Daily Guide — August 2005

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 1 Retrospect 

Do you sometimes feel that life itself is almost more real than it should be? I mean, wouldn’t you say that there are some things in life that are just too hard to imagine? War is but one example of something arousing a fear that is impossible to fathom, unless you have yourself been within its gut. The emotional arousal of romantic love, or the painful heartache of death – these too are things that we must personally experience in order to understand.

To know the meaning of events, which have led us to witness the flight of ecstasy or the pangs of despair, is the desire of a hungry soul. And I believe that it’s our nature to “want” to know how such things feed our lives and satisfy a purpose.

A recent cloud of events within my family has given me the pause of retrospect; I feel the need to stop and sort out how God has dealt with us – how he has answered the call of prayer and delivered us safely on the course of His desire.


Day 1 Guide

Friend, sometimes the need to find meaning isn’t felt until life draws your spirit to the extreme highs or lows. Think today of how you might consider thinking retrospectively more often, even when the water is calm. Sometimes, the subtle currents are the most important.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 2 Humor 

“…Red’s “loss of control” laughter made audiences feel closer to him, like he was allowing us to see the real man.” While very little comedy you pay for is actually spontaneous, the best practitioners (like Grouch or Red) make it seem spontaneous.”

 — Frederic Raphael, remarks concerning Red Skelton

I believe that laughter is one of the most natural and important responses to this “film-strip” we call life. Red Skelton was a master comedian who helped us to adjust our sense of life so that for a while we could enjoy a different view. An example of his talent was his famous “Dunking Donuts” routine, in which Red demonstrated the many different ways that people eat doughnuts. By exaggerating common, yet subtle, behaviors, Red was able to poke fun at human mannerisms without actually making fun of the individual.

Some might call Red’s humor silly, but in my estimation it was pure genius. His humor had much of the same harmonizing effects of music — uniting people of different ages and from different backgrounds. It was humor for every man of any age, inspiring laughter that was good for the soul. http://www.redskelton.com/

Day 2 Guide

Today, look around at the common elements in life. Observe simple things and see if you can spot the humor.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 3 Visions 

My mother Emily was one of the sweetest people you’d ever meet. She was beautiful and gracious, and she had an eye for people who were hurting. For some wonderful reason she was drawn to people in need; she was interested in their lives and their problems, and she could easily become one of their closest and most comforting friends.

Emily looked out into the world and saw the strain of relationship, the heartache and the sorrow. She easily spotted the lost and the misfit, and more than anything, she wanted to see them smile again. My mother herself had a grand smile.

What do you see when you look out into the world? Do you see only the brightest stars, or do you find the sleeping shadows of night? To have a mind that can at once find the highest beauty and then draw the weakest souls to her mount – that, I believe, is the spirit of Joyous Gard.

Day 3 Guide

Consider today, my friend, how you might help others to find their way to Joyous Gard. Realize that there are people in the world who desperately need your smile and a kind word.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 4 Thought 

How do you view the world? Is it for you a place of freshness and unlimited opportunity? Or is it stale and unrewarding? Are you dissatisfied with a tomorrow that may in many ways be much like today? I think it’s common for many people to feel restless, wanting somehow for life to step forward and deliver her treasure. But that view leads to disappointment. Happiness demands that you first take the step forward.

Tomorrow is only a destination in time, and the best that one can hope for is the opportunity to continue being human — to learn, laugh, and love. The spirit of Joyous Gard is a “building” spirit that desires daily improvement. Consider your time here on earth to be a precious opportunity to enjoy the simple beauty of being alive, and take advantage of your most human capacity, to think.

Day 4 Guide

Today, think of how you might best use your time in order to build the walls the Joyous Gard.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Days 5-7 Accessibility 

The famous television personality of yesteryear, Art Linkletter, is ninety-three years old and continues to maintain a busy schedule including 75 annual speaking engagements. Known best for his long-running television shows, “House Party” and “People are Funny,” Linkletter’s true interest was, and is, people. Not only was he the host of some of  history’s most famous television and radio broadcasts, but he has also authored over 20 books, including the bestseller, Kids say the Darndest Things, and more recently, Old Age is Not for Sissies.

I believe that it is his sincere interest in people and their lives that gives Linkletter the ageless personality so admired and respected around the world. Though men and women under the age of 40 probably don’t remember his television presence, his wit and talent as an entertainer and “all-around good guy” remain an inspiration to us who tend to get lost in the fast lane of life.


Days 5-7 Guide

Enjoy the people near you, especially your children and grandchildren. Begin the practice of jotting down the funny things they say. Who knows, maybe your collection will one day become a bestseller.

Read about Art Linkletter

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 8 Sympathy 

I think that we could all learn to be better listeners, don’t you? I wonder if there was ever a time when people listened more intently to the opinions and ideas of others. Or has it always been that we Americans tend to hold firmly to our opinions, unwilling to consider a change of position?

Today it seems that each of us has settled into our own particular conclusions about life, politics and religion. We tend, many of us, to wear our positions on our sleeves — ranting and raving about the hottest issues of the day while television and radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly continue to feed the endless stream of debate about most everything. While their engagement of issues is probably important, such voices leave little room for a spirit of quiet patience. Maybe we feel that that’s the way we “ought” to be – high-spirited, opinionated and generally, well, loud.

I believe the spirit of Joyous Gard to be one of quiet patience, one that gathers and considers the ideas and opinions of others as a means to learn and to understand. I believe that it is by such a quiet spirit many transformations are made peacefully rather than forged by debate.

Day 8 Guide

Today, listen for things that aren’t generally part of your thinking. Try to understand some of the ideas and positions of other people.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 9 Science 

MIAMI, Florida (AP) — An enormous, hazy cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert is blowing toward the southern United States, but meteorologists do not expect much effect beyond colorful sunsets.


“This is not going to be a tremendous event, but it will be kind of interesting,” said Jim Lushine, a severe weather expert with the National Weather Service in Miami.

  — Associated Press, July 23, 2005

While scientists may consider this giant dust cloud to be of little effect — little more than simply interesting — think of the effect that such beautiful sunsets will have on the minds and spirits of sensitive people? Gifts of nature, like a beautiful sunset, the early morning rain, or a bright, full moon are often times enough to move me beyond feelings of hopeless surrender and into an energetic flow.

Day 9 Guide

Today, listen out for the crickets at dusk; look for all of the different colors in nature; breathe in the smell of a nearby rain. Let nature help you to step beyond whatever is clouds your thinking.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 10 Work 

There are a hundred paths that can be trodden; only let us be sure that we are treading our own path, not feebly shifting from track to track, not following too much the bidding of others, but knowing what interests us, what draws us, what we love and desire ;and above all keeping in mind that it is our business to understand and admire and conciliate each other, whether we do it in a panelled room, with pens and paper on the table, and the committee in full cry; or out on the quiet road, with one whom we trust entirely…

  — Joyous Gard, Work

It’s good advice, to “tread our own path.” Each of us offers something unique to the world even if only our perspective and understanding of how we might rise above the clouds. For many of us, work provides the means by which we find occasion to help other people. I was recently drawn to a door of understanding as I came to know and appreciate the work of physicians and nurses, who routinely offer the healing touch to  many wounded and hurting spirits.

A smile, a touch, a helping hand – they give comfort to those who at times feel alone in their own suffering and disappointment. Think of the opportunities that you might have at work to meet people and let them know your heart.

Day 10 Guide

Enjoy your work today, knowing of the opportunity to change someone’s life. A word of encouragement or a note of thanks goes a long way.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Days 11-14 Hope 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines hope as “an expectation of something desired.” Hope is a confidence in future events, a trust in things to come. Would you consider yourself to be hopeful? Do you have trust in the expectations of things desired? The spirit of Joyous Gard calls us to recognize the beautiful design of a purposeful life and strive to be one of the hopeful.

Days 11-14 Guide

Fortify your hope so that it truly is the expectation of your desires. Doubt tends to settle as fear on the soul. Let go of any doubt that may be clouding your mind.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 15 Experience 

What will be your experience of tomorrow? Wouldn’t it be grand to live life thinking that every day will bring with it wonderful new experiences? But most of us don’t live that way; instead we think that tomorrow will be much the same as today.

The spirit of Joyous Gard – unsettled with complacency or the status quo — fights for experiences that will make life magical. The spirit of Joyous Gard pushes to make tomorrow come alive by advising us to go after what we want and enjoy the experience of getting there.

This morning, our local newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle, ran an article about a man who knows such as spirit. According to the article, 59 year-old Augusta native Marvin Cummings said he’s never had a bad day. Photographer, brick mason and neophyte guitarist, Cummings lives life to the fullest, enjoying it for the moments and for the experiences that he will earn. Concerning his three main interests, Cummings says, “All three require hand-and-eye coordination and concentration. Creativity is a beautiful thing.”

Day 15 Guide

If you’re like me, staying “on track” requires discipline. It seems that my natural inclination is to laze around and let life pass me by. Come alive, man! Realize that the wonderful experiences that you want to gain are within your grasp. Use your imagination today to find things that will spark you to take action towards greater things.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 16 Faith

“…lead quiet lives, refresh the spirit of joy within us by feeding our eyes and minds with the beautiful sounds and sights of nature, the birds’ song, the opening faces of flowers, the spring woods, the winter sunset; we must enter simply and freely into the life about us, not seeking to take a lead, to impress our views, to emphasise our own subjects; we must not get absorbed in toil or business, and still less in plans and intrigues;”

  — Joyous Gard, Faith


How would you describe yourself? Are you a Type A or a Type B personality? Does life and all of its many twists and turns keep you wound up in a knot? Do you feel that undercurrent of restless competitiveness that seems to affect most everything?

Throughout its history, the United States has been a nation of industrious, hard-working people. Some of the greatest minds of science, invention and industry have been of American fiber; we are a land of opportunity, a land of discovery and beauty where people are free to satisfy their desires. But at what cost does such freedom come?

I believe that we must admit our general tendency to lose faith in the greater things, to become absorbed in the business of the world and lose site of joyful noises. The spirit of Joyous Gard is but the reminder to often return to the more natural things of this world and guard closely your faith.

Day 16 Guide

Daily, search for the peace that defines the halls of Joyous Gard; make a serious effort to hold on to your faith in the greater things.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 17 Progress

(courtesy of European Southern Observatory)

What does it take for you to break out of the clouds? For me, it’s a sunset or the light at dusk; it’s a favorite song, a long weekend, or the smiles on my children’s faces; it’s the feeling of love and kinship or a night out with friends – all of these things give me energy and make me want to live.

And isn’t it wonderful to at times consider that God is at work everywhere, giving us beautiful glimpses of creation? Imagine that such awesome things are there just to give us a glimmer of the hope for the things to come. It seems that as we humans make progress, searching the farthest reaches of space or the depths of nature’s building blocks, we find windows of beauty along the way. These snapshots, in turn, feed the mind and arouse the energy to continue down the path of discovery.

Day 17 Guide

Today, think of persistence — of moving forward and making personal progress. Don’t despair over things that seem to hinder your march forward. Remember that setbacks and problems are always found “down the road.”

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 18 The Sense of Beauty 

“Here I am in the very pits of tragic life . . . Happily for me, I have learnt to live much in the spirit, and see brightness on the other side of life…”

   — George Meredith, as quoted in Joyous Gard

Like many boys, I had several different bicycles growing up. But my favorite, by far, was a Raleigh Chopper. I put 400 miles on that bike before the speedometer/odometer broke, and most of those miles were accumulated just riding up and down my street. I really loved that old bike, and just about every day I’d pedal through the neighborhood to see what was going on. It was my daily ritual: I’d come home from school, grab an apple and hop on that bike for a ride.

Memories of those miles rest well in my mind; I often resort to the thoughts of solitude and peace that my cycling inspired. I think the feeling of being outdoors with the wind blowing in my face helped to feed the sense of beauty that now so often renews a weakened spirit.

Day 18 Guide

Never think that it’s too late to make sweet memories. Building the place of Joyous Gard is a life-long habit. Its many corridors and rooms will always welcome new additions.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Days 19-21 The Principle of Beauty 

The beauty of ordinary things depends upon the angle at which you see them and the light which falls upon them; and the work of the great artist and the great writer is to show things at the right angle, and to shut off the confusing muddled cross-lights which conceal the quality of the thing seen.

 — Benson, Joyous Gard

Beauty, like love, is the undeniable force that connects us individually to more expansive worlds. Evoked by our witness of beauty and love is the common feeling that everything suddenly makes sense — that all is meaningful.

Remember when the character Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz awoke from her dream of the strange place called Oz?  Do you remember how glad she was to see everyone and everything? Her friends and family, her house, her dog — everything seemed to have newfound meaning. Her Kansas farm home was no longer a dull place. It was wonderful and beautiful and rich with meaning. There’s no place like home became the mantra for the renewed soul.

Days 19-21 Guide

It takes only a change of light, a memory, or a thought to arouse the expansive feelings of beauty and love, which seem to be such an important part of our humanity. Make the effort this weekend to think anew about the common things in your life.

© 2005, Levi Hill

Joyous Gard: Daily Guide                 Archives and Text
August 2005 ~ Day 22 Life

Traveling on business with a couple of my co-workers years ago, I was in the backseat of the car when we stopped for lunch at one of the highway exits. We were tired and hungry. And when Terry, the driver, parked the car, everyone was quick to jump out, stretch his legs and make his way to the restaurant — everyone except me, that is. You see I couldn’t get my seatbelt off. I was stuck.

I pushed and pushed on the release button, but to no avail. The damned thing was stuck and so was I. I watched through the window as my friends walked toward the restaurant. And in a panic, I managed to open the car door and yell to them before they made it to the restaurant doors, “Hey, guys, I’m stuck. My seatbelt is stuck!”

Well, for them it was a great moment. That incident just seemed to lighten things up, but obviously at my expense. Oh, I would’ve laugh too. In fact I did, but not until Terry cut me out of the seatbelt with a pocketknife. I was free from the confines of that automobile, but it would be weeks before I was free of that story. In the end, I think everyone and his brother knew about my being stuck in the backseat of Terry’s Wagoneer.

Do you ever feel stuck? Do you ever feel like everyone is moving forward except you? Maybe you should call on someone — a friend — for help. I believe it’s important to learn not to wait for things to improve; to change the situation you’ve got to sometimes take action yourself.

Day 22 Guide

Today, think of the people who might be able to help you out of a jam. Think of those who might understand being stuck. Don’t’ wait for the situation to change.

Today’s topic, Life, is the last in the series of the Joyous Gard Cycle of Days. But it’s also the first of the week and an opportunity for a fresh start.

Go get ’em.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 23 Ideas

When I was a little boy I enjoyed taking things apart. I just liked to see how everything worked. Gears, belts, springs, and switches – they were all like toys to me. Anything with a motor fascinated me – record players, fans, and lawn mowers. I figured that with a motor you could make or do just about anything that you dreamed of. For hours I’d think about what I could invent that would really be cool.

The human mind enjoys being occupied with the possible. Thinking about what could be is like taking a step forward. And it is this creative urge, in my opinion, that propels us to new places — new regions of design and beauty. The pleasures afforded by considering what might be confirm our walk and make us want to come back for more. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder; but it’s also completely at home in the mind and imagination of the creator, the thinker, or the artist.

Day 23 Guide

The beauty that you unveil in your walk is the basis for the inspiration that will carry you forward. Seek and you shall find beauty.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 24 Poetry

In his younger days, my brother-in-law, William, was interested in spelunking (cave exploration). One time he told me this: “Levi, you’ve never sensed total darkness or total silence until you’ve been in a cave.” Well, that one statement was enough to insure that I would never cultivate an interest in spelunking. Total “anything” tends to scare the hell out of me. He went on to tell me that often times in a cave there were small openings that you’d have to crawl through in order to go any further. “Sometimes it was so tight,” he said, “that you’d even have to pull yourself through on your belly.”

After hearing such things I was yet more certain of my staying clear of that hobby. But his next description of spelunking intrigued me: “Just past these openings,” he said, “there would sometimes appear these huge and beautiful underground rooms. The rooms were strange and wonderful, colorful and surprisingly alive.”

The way he told the story, it sounded as though there were, locked within the earth, these wonderful treasures of beauty, treasures waiting only for those who were willing to crawl through small openings and endure total darkness and  silence. Finding such places, he said, made the trip underground worthwhile.

Sometimes beauty is buried deep, hidden under the ground of life. The noise and the activity of the day tend to hide the undercurrent of beauty on which our lives move. I think that sometimes you must endure the pain of crawling through the tight spaces void of light and sound to find the treasures of colorful new formations and cool, clear water. Beauty comes in many forms and faces. It’s important to be attentive and sensitive to the joy of purpose and meaning.

Day 24 Guide

Do you feel like you’ve been crawling through tight spaces? Is life too quiet for you, seemingly void of color? Be strong, my friend, and open your eyes. Be sensitive to everything around you, and identify the things that have at some point added meaningful dimension to your life. Consider this to be the rope of your salvation.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 25 Poetry and Life

Not far from where I work is a road that essentially dead ends at the Savannah River. The pavement turns to dirt well before sight of the river’s levee, and driving down the road you’re surrounded by heavy industry until the pavement ends. From that point on it’s as though you’ve entered another world.

Healthy swamp oaks line both side of the dirt road creating a canopy of shade that filters the hot Georgia sun. An old, broken down house is left standing alongside the road, and a bridge appears just before approaching the levee. Through the clearing at the bridge you might see a gathering of stark white egrets, poised in the grassy swamp bog. The contrast of the white birds against the browns and greens of the swamp grass elevates my spirit and calls me to a greater place.

Driving along that 1 mile stretch makes everything in my life feel okay; I think of Joyous Gard whenever I take that drive. I think of the refuge, the peace and the solitude that stand in such contrast to the heavy industry alongside the pavement.

Day 25 Guide

Friend, where is your refuge? Is there a place or a time when your mind is more easily able to return to the thoughts of peace? Consider the places you can go, the things you can do, the moments you can spare to find the clear contrast that defines the edge of the garden. Today, think of how you can often return to Joyous Gard.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Days 26-28 Art

It was May of this year that my wife and I were in Charleston, South Carolina for a conference. One day we had time to do a little shopping in the downtown area and stepped into a “Brooks Brothers” clothier on King Street. “Brooks Brothers” is typically known for its good service, so we weren’t surprised to find a nice older gentlemen walk up to ask if he could help us. Like a tailor from years ago, he had a measuring tape draped around his neck, ready to fit a customer for pants or a coat.

He introduced himself as Saul and was very helpful in sizing an item that I decided to buy. At the check-out desk, I noticed that Saul had to ask the floor-manager a few questions about using the cash register. “I’ve got everything else figured out,” he said. “I just haven’t totally figured out this computer.”

Saul was so friendly that I didn’t feel the least bit awkward asking him how old he was. He reported that he was 79 years-old and that he had been working at Brooks Brothers for only a short while. He said that he’d been in a family clothing business for many years, until they sold — but that he was happy to be back in familiar waters.

“I think it’s wonderful that you’re still working. You seem to enjoy it so much,” I said.

“Oh yes, I do love my work; I enjoy the people,” Saul said.

Saul went on to tell me that after he had essentially retired from the clothing business many years ago, he decided to try something new. And in 1983, he enrolled in the College of Charleston School of Art, majoring in studio art.

“Going to school gave me a new purpose,” he said. “I still enjoy working in the clothing business, but I found that I really enjoyed painting as well. Come here, let me show you something.”

Saul led us over to one of the store walls where there hung a beautiful oil painting of a sailboat cutting through a restless sea. The lines of the boat were straight and handsome, and the sails were tight, filled with a strong wind. “That’s one of my paintings,” Saul said.

Amazed, we stood there enjoying the painting as I gathered my thoughts of how beautiful it was to meet this man of nearly 80 years who was still so terribly in love with life.

Days 26-28 Guide

This weekend think about the purpose that God intends for you. The course that you’re presently on may not be your ultimate destiny. God may have a plan to redirect your attention and your effort. Listen for the subtle voices that may be directing you to fulfill a new purpose in life.

Click here to read about Saul.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 29 Art and Morality

No one captured America like Rockwell. “I paint life as I would like it to be,” he once said. “If there was sadness in this creative world of mine, it was a pleasant sadness. If there were problems, they were humorous problems.”

  — quoted from www.rockwellsite.com

Probably best known for his work as a cover illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell was America’s artist. He loved this country, and he demonstrated his passion for the American fiber by his very choice of subjects. His paintings were of ordinary people in common settings – of a child in a doctor’s office, a citizen at a town meeting, or a family seated at a Thanksgiving dinner table. His paintings spoke most always of higher things, of values that he found to be as American as — well, apple pie.

In a quiet way sort of way, Normal Rockwell taught us the importance of our heritage. And in my opinion he helped to settle the sprit and confirm that the very idea of America is a right sort of idea. Though in later years his art showed an America rife with civil rights tension, Rockwell is best known for works that spoke of the ideas of freedom, compassion, and love.

It is quite true, as I have said, that no artist ought ever deliberately to try to teach people, because that is not his business, and one can only be a good artist by minding one’s business, which is to produce beautiful things; and the moment one begins to try to produce improving things, one goes off the line.


  — Benson, Joyous Gard, Art and Morality


Day 29 Guide

This week enjoy the product of the artist’s pursuit and sense the feeling of personal change while in the presence of its beauty. Visit an art gallery or thumb through the pages of an art or a poetry book; try to experience the graceful pleasure through which art so often meets the soul.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 30 Interpretation

There was a girl in college I really liked. But at the time I didn’t know how she felt about me. And even though we’d been out only a few times, I was smitten — “love sick” in fact.

Not long after we’d been out on a date, I delivered some photographs to her that had been taken at the recent party we’d attended. She met me at the door, thanked me and introduced me to a couple of friends who were visiting her. For some reason that day, things between us just didn’t feel quite right; I began thinking that maybe she really didn’t like me.

Following my rather short and uncomfortable visit, I started walking back home. And just as I made it to the sidewalk I heard giggles coming from the open window of her room. Hearing that laughter was all it took to send me into a tailspin.

“Why were they laughing? Were they laughing at me? What did they think of me?” All of the shadowy demons of thought started attacking my mind, and by the time I got home I had decided that she must not like me at all and that my best bet was to just forget about her and move on.

As it turned out, those giggles were about something or someone else. And the girl that I liked, well she happened to like me too. Everything in the end worked out fine, and five years later I married that girl.

Sometimes love will make you crazy. But it’s a wonderful feeling to be in love. In love the world seems to make more sense, and everything is so much more beautiful. Tomorrow is always exciting, and eternity doesn’t seem long enough.

How do you view the world? Do you see the beauty in nature and in relationships? Do the lines of nature and the light of day impress your spirit with a desire to live more fully?

Day 30 Guide

During the day today, look around and choose something or someone that you would ordinarily overlook or ignore. Most everyone or everything has an element of interest; identify an aspect of its beauty. Renew old friendships, or refresh an old romance.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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August 2005 ~ Day 31 Education

A Flood of Ideas

The recent path of destruction left by Hurricane Katrina has given the world yet another view of the possible. I wonder how many of us would have thought it possible that the entire city of New Orleans could ever be under water. I suppose that the people who were unwilling to leave the city, despite an order to evacuate, didn’t consider such a thing possible. Think, too, of the unfortunate ones who wanted to leave but couldn’t.

We’re now seeing images of looters wading through the flooded city streets, stealing not only food and water but also televisions, clothing or any sort of merchandise that they can get their hands on.

How varied are the currents of human behavior! From the desperate calls of fearful spirits to acts of heroism to the cacophony of violent greed – all of these images inform the mind and make us think about the more important elements in life.

Life itself is an education, isn’t it? What is it that we can learn from visiting this horrible experience of Katrina?


Day 31 Guide

On this the last day of August take the time to reflect on what you’ve seen of this current tragedy. Think of those who would sacrifice their own safety to protect others; but think also of the lawless behavior of the street looters. Think of what you want from life – what sort of person you want to be and what you want to teach your children.

© 2005, Levi Hill

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