A Walk with Michael

When one has a special three-year-old boy for a companion, the day takes on a different pace. Michael came home from a homemaking meeting with me and we spent the afternoon together. He lay down but didn’t sleep, just “tumble rested.” We read three stories. Then we took a shovel to dig one carrot in the garden as we picked other produce, then went for a walk.

We stopped at the concrete culvert by the driveway to observe the water swirling as it went under the road, then two white dogs joined us as we walked east across the boulevard. One dog insisted on walking behind Michael and me.

We rested on the borrow-pit grass under a black walnut tree and talked about the green husked nuts. Each fallen grasshopper on the road was checked carefully, as was a dead butterfly resting on a leaf.

The climax of our walk was crossing the swift-flowing stream that courses through our pasture and under the road to Rock Creek. The water rushes over the rocky bottom with a “come hither” splash that always fascinates boys. Michael threw in a few small rocks then lay down on his stomach to feel and hear and see the motion of the water more intimately. After that, we returned home.

Next morning as I crossed that stream I saw the toe marks of his tennis shoes in the graveled roadside where he had lain. Just to see those faint lines in the dust, not meaningful at all to anyone else, made my throat hurt with gladness for my walk with Michael, and I felt thankful for the unspeakable joy of having children. Janell R. Arrington, Twin Falls, Idaho

Seasons

“Oh, Anne! Can you believe the harvest this fall? Our trees are almost bent over with fruit.”

“Yes! Isn’t it frustrating? My basement is loaded with bushels of peaches waiting to be canned, but I just can’t get to it! I’m making some of those sequined Christmas tree ornaments. I’m so excited about Christmas!”

How often we live in another season, preparing for Christmas without using to advantage autumn’s harvest: wishing away one season of life while anticipating another. Children long to be teenagers, teens wait anxiously for marriage, young couples hope for babies, and parents long for peace and quiet. Often, at the end of this road, we find grandparents commenting that this or that season of life was the best, “If only we had realized it!”

Why can’t we allow each season to have its turn, each time its purpose?

Life isn’t just to “live through.” We are to experience each moment, enjoy it, and learn from it.

I’m reminded of the time Jesus was visiting Mary and Martha. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his teachings. Martha, who undoubtedly felt that she was doing all the work, was “cumbered about much serving” and came to Jesus complaining, asking that he bid Mary to help her. Jesus answered, and spoke to me as well as Martha when he said:

“Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41–42.)

Everyone’s life follows a unique pattern, and the seasons vary. Certainly we’re not in a race. We have eternity to experience every time and season. So, as the daffodils begin to bloom, let’s wander the fields and relish spring. Swimming and sunning are something for summer, when the daffodils are gone. Marty Halversen, Salt Lake City, Utah

She Needed My Call

One day, not long ago, I was able to see again what a little act of concern can do. An impression came to me to call a certain member of my ward. I didn’t know why I should call her, for I had never called this sister just to talk before. But the impression felt good, and it was strong, so I picked up the telephone.

She needed my call that day. She told me that she had been feeling depressed all morning long. Our conversation brought a change of thoughts and actions because she knew that someone cared. About an hour later she surprised me by showing up at my door with a bunch of yellow daisies. She gave because she had received, spreading sunshine further. Lynn A. Holfeltz, Salt Lake City, Utah

[illustration] Painting by David Lindsley