The wire bound notebook on my home-office desk is labeled simply “Journal”. Opening up the cover, you’ll see the words, “For Emma”. It’s covered with gorgeous fleur-de-lis designs in ebony, cream, and ochre. Emma is my precious granddaughter and at only 3 and a half years old, has no knowledge that the book even exists. It’s intended for her future. It’s an ever-expanding collection of quotes that are meaningful to her Mimi, (me). The quotes represent beliefs and ideas from a wide variety of religions, philosophies, political opinions, and schools of thoughts. I’d have a difficult time if pressed to choose a favorite, but I did finally choose one favorite to include on the dedication page. It comes from Ivy Baker Priest, (1905-1975): “The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end, may also be the beginning.”
Mrs. Priest spoke from experience. Rising from extremely meager beginnings as the daughter of a miner, her path from poverty to becoming the Treasurer of the United States of America, was circuitous. Ironically, she went from an early life of seeing and having very little money, to seeing and having her name on ALL the paper money being issued by the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury. She served as the second female Treasurer of the US for 8 years under President Eisenhower, and went on to serve as the Treasurer of the state of California under then Governor, Ronald Reagan.
Right now, Emma’s life is charmed, especially at Mimi’s and Papa’s, where ice cream is occasionally allowed for breakfast, and a sweet girl can have goldfish and applesauce for supper if she desires. Hope the parents aren’t reading this!! Now, she suffers only the normal and relatively inconsequential disappointments of childhood; bedtime coming too soon, friends having to go home, and the occasional head bump or skinned knee. She can be immensely joyous while exploring a creek and throwing rocks, and be giddy with happiness while dancing around in a sprinkler. As all children do, she faces a future of possibility and contact with more wonderous experiences and joys, but also of more significant bumps and bruises of the figurative kind. There may be roadblocks and potholes in her life’s path, alongside twists and turns that she must navigate.
What I want her to start learning now, and believe at exceedingly deeper levels as she matures, is that the end is not always sad. Books and movies can have happy endings. The last bite of the cupcake can lead to yummy in my tummy satisfaction. The end isn’t always bad. The end of waiting in line at Disney leads to enjoyment as we take our turn on the ride. The end sometimes leads to satisfaction, like putting the last piece in the puzzle and completing the picture. As she progresses, the end of preschool will be the beginning of Kindergarten, and on and on.
It’s my heartfelt goal and prayer that when Emma is much older and has the occasion to read the quotes I’ve recorded for her, she won’t find them foreign. I hope she’ll be able to recognize in them, things she’s seen, either lived out, or at the very least, strived toward by the family that forms a loving circle around her, an ever-expanding circle, where every ending always leads to a beginning.
Peace, Love and Possibility