First of all, happy Robert E. Lee Day! As soon as the kids haul themselves out of bed, we're planning to celebrate with a big pot of cheesy grits. Maybe we'll throw in some diced ham, too.
I wish I could get out of the house today, but my lungs tend to get unhappy with me when I expose them to single-digit temperatures. Since it's only up to three degrees right now, I think I'll hibernate a few more days! But if I could go out, I'd stop at the county library and check out an old book I discovered a few years ago - it's pictured here on my coffee table. See the antique look of it? The cover really is fraying cloth, and the pages smell like they're centuries old. The fact is, what's written on the pages IS over a century old! It's a collection of the letters written by Robert E. Lee, compiled by his son. What a treasure! They reveal who the man really was, as he expresses in his own words his love for his wife and children, his up days and down days, his struggles and his faith. I'd love to curl up with a cup of tea and browse through it today.
For some reason it's been really hard to post lately. Just running through a dry spot, I suppose. I never even got a Christmas letter written this year for the first time in ages! I hate feeling disconnected, but sometimes I wonder what the purpose of writing these things is in the first place... Christmas letters and blog posts seem to run the gamut of either appearing to brag about all the wonderful superlatives in our lives, or to vent all the disappointments. Probably neither one is a true picture; reality is somewhere in between.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not condemning anyone for writing about the highs and lows of their lives. Not at all. I really enjoy reading what my friends have written. I just temporarily - I hope! - misplaced the reason for it in my own life.
So the lack of purpose for writing has been churning in the back of my brain lately, and this morning at o-dark-thirty when I was fixing my hubby's breakfast and lunch-to-go, that lack of purpose collided with the thought of the man our family chooses to celebrate today, Robert E. Lee. I won't say anything derogatory about Martin Luther King, Jr. - he accomplished some good things - but I think if I wanted a hero, Robert E. Lee would be a lot closer to someone I want to emulate. He was staunch in his beliefs, straight as an arrow in his morals, and loving, gentle, and humorous with the people around him. He connected with them.
Even more intriguing is the fact that not only did he connect with the people he touched daily, his writings and example touch people's lives today. Back in the mid-1800s when he wrote something seemingly mundane in a letter to his family, he had no idea that someone like me would be reading it over a hundred and fifty years later, mulling it over, responding to those ancient words...
Personally, I don't expect anyone to be reading my blog musings in a month-and-a-half, much less a century-and-a-half! But it gives a different perspective on connections, doesn't it? What you and I write today or tomorrow may seem insignificant to us, but who knows what person it may touch, what soul it may affect, what life it may bring sorrow or joy to?
I don't know that this thought, in itself, will restore my enthusiasm for blogging... but it's definitely added a different view to it. And for those of you who enjoy connecting with me through my inconsequential postings, thanks for hanging in there with me through the dry spots. Yours are the connections I truly appreciate.