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Thank You

Before I begin my post tonight I think I need to clear something up. I think there was an awful lot of misinterpretation of my blog last night. It was after midnight when I wrote that piece. I was tired,and yes suffering from a little melancholia, but I had just finished a wonderful meal, shared with good friends, in my beautiful garden with my amazing husband. I am concerned and worried because my husband lost his job, or as he puts it, “his job lost him”, but I am not a lost sheep. When I spoke of not hearing the voice inside me I was speaking of my own voice. I was kidding when I spoke of my monkey-esque brain getting in the way of prayer, thus the use of the word monkey-esque. When I spoke of being impatient and my prayers not being answered it was in a humorous moment with Dan. I do find myself searching and wondering, but it is not because I find something lacking in my soul. I’m human, I’m worried, and despite the postings of a wife who is concerned for her husband, I have not lost faith. While I truly appreciate the thoughts and prayers sent my way, those of you who know me know that I am rather fond of finding humor in my life, particularly when talking about myself. My faith life is and always has been a private and personal relationship. I can be a bit of a loner, and it suits me to be that way in my spiritual life as well. Yes, we are going through hard times, but that is out in the world, at home I have no empty space to fill. I am a very loved woman, and in that luckier than most.

I decided tonight to post something I wrote several months ago with the intention of sending it to my local paper. Shame on me, I didn’t send it, but maybe this is better, this platform that reaches far beyond my local community. If you want to know where I live my spirituality then you need to read this.

                                                                                                                                                  MY FRIEND
I am an immigrant. No, not the kind that seems to be of great concern to everyone, the other kind, a pasty white Canadian with parents straight off the boat from Ireland. No one seems to care if I am legal (I am), but that really isn’t the point. For those of you who live in the Temecula area we suffered a significant loss recently. Most of you aren’t aware of it, particularly those who don’t attend our marvelous Saturday Farmer’s Market in Old Town. There amongst the fruits, vegetables, and restaurant fare was a man selling flowers. He wasn’t the only flower vendor, there are two or three others, but he was a gentle man with a lovely smile, and he was an immigrant. He was the immigrant you are all so concerned about, the Mexican kind. My husband and I attend the market weekly. There are many vendors there that recognize us on sight, and with those vendors we exchange pleasant greetings. The flower vendor was different. Week after week we would buy flowers from him and exchange a smile and a “Thank you”. His English was poor, our Spanish is nonexistent. The language barrier didn’t matter, or that we didn’t know his name, and he didn’t know ours, that gentle smile on that weathered face said everything. We became friends. Eventually he began to give me an extra bouquet, something he chose to add to whatever my husband was buying for me. In return I began to bring him a little something I baked, and the gift of a watercolor painting I had done of one of his sunflowers. He disappeared for a while and there was a great deal of concern for him from the people who attend the market every week. I knew this because when we asked about him, his niece told us that her uncle was recovering from surgery, and that it meant so much to her that so many people cared for him. A few months ago he returned. He looked older and a little feeble, but the smile was still there. I know that there is so much anger and even some hatred for immigrants in this country, but there are also those of us who understand who and what they are. My dad came here with a pregnant wife and two daughters because he wanted a better life. I don’t condone illegal immigration, but I wish everyone in this world could have the opportunity that we all have. I don’t know if the flower vendor was legal, I do know that by looking at his rough hands that he probably worked hard all of his life. Maybe we can all set aside a little of our hostility and stop and really look at one another. Many of you couldn’t or wouldn’t do the kind of work that would give a man hands like that. There has to be a better solution than anger. There needs to be compassion and understanding. Two weeks ago when we attended the Farmer’s Market we saw a picture of him surrounded with flowers. The flower vendor has passed away. For those of us who saw him weekly we will miss that smile. I will miss my friend.

For those of you that were lovely enough to offer the gift of your faith, your church, I thank you, but I have found mine in the face of humanity.

Tonight I am working on the last of the three portraits that I’m doing, but instead of posting the work in progress, I am posting the sunflower I painted for my friend, it’s brilliance could never match his smile. God bless you my friend.May 2011 199

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