Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dividend Day

Hello. I begin with this boat. My uncle who died last month, was building it in the garage of his island home. Now he is sailing in heaven with my aunt who died just a short time (within weeks) before he did. One day, when we stopped in to see him, he showed me the boat. I asked, "Who is going to go with you when you take it out in the Sound? "A good sailor," was his reply. He did not finish his boat. It is still in the garage, like a ship in a bottle. It provided Uncle Don with many dividend days. I'll finish with some talk of "dividend days" but I found another delicious portion of verse this morning:
to see clearly
by Maya Stein
I am no magic trick, no doer of miracles, no water walker.
I am no architect of glory, no layer-on of hands, no angel wing.
I am no weaver of gold, no mythmaker, no parachute artist.
I am no halo of stillness in a downpour.
I am no treasure chest, no hero, no thunderbolt wielder.
I am no rabbit foot or lottery number.
I am no combination lock, no mystery ingredient, no optical illusion.
But here is a handful of sunflowers from the florist's sidewalk jungle.
Here is a blanket to spread on the grass for an afternoon.
Here is a song on the radio that calls for dancing.
Here is a chocolate bar I share with you.
Here is a road sign, a notebook, photographs of those I have loved.
Here is a slice of bright blue sky, a hummingbird
thrashing her wings around an apricot tree.
To see clearly
is enough.

I was browsing in my Stillmeadow Daybook by Gladys Taber and while reading the chapter titled, January, I came upon these words:
"Now and then in January we get what I call a dividend day. The sun is clear and warm and the sky soft as lake water. The tree trunks seem to glow in the light, and a hundred misty colors appear in the swamp. The birds are very gay, they seem to fly with a lighter wing somehow, and the dogs sit by the well-house and dream quite as if it were spring. Squirrels whip around in the maples, always so busy and so important. I think a squirrel would make a good bank president, he saves, he is thrifty, and he feels important, and he must have a very sound head on him. The Quiet Garden on such a day is lucid with sun, and looks as if we might even eat there. I toy with the idea, but Jill says firmly, the benches will be cold as glaciers. And I realize they will. "
We've had some "dividend days" here. The sun is bright and it smells like spring. I think my uncle had the sweet dividend days he needed. I think of a favorite quote:
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It doesn't matter that my uncle did not finish his boat, board it, and sail it out into the Puget Sound, because what kept him pottering in the garage was his love for the vast and endless sea.
I wish you light and a dividend day.


Gigi said...

I'm so sorry for the passing of your aunt & uncle. Evidently, he was an amazing artisan and found joy in the process of creation and his 'love of the vast & endless sea'.
Thanks to your recent posts about Gladys & Mole, I've unearthed my old copy of 'Stillmeadow Road' and have been enjoying reading it again. And I downloaded "The Wind . . ." to my iphone so I could read it (not as good as having the real book), and it's been fun to be re-introduced to the little community by the river!
p.s. LOVED your mole outfit! You're so cute!

Sara said...

What a beautiful, inspiring post. Thank you for all these precious words and images. I am going to add Taber's book to my wish list; it is new to me. My father once built a boat about that size but never quite finished it...he too dreamed of the sea; perhaps he and your uncle are talking about this right now...

magsmcc said...


*✿*millie meadowsweet*✿* said...

this is such a beautiful post and i love the hummingbird and all the wonderful words you have shared.

i am sorry to hear you lost two dear family members.
they are together and have left such sweet memories.

warmest hugs xxx


Betty said...

Lovely hummingbird and apricot tree Pom Pom, I guess your uncle passed away content with his boat, it didn't need to sail the seas, I bet every time he worked on it he was having wonderful adventurous journeys in his imagination. It's always sad when people we love leave us behind but we know our God cares for them and we will meet again. I hope someone finishes your uncles boat and lets it get the wind in its sails. Betty

Hi There. said...

Oh Pom,
This was beautiful. I'm so sorry that these special people have passed. It's always hard to lose but it's comfort to know that they're dancing with angels now. You said those words to me when a friend of mine died last Feb. Those words from you felt like a warm hug. I don't know if I ever told you how much comfort I found in that. Yes, dividend days & eyes to see ;) certainly gift enough! Sending you love & warm thoughts upon angel wings.
Love. Xo

Gumbo Lily said...

Oh what a boat your uncle built. Nothing like messing around in boats!

I love the quote about seeing clearly. We don't have to do miracles to love others. Ordinary things will do.

I like your hummer in the apricot tree.

Blessings upon you this week, Pom Pom!


Kerri said...

Such a sweet post. I'm so sorry both your aunt and uncle passed away, but I'm very happy that they are together x x

Kari of Writing Up A Storm said...

What a beautiful post about life and death. I, too, am sorry for your loss, but I see your aunt and uncle sailing together on the high seas, and it seems too perfect for words. You've made me feel better about all the one hundred boats that I am working on, that I may never finish, but what joy each one gives to me as I add a sail here, an anchor there, a word, a page, a patch of fabric. I feel a sense of peace. Thank you!! xo Kari

Brad M said...

Lovely upon lovely. You are such a wonderful mama, and I am so thankful that you got some "dividend days". It was lovely to talk to you the other day! I love you so much. You are a treasure to me!

Lynn said...

Yet another treasured post. Am sorry you have lost your loved ones.
Hope your school week is going well.
much love,

Veronica said...

Those are some very lovely thoughts for your uncle. I will remember them.

Jayne said...

Hooray for dividend days! I am so glad that your loved uncle had many such days. These are the days we all remember, and it doesn't depend on how much money we have, but on a positive attitude to embrace life. Thank you for sharing this Pom Pom x

The dB family said...

Such a beautiful post, dear PomPom! I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your aunt and uncle. Sunday was a dividend day here. Icy cold and bright bright sunshine. I wanted to dance for the joy of it!!


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I love "to see clearly"--what a marvelous poem!

And your uncle's boat is so beautiful. I wonder what will happen to him? I'm sorry for his passing, but happy for his life, part of which he spent building this amazing work of art.


libbyquilter said...

good morning Pom Pom.

i've jumped back into blogworld and have stopped by for a quick hello.

so sorry to hear of your passing family members but you have honored their life beautifully with your post. i wish you comfort as you move through the pain of your loss.

. . . a dividend day . . . hmmmm . . . i think i may have been granted one today and am enjoying it.


melanie said...

What a beautiful post Pom Pom, I am so so sorry for your loss. xxx

Shelley said...

You greatly honored the memory of your Aunt & Uncle. I believe that Gladys Taber would be pleased that you included her in that post.

She has been my favorite author since first reading "The Stillmeadow Road" in 1982. I live within an hour of her home and visit often.

I'm certain that the three of them have been getting to know one another in heaven, talking about birds at the feeder, the sea and those dividend days.

Thank you for a lovely post.