Monday, January 7, 2008


Monday, January 7, 2008
I have to acknowledge that I'm feeling a little sad tonight, for a number of reasons. I'm having a "Jonah day", as Anne Shirley would say. I had to recollect the quote about tears from "Great Expectations."

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlaying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before-more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.

I felt a twinge of pride when I went to collect my copy of the old classic. It is quite worn, with many a crease in the book binding, and even a few yellowed pages threaten to fall. I used it in my first year of teaching, though I doubt my wild and wooly 10th graders were able to appreciate it. To be fair, they did an excellent job on my final project: a board game based on the characters and events of the book. It was exceptionally enjoyable to see such game titles as "Who Killed Orlick?"

To brighten my somber mood, I have been perusing my new bookbooks, "Nigella Express" and "Dave's Dinners." I received a Barnes and Noble giftcard for Christmas this year, which is really the ultimate gift for a bibliophile such as myself. I regularly read and was entertained by a blog throughout the previous year entitled whose goal was to go through Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats, a Year of Deliciously Different Dinners, in order, cooking a new meal each day. I was impressed by the noble efforts of the couple-despite my love for Rachael Ray, I could never be committed enough to follow one cookbook for a year. Needless to say, the couple has decided to embark on this time using the various works of Nigella Lawson. The first few recipes, which are from "Nigella Express", intrigued me, so I took a peek at the book today in the store. I have to admit, I was swayed by the glossy photographs and witty comments that Nigella provides, and I couldn't help but picking it out to add to my collection. I'm excited about it; with recipes such as chocolate croissants, croque monsieur bake, and glazed salmon, how can one not be tempted?

Despite my dreary day, I do take those words of Dickens to heart. Sometimes we need a few moments to dwell on our lives and the lives of others, to truly acquire a bit of "perspective." I should be aware of my "ingratitude." I have been greatly blessed, so much more than many others in the world. My hardships would seem insignificant and trivial to some, even though they seem monumental to me. I need to continually recall that everything happens for a reason, and that God has a hand in each daily moment of my life. So for now, "...I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good." (Psalm 52:8-9).