Wednesday, October 4, 2023

SJT. Gathering Gladness


Proverbs 27:7

Thank you, Ramona, for planting the seeds of gathering gladness. This was a delicious and thought-provoking prompt.

I'm listening with fascination to Bitter Sweet by Susan Cain (©2022 Susan Cain (P)2022 Penguin Audio). In her book, Cain attempts to understand why she and so many humans are drawn to music in a minor key (considered sorrowful), TV ads that bring on tears, and things that are a mix of happy and sad. What this book is doing for me is providing permission to embrace the positives and negatives of life in ways that make my heart glad.

One of the questions of Cain's survey for readers is, "Do you prefer poetry to sports (or maybe you find poetry in sports?) 
Um, yes, yes I do.

I was raised by wonderful parents who gave their best efforts to raising daughters in a rural, conservative town in a time when such ideas as the power of positive thinking after a book of the same title by Norman Vince Peale were popular. I understood early that I was expected to be pleasant and demonstratively cheerful as evidence of inner rightness. For example, I was punished for my curled lip and encouraged to smile more.

I've not read Peale's book. But I agree that my penchant for spirituality, poetry, stories with tragic plots, and poetry writing were an indicator that I would struggle with showing an accepted form of glad heart in my community. I was once described by a visiting poet as a "poor old soul." There are, Cain points out, many creatives, famous and unknown, similarly strung. 

I've not finished Bitter Sweet quite yet. And I'm not claiming to be a devotee of all the author's arguments. However, I am happy to broaden my view of a glad heart. My glad heart has room for poetry about the world's state of affairs--which I worry over, my thoughts on my aging body, children growing up and leaving my nest, and a love for novels set in World War II. 

I'm absolutely delighted over cooler sunny days, red-tinted maple leaves, upcoming conferences with like-minded professionals, and, new lessons to plan. I also love a foggy day to sit and stare out a window at nothing in particular. I enjoy sorting thoughts of some of life's big questions. Rumination isn't all bad.

October is perfect for consideration of Bitter Sweet. This past week was gray, gray, and, gray as a hurricane wound down and back out to sea in my area only to be replaced by another soggy low-pressure system. Today, it's sunny and balmy. I've enjoyed time at Parent's Weekend with my son who is a scientist. I'll go home to where his room is silent and empty...I've been meaning to re-paint.

Life is is sweet...I gather all into a heart that is glad for how they enhance each other.

pixabay. Timothy Paule II


  1. Linda, I love the perspective you've provided of how a glad heart can encompass the bitter and the sweet and be enhanced by both. Glimpses into your own life of the bitter and the sweet enhance my understanding of you. I love World War II novels too. I'm looking forward to the upcoming Netflix series based on All the Light We Cannot See.

  2. Linda, I fell asleep before writing a comment. I also like your thoughts on gathering gladness. Bitter sweet moments pop up in life all the time but keeping the positives up and center are a good way to find gladness each day. I think today is a good day to look out the window and be thankful for the rain. While it does dampen market shopping for fresh produce and fruit, it provides time to slow down. Thanks for making me think about this instead of being upset that a day outdoors is not in the picture. Happy Fall to You.

  3. Amen to your words here, and thank you for making your blog easy to comment on. I'm having so many commenting issues today and I'm glad I can connect here! Ruth,


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!