house had been built so very well it still stood – “square” and strong and firm.
When the tornadoes ravaged parts of Kentucky and other areas in early December, I got online to donate some money to a few organizations in an attempt to quickly provide what little help and hope we could. As I clicked through, I kept thinking – “This is just a drop in the bucket. What real help could these little bits possibly be in the face of such mass devastation?”
Last year, in that year we will forever remember as the year of Covid -19, I turned 60 years old. As strange as that year was, this year – 2021, has not become much more normal. When I turned 60, for some reason, I couldn’t help but specifically reflect on the day I turned 30. And now, this month, in this continuing Covid-clouded year, my oldest daughter reaches that same age – 30. Because I remember the day I turned 30 so vividly, I can see in my mind’s eye myself at her exact age. That will certainly give rise to some pondering and reflecting.