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August 22, 2013
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Ravens and wildflowers

Watch TV? Read the paper, surf the Internet? A ’60s folk song asked, “Where have all the flowers gone?”

Seems lately there’s a flurry of the negative — shootings, kidnappings, wars, natural disasters, financial crises, etc. Anxiety flourishes in our society and perspectives skew, fears grow and promises are forgotten.

I’ve heard that worry is not good for your health, and it certainly hasn’t added any height to my stature.

Should we envy Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, “What, me worry?” A French philosopher, Montaigne, wrote that he lived a life of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened. Concentrated worries stir anxiety that can be immobilizing. I’ve heard it likened to a fly caught in a spider’s web (sometimes self-spun). Situations can arise that seem to merit anxiety, unavoidable worry in less intense doses can be of some benefit, motivating us to be more aware of the world around us and to seek how we can contribute to make this life easier on ourselves, but more importantly, others (they will return full circle when you least expect it).

Do I worry? Unfortunately, yes, but I’m learning.

Ravens and wildflowers here in Grass Valley remind me not to become selfishly introspective while clutching onto surplus life preservers trying to tread water in an elusive sea of tranquility. Don’t miss drowning neighbors. Look around, involve yourself, extend a hand, sow seeds: love your neighbor as yourself. Helping another is actually helping yourself. Reach out, get involved — it’s OK if it’s not always about you.

I cope with anxiety and worry when reminded of these words inspired by one who loves us deeply and holds our final outcome:

“I tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food and drink or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food and your body more than clothing? Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Seek God above all else and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” — The New Living Translation of the Bible.

The human body is perishable; a soul is not.

Anthony D. Rabak lives in Alta Sierra.

Ravens and wildflowers here in Grass Valley remind me not to become selfishly introspective while clutching onto surplus life preservers trying to tread water in an elusive sea of tranquility. Don’t miss drowning neighbors.


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The Union Updated Aug 22, 2013 07:50PM Published Aug 28, 2013 09:53AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.