I learn from Writer's Almanac that it is the birthday of Abigail Adams, wife of the second president of the United States and mother of the sixth, and an influential person on our Constitution and in our history.
She wrote: "I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic."
And while John Adams was in Philadelphia working on the Declaration of Independence, she wrote to him: "As to your extraordinary code of laws, I cannot but laugh."
John Adams was the second president, and she was the first First Lady to occupy the White House — and she wasn't very impressed with the place, parts of which were still being constructed while they lived there. At the time, Washington, D.C., was a rural area, and she missed the city life of Philadelphia and New York, where they'd previously lived. She said:
"I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. Every object is beautiful in motion; a ship under sail, trees gently agitated with the wind, and a fine woman dancing, are three instances in point. Man was made for action and for bustle."
May your day balance action and bustle with contemplation and calm. I feel refreshed this morning though I enjoyed only about three hours sleep. I"ll see how I sail through the waves of the day on the ruffled breeze of that. Peace! Ease! Care!
Lee Klinger, a good friend of mine, thinking of Thich Nhat Hanh, asks today, "Where is smiling in my hands?" Think of that as you notice how you hold the wheel of your car, grip or relax your fork or spoon, touch yourself, and another.
Oh, my. Pink fog is just beginning to drape like a cat on the hill.
It is Veteran's Day. May your remembrance and honoring of what that means to you fulfill something new and precious in the wondrous chambers within.