BY-WAYS -5/8/41 -
You will think this particular column is being written for young girls. But let me explain. And let me share with you a wonderful experience - not with any personal pride, but with gratitude to the Father of us all. In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." At the same time we have to guard, constantly, against acquiring the ego that causes us to say (or think) as did Moses, "Hear now, - must WE bring forth water from this rock?" Just as soon as we take the glory to ourselves, we are barred from the Promised Land - the land flowing with the milk and honey of contentment, of the knowledge that we have been good and faithful servants, that we have kept the faith. I tell you this experience as a reminder that we must keep on trying to do good - even when there are no immediate or visible signs of having accomplished anything. I wrote this poem - along with several others - for the girls in my Sunday school class six years ago. These girls - 13 and 14 years of age at that time - are especially dear to me, because most of them were in Estelle's class at school - from first grade on through the sixth. The girls like the poems, but seemed to be impressed mainly by the fact that I wrote them. Last year I revamped the last line for my ten-year-olds, and said "little girls." Another teacher got hold of a copy, and tacked it on her bulletin board. It found its way into the heart of a dear little girl whom I know only upon sight. During Lent, when the mother and I chanced to meet, she told me how Carol feels about that poem. Over the dark heap of countless mistakes and failures that have been mine shone the bright ray of hope that perhaps for one young life, God let me be an instrument for good.
| "Great oaks from little acorns grow.
| "From out of one small precious thought
| Great rivers from small streamlets flow;
| Are sermons and the classics wrought.
| The giant redwoods once were seeds;
| Great women - fine, and brave, and true -
| Great lives are built by little deeds.
| Are made of teenage girls like you.
I tell you this so that you will plant "acorns" - and keep on planting them. It took six years for my little seed to sprout. Maybe it sprouts unseen in other young hearts. We never know when a word, dropped here or there, may change a whole life. It doesn't have to be "poetry." Sometimes I think poetry defeats it own purpose. Jesus said, "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." ***
Now for some everyday happenings. Shall we use the diary system? Days are woven into the tapestry of time - some days, drab; some, gay. The drab days make the others stand out in more colorful pattern.
Sunday, April 27 - My little Sunday school cherubs turned into imps today. I was dismayed at their behavior - not realizing at first that their teacher's mood had a lot to do with it. The adrenalin really did pour out of my glands this morning, as it must have in greater measure from that of six or seven vigorous boys. At midnight we were awakened by the fire alarm. Estelle discovered a fine conflagration in the woods - in the vicinity of the Hut. Our fears for the Hut were allayed by the sight of its silhouette against the bright blaze just behind. The volunteer firemen had the blaze out in no time. We settled down, in blissful ignorance of the vandalism committed against the harmless hut, and its equally innocent builders. Some big and vicious boys pushed over the hut, removed the roof, made a bonfire of it and the handsome little "buffet" (converted from a radio cabinet). The metal parts were found in the ashes. The table and precious tools are missing. What kind of mind can find satisfaction in such sabotage? Our back yard once more looks like a wrecking company's lumber yard.
Monday, April 28. - Not an important date in history - that I know of - but quite important to Shakespeare, Ina Lemon and me. Our natal day. I hope Ina didn't get the mental wallop that I received. A lovely, sunny morning gave me the urge to go to the store, first thing. Feeling very young and chipper, I got out the first-aid kit, given to me at Christmas by Estelle. (First aid to beauty). I took our two-year-old neighbor boy along. The new man in the dairy store beamed down at my brown-eyed, eager companion, and asked me, "Young grandson?" The undiscerning creature (or is he too discerning?).
Tuesday. - Barney, the pup, is growing too fast. He has reached the tall, "gangling" stage. Unlike our beloved Buster, whose ears and spirits were always up, Barney's ears, tail and spirits have a downward trend. A slight cold has given him pure melancholy. Virgil Jr., looking at him with a dog-lover's wistful eye, said, "Barney, you look as if you had just visited Grant's tomb." Charlie, who felt some come-back was needed - and Barney could only swing his pump-handle of a tail - replied, "You look as if you were in it."
Thursday, May 1. - Eighty-seven years ago today a certain precious baby girl was born - my father's younger sister (by sixteen months) and his special pal. Some time I must tell you about Aunt May. Three days ago I had one of the great thrills of my life; the privilege of typing her latest manuscript - the history of The North Side Chapel in Springfield, Ohio, which, fifty years ago this month, became the Third Presbyterian Church (now known as Northminster). She is the only living charter member of that little mission. She is in full command of all her mental faculties, and she still wields a facile pen. And what a beautiful soul! She has lived long and richly indeed.
The letter has grown too long already. But I want to know what type of article appeals to YOU. You can help me choose my material for the weeks to come. Mr. Walker has gladly agreed to print the following questionnaire, which he may head as he sees fit. When I ask for criticism I mean just that, for I know it will be constructive. That's the only way we can hope to grow. Your reply will be entirely confidential. The questionnaire will be small enough to paste onto a penny postal (flour and water make good paste). Remember that I need your response, to keep me going. Please mail to:
Florence B. Taylor
4501 Lilac Road,
South Euclid, O.
Q U E S T I O N N A I R E
Mail to Florence B. Taylor, 4501 Lilac Road, South Euclid, O.
What type of article would be your first choice?......................................................................
Second choice?...............................................Third choice..............................................
Next -5/15/41 - Mother's Day