Hello Young Lovers – Redux

Ethel is ‘on assignment’ working at another project and won’t be posting a new blog this week.  So in order to hold up our end of the internet, the management and staff here at From Out My Window have decided to make an alternative posting;  we will look back and see what Ethel was writing three years ago this week, and publish it again.  It made for some wonderful teary eyes around here.

Oh, yes, yes, How much I did understand

I recently turned a hallway corner and startled a young couple holding each other closely, sharing a moment of love and tenderness.

As soon as they saw me, they hurriedly stepped apart, blushing, embarrassed, and their reaction was obvious, that I, of another generation, could not in any way, understand their actions or what they were feeling.

I was momentarily tempted to pause and tell them that indeed I did understand.  That I was intensely aware of their happiness, and  could feel the emotion that passed between them, because, as the old song says, ”I had a love of my own, you see, I had a love of my own.”

We live in a world that seems programmed to think that love, and all its glory that ‘makes life worth living’, is meant only for the young.  And that if you are 50, or anywhere beyond, that love is foolish and out of the question.  That any  marriage, at those ages, must be nothing but empty, hollow arrangements and could never have the least thing to do with that most ‘tender emotion.’

How wrong they are.  Oh, heavens, how wrong they are and how much they have to learn as they are taking their first startled steps into the world that is at the heart, and the reason for every birth, book, opera, song, poem, sculpture or work of art.

They were so young, so starry eyed and they think the joys and love they are experiencing can, in no way, be understood by people their parent’s age.  But they must be excused, because every generation thinks the wonders and joys of love and sex are unique to them.

It is the wise (blessed? lucky?) ones who go through the young infatuations, and though moved, recognize them for what they are. To enjoy, learn, but carefully, oh most carefully avoid any acts or commitments that could entail a child, marriage, and so often a divorce.

I read, and still like to refer to Margaret Mead’s book, the world-wide classic, Coming of Age In Samoa written in 1925, after she lived there as an Anthropologist.  Among other aspects of their life, Mead wrote of Coming of Age, or as we say, the Teen years. In Samoa at that time, love and sex were routinely expected, accepted, and tolerated with no criticism. She compared sex as arriving to those of those early years, like  flash fires, bolts of lightning and over just as quickly.

However, if a Samoan pair conceived a child, (and here their rules were adamant and frighteningly strict), and with no censorship, they were automatically considered ‘married’ and would continue that responsibility until the child (children) reached adulthood.  And horribly harsh punishments followed if those rules were ignored.

But then, when those ‘family’ years were completed, they had done their duty to the next generation and were free to do as they pleased, and again with no criticism.  What did it matter, they said. It is the children who are important and must be nurtured.

But back from Samoa to my encounter in that hallway.  Teen-age love comes, and goes, and that young pair I interrupted  has so much to learn.  How swiftly that first wild love can fling them into a marriage they’re not ready for.  A child?  A divorce?  And leaving both disillusioned, bitter and knowing that the rest of their lives have been irrevocably changed.

But life does not stand still. We get older, hopefully wiser and no matter how badly burned or blessed with that first Bolt of Lightning, time passes, life heals, and then another love enters people’s lives.  Not the same as the first,  not taking the place of any cherished memories, and not to be criticized or explained, but entirely different. And welcome.

Yes, I passed the young couple I had surprised without seemingly giving them more than a passing glance, but they could not and can not know what thoughts and  memories they stirred, and at the same time, what hopes and fears of where their  lives, almost out of their control, would now go.

I knew they thought I would/could not understand them, but I understood so well that a smile touched my lips as I recalled  another song that tells us  “Love is wonderful, the second time around.”  And whoever penned those words knew exactly what they were talking about.

And while we’re on the subject, and not in Samoa or even in that hallway, and as if you don’t already know, I’ll tell you a secret.   If you’re lucky, the third time is nothing  to be  underestimated either.  And a fourth time?  You’re asking the wrong person, but each one, in its own way, is distinct, different, wonderful.

Oh me, and all this from a moment’s encounter in a out-of-the-way hallway.


The Twelfth Hour

The Doldrums of Summer remain, and claiming another week of vacation, I choose to use a Blog of a few year’s back which (Thank you, thank you) garnered, much approval with good words sent to me. Hope you readers of years ago, as well as the new ones, will also like it. I still do.


It’s a poem written by some Wise American Indian Man or Woman and the words impressed me so much that I saved them, and as I pore over them again, I still shiver over the meaning and wish their Montana Paper were still being published. It was good.


For long centuries the world’s been told
“This is the Eleventh Hour.”
And we felt it to be true.

But quietly, almost secretly, the 11th Hour passed
And now, the hoped for, but also feared,
Twelfth Hour is Here. No longer for some vague to-morrow,

It is the time to know your own Truth,
And cease looking outward for another
To tell us what to think and do.

It can be a glorious time. for
The River is flowing fast.
So rapidly that many are afraid
And cling to the shore
Crying out that they are being torn to pieces.

But The River knows The Destination.
Let go of the shore and,
Dive joyously into the midst of the stream.

See who is with you and rejoice!
Look fearlessly at your fears
And never once reach back to the shore.
For whenever we stop to ask questions
Our Spiritual Journey also stops.

The River knows the Way and
Will carry us with it!
Look to no other for counsel
For the time of asking others is long past.
Be Still and allow yourself
To Know, and then to act in a sacred manner.

That Wondrous Hour
Is no longer anticipated
But is Here. Now. Today.

In deep humility know that
You chose to be part of the Change. And
You are one of those the world has long awaited.

Yes, we shiver, for we know the 11th Hour is past history. That cusp has been passed, and that it is now the 12th Hour. Long, long ago, in One of God’s Preparation Rooms, you and I held up our hands  and volunteered to be here, at this crucial, blessed time, and to do our part.

Read again the last line of that Wise Native American Poem. It says that You and I are part of Those Brave Long Awaited Ones. The ones the world has waited to welcome, and  now, we are here, and who can know, but perhaps we’ll be blessed to someday meet at The River’s Destination.  Why should it not be so? ??

Wake Up

Waking up, my way . . .

Sometimes there’s a moment when we awaken, but are still in that indescribably comfortable fetal position. where not a muscle moves, yet we know our sleep time is over…

It’s a priceless moment. Doesn’t happen often, so don’t be in a hurry. The Mind is very awake, but, at the same time, we see the body as a dormant ‘thing apart’ and know that the two have not yet become One for the day. It’s an odd happening, that of actually seeing, and experiencing our dual makeup. So take time to explore what’s going on. It’s all us, and we know it, but incredibly, we so seldom actually see our duality.

However, we also know it’s time to get up, but that fetal position is so wonderful we hate to break the spell.

So, begin to slightly wiggle your toes. No, NOT the foot, just the Toes. And not another muscle in your body, (when did we become one?) and the luxury of sleep only a breath away. But then, even as we watch the toes, slightly moving, we’re surprised to find that our fingers are stirring, too. Not the hands, not the feet, but although we didn’t tell our fingers to move, they are. What gives???

I’ve been told there is a relationship between our muscles. I don’t know how or why, but begin with just your toes, and soon we’ll find our fingers begin to move, then our hands. Our feet. And with no planning, maybe a shoulder will tense and relax, and then the other one.

Anyway within 5 or so minutes our entire body has stretched and relaxed. We are no longer in the fetal position, yet still on our back. The body and mind have fully made their connection, and all the result of just wiggling a toe or two.

It’s the neatest way to waken to the day that’s ever been invented. And who did invent it? The body? Mind?

Doesn’t matter, for we’re still in bed, stretched out on our backs, the covers are still around us, and, for me, this is the time, when without thinking of doing so, my arms reach up over my head, and as each arm stretches, I find the fingers stretch too, then the other hand and we’re awake and even might find ourselves yawning once or twice

Ok, ok, now clasp the hands over your chest, touching your chest, with one hand a fist and the other holding the fist. Push the right hand with the left hand resisting the movement, and then switch hands and push and resist the other way. You’re stretching the arm muscles to strengthen them.  No hurry, do it slowly.

And then do the same with the legs. Still on your back, bend and bring your feet close to your ‘sit down’ muscles. Clasp your hands around the left knee, and pull it up to your chin and then do the same with your other leg. We’re strengthening our body, and  though we’ve never yet left the bed yet, we’ve awakened every muscle in our body. Feels great, too.

And while I’m at this ‘healthy way to start to the day’ I remember what a doctor told me about weight.  Yeah, during pregnancies, doctors stress this for women. What he said was, go to the grocery store and pick up a ten-pound sack of sugar. Yeah, it’s heavy, and you’ll probably use both hands to do it. BUT THEN, pick up another, and dang it, it’s hard to hold two 10-pound sacks of sugar, but if we’re 20 pounds over weight, that’s what we’re carrying around.

And then just think if we’re 30 or 40 pounds over weight. Try, right there in the grocery store, carrying 3 or 4 ten-pound sacks of sugar. NO??? Well if we’re thirty pound over weight, the good doc said, think about it as carrying three ten pound sacks of sugar. And yet we all do it.

Well, enuff ‘body stuff’ for today, but the method of waking in the a.m. works and the ten Pound sack of sugar idea, is, in another way, a real awakener, too.

Who knows what I’ll write about next week, but for today??? Why not think about that body you walk around in.   It’s the only one you’ll ever get and replacements aren’t given out. So, let’s be kind to the one we have, from our first breath in the a.m. to when we crawl in again at night. Have a good one, I try, why not join me?

Quiz Time

Yes, it’s the hot, sweltering days of Summer and I’ve searched and found what Gerard Mosler sent me on another hot Summer day. I enjoyed his words (questions) and hope you do, too.

And it’s the perfect Quiz for such days as we are having. It’s a list of puzzle questions, and try not to peek at the answers at the bottom of my column, but, what the heck, it’s Summer. It’s hot. I don’t know who you are, so cheat on every one, if you want. I won’t know. And, if the truth be know, I cheated the first time (and the second time, too) that I read it. Who’s looking? Who cares?

1. Which was the smallest continent before Australia was discovered?

2. You have prepared ten pounds of peaches because you’re making jam. When you start to put them in the kettle, you remember the old recipe advised, for improved flavor, you to add the juice of a lemon for every dozen peaches. You don’t remember the number of peaches you’ve prepared, and so how can you determine the proper number of lemons to squeeze?

3. An old fashioned, antique six-day alarm clock will run at least five days without winding. True or false?

4. What is the only word to the English language that can be written without pen, pencil, chalk, or any other pigment?

5. Behind each girl is a boy. Behind each boy is a girl. What is the smallest number of children that will fulfill those specifications?

6. A planeload of famous people crashed near the boundary of two countries. A question of International Law arose about where to bury the survivors. It was finally decided that each country would bury half of them. Do you agree?

7. Can you make sense of the following sentence by adding to it question marks?  “Before popping the important man often time.”

8. Three women are standing under one umbrella without anybody’s getting wet. How is this done?

9. What word will be shorter if you add a syllable to it?

10.Can you tell in what case two times two is six.

1. It has always been Australia whether we knew it was there or not.

2. Just count the peach pits.

3. No non-electric clock will run without winding, five days, five minutes or otherwise.

4. The word already is “written.”

5. One boy, one girl, standing back to back.

6. Who ever heard of survivors being buried?

7. Before popping the important QUESTION man often MARKS time.

8. It isn’t raining.

9. Short.

10. In no case!

See, I told you it was a ‘hot, sweltering summer day’ quiz. But Gerard Mosler must have enjoyed putting it together, and I enjoyed it enough to tuck it away to be found at a later date, and the same to you. And you. And you.

See you next week.