20 February 2010

Something Beautiful Under Every Sky.

to see my awesome sister.

( Much cuter than Uncle Sam...
wouldn't you agree?)

Kris took that cute photo of Ty and Anne Marie at the coast.
A few minutes later, this beautiful sunset shared itself.

While Anne Marie was in Ghana, she made a particular
entry in her blog which she may be surprised to know I
have read over and over. She entitled the entry, A Separate Sky.
I have found myself several times since, looking at the sky
in a different way. Sometimes, I realize I'm thinking about
people on the other side of the world, wondering what their
sky is looking like right at that same moment. And, I don't
just mean in terms of colors and clouds.
Her entry really taught me something and made me think.
It has been on my mind today.

~~The reason I have had this on my mind, especially now, is
because I have a certain dear friend. Two of her daughters were
in opposing situations today. One, was being sealed for time and
all eternity in the Temple. The other, was by her husbands side
burying his father who suffered an accidental and surprise death.
I attended the Catholic funeral and it was warm and good.
Similarly, a few years ago another dear friend of mine went to the
Temple with her oldest daughter on her wedding day. Earlier that
morning, prior to the temple ceremony, this friend of mine suffered
the passing of her elderly mother. The juxtaposition of these
life events has made me ponder the timing of happenings we are
all faced with...joyous and sad. And. Sometimes all at
the same time. I have been thinking of these friends, and to be
truthful...myself. Why is it we react the ways we do? How does our
mind and heart "separate" the events enough to cope
with the emotions? Or, does it? What would I do? What do I do?
What is it, really, that grounds me enough to "get through" the times
that can feel overwhelming? That are overwhelming. When 'push'
comes to 'shove' from whence do I truly draw my strength?
Every now and again I become philosophical.
The rest of the time, I'm just trying to stay above the fray!~

I want to share Anne Marie's blog entry
from a few months back. She taught me,
and I've thought about her wisdom again today.

Ghanaian Sky, 2009

"My theme song for today was Prospekt's March from Coldplay. As we
drove through the towns and slums I kept hearing this
song in my head. It's taken on new meaning for me.
I'll never be able to
hear it without all the sounds and smells rushing back
to me. Everyday I view and experience a whole
new world. I know we all live under the same sky, but my time
here has made me feel occasionally like I am living
"on my own in a separate sky" far removed from the sky I
am familiar with. I had a new thought occur to me
tonight as I once again sat looking out my window. I spent
my whole day with Ghanaian people who were happy. I realize
now that I came to Ghana with the feeling, and carrying with me
an idea that the people living here are trapped in their poverty,
in their lives, and in a dead end situation.

I assumed the vast majority of people lived each day with a sense
of hopelessness; that they would do anything to get out and away
from their situation in Ghana. I worried about being an intruder in
their world, afraid they would feel uncomfortable with me looking
at them and seeing their poverty. I am beginning to see a different
"sky", one that the Ghanaian people love...not resent.

After our visit with the young women in Manaya Krobo, I couldn't get
over how happy they seemed. Shouldn't they be sad because of their life
situation? Half of them are orphans who have
been rescued from living on the streets. But they are happy.
When we wave to people on the streets
who are sitting in the dirtiest huts, they wave, smile
at us...and genuinely seem happy!

Finally, after being here for [awhile] something in my head tonight
clicked. I really do find happiness with the people where I expected
sadness. My view of a clean American world was my equivalent of a
happy world. Trying to see a dirty African world as a place of
happiness didn't mesh with my mind. My "sky"
was the only one I knew, and surely the one everyone else
wanted...until tonight. People on the streets
laugh and joke with each other, kids play games just like
any other kids do, and people live their life with purpose
just the same as anyone else does. Every life
brings its own colors to create and show the world.

I'm learning to see the Ghanaian colored sky~~~and it's beautiful."

~I am part of all that I have met~
Alfred Lord Tennyson

~We don't see things as they are, we see
them as we are.~
Anais Nin

Look at the sky and see what there is to see...


  1. I totally still do that. Ghana changed me for good, and for the better :) You and grandma taught me to look at and actually 'see' flowers. Turlock taught me to 'see' orchards, corn fields, and open fields. And Cambria taught me how to 'see' the ocean and wind. This post was sweet. Makes me feel good to know Ghana taught people something too!

  2. P.S. funny thing. So just before I signed on to the blog I changed my background to a super old photo I took once in Cambria. It is the brightest orange/yellow/red sunset that lights up the whole ocean. Ironic, no?!

  3. Such a sweet and tender entry Marie.

  4. The picture of Anne Marie and Ty is so sweet and that picture of the sky gorgeous. So sad about your friend, and that one daughter couldn't be at the sealing of her sister. We had a mother die in our ward last week, leaving 4 children ages 12-18. We just never know what is around the corner.

  5. what a beautiful blog you have!! I am updating mine and Chandlers and I linked you to ours. I found your blog through Annalise's, I will definitely be checking back!

  6. What a beautiful post - by both of you.

  7. This life is defined by its contrasts, it seems. Light and dark. Joy and sorrow. Pleasure and pain. Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Last month our Home Teacher shared a quote: "Joy is not in things; it is in us" By Richard Wagner. So true. We talked with the kids about what makes us happy- not things; they bring temporary pleasure- but Joy is something we can have if we live in a well built American home or if we live in a hut in Ghana; it is in us! Nancy :)