Bird Droppings April 7, 2011

“Man can live for about forty days without food, and about three days without water, about eight minutes without air … but only for one second without hope.” Hal Lindsey

As I am lazy today and did not venture forth very early other than to take our trusted Westie out for a quick stroll I would say perhaps this is an exaggeration that man can last only one second without hope. Over the years I have worked with and counseled many and some were institutionalized for others safety as well as their own. Thinking back to discussion nearly forty years ago with inmates at Central State Hospital as I sat across the room from them doing counseling sessions hope was a word that never came up. So as I sit here with the new day’s sun streaming through the kitchen window and think about it when we lose hope so often there is nothing left to live for.

“If one truly has lost hope, one would not be on hand to say so.” Eric Bentley

We are head into a spring weekend in Georgia the weather is supposed to be fabulous all weekend. After that we start another week and for myself back to work after a spring break week off. It is an interesting feeling mixed emotions with a desire to get back to it and a desire to go lay back down and close my eyes for a few more hours sort of all at the same time. I have been spoiled being bale to nap and lay back down and really no schedule for the past week although I do have a laundry list of items to complete today from my wife. But as I sit thinking and wondering on this beautiful morning, a memory yesterday made me think about the word hope.

“To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.” Pearl S. Buck

My father now passed away was well into his eighties and had been periodically having urinary infections which cause his blood sugar to drop. When he was bottoming out on his sugar he would become very morose. As I talked with him on one of those days on one hand he was asking about our future my sons, my wife and I. But on the other hand how he was near the end of his time and he would refuse to eat and would only take a few sips of orange juice trying to raise his sugar.
While I was there a call came in from the visiting nurse and the recommendation was made to give him a few teaspoons of honey. My mother went in and told him she had some medicine for him and several teaspoons of honey later his sugar levels were back and he was wanting to change the channel on the TV. I thought back to a Disney movie and song “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down” from Mary Poppins.

“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.” Lin Yutang

In an old National Geographic which is my light reading anymore there were several excellent stories of Africa, one in particular that caught my attention. The article was focusing on the pygmies trying to hold on in their forest home as encroachment was coming. It was interestingly enough that a civil war while hard on the pygmies was keeping illegal logging out which too was dangerous but destroyed their habitat. The original inhabitants of the Iturbi Forest of Zaire are the Bambuti Pygmies. Several tribes lived through the forest area in Zaire and lived similar lives being migratory they moved following the game and as hunters living in little more than huts built from bent branches and large leaves.
The Pygmies are fearless hunters tackling even elephants with their poison arrows which do put a scare into other larger tribes who pass through their lands. It was often a right of manhood to kill an elephant for the tribe. But as I read one or two paragraphs something caught my attention it was their love of honey. The entire tribe would stop everything when a honey tree was found. They would gorge on honey often to a point of a stupor. The season of the year also would determine the type of honey, light, medium or dark depending on the flowers being visited by the bees. As I thought about honey it literally doesn’t spoil often staying on a shelf for years.

“Honey is a source of simple carbohydrates. Its composition on average is 17.1 percent water, 82.4 percent total carbohydrate and 0.5 percent proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The average carbohydrate content is mainly fructose (38.5 percent) and glucose (31percent). The remaining 12.9 percent of carbohydrates is made up of maltose, sucrose and other sugars.” National Honey Board

My research pointed to modern uses of looking at antimicrobial properties of honey and uses as a wound dressing and for weightlifters as a source of quick energy. I was thankful for a rise in blood sugar and a rekindling of hope that day nearly four years ago with my father.

“Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.” Robert Ingersoll

Getting all my materials ready and together to head to the school to feed critters and do a bit of report writing. Maybe I should grab a spoonful of honey who knows what the day brings although I do use daily agave nectar in my various tea concoctions I mix up. There will be many new stories and events to catch up on next week with my students and fellow teachers. A few more weeks of school and it will be summer again, and for me back to school and try and finish up a new degree and my dissertation. Earlier as I went out the morning was still no breeze at all and the new leaves are helping to muffle neighborhood sounds and soon the crickets and frogs will be back and my morning choir and orchestra will be serenading me each morning. It will only take a few more degrees of warmth. I watched as a wisp of smoke circled about with no breeze it hung in the air moving as I moved and soon wandered off into the trees. As we go into these times so many issues coming to the front eventually we are responsible and it is up to us to vote and or not vote for the voices we deem necessary to carry out our goals.

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” Christopher Reeve

There is hope and we can be the catalyst so please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.

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