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Life

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“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours, it is an amazing journey, and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” ~ Bob Moawad

 

Two Tramps in Mud Time

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Out of the mud two strangers came
And caught me splitting wood in the yard,
And one of them put me off my aim
By hailing cheerily “Hit them hard!”
I knew pretty well why he had dropped behind
And let the other go on a way.
I knew pretty well what he had in mind:
He wanted to take my job for pay.

Good blocks of oak it was I split,
As large around as the chopping block;
And every piece I squarely hit
Fell splinterless as a cloven rock.
The blows that a life of self-control
Spares to strike for the common good,
That day, giving a loose my soul,
I spent on the unimportant wood.

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,
His song so pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to bloom.
It is snowing a flake; and he half knew
Winter was only playing possum.
Except in color he isn’t blue,
But he wouldn’t advise a thing to blossom.

The water for which we may have to look
In summertime with a witching wand,
In every wheelrut’s now a brook,
In every print of a hoof a pond.
Be glad of water, but don’t forget
The lurking frost in the earth beneath
That will steal forth after the sun is set
And show on the water its crystal teeth.

The time when most I loved my task
The two must make me love it more
By coming with what they came to ask.
You’d think I never had felt before
The weight of an ax-head poised aloft,
The grip of earth on outspread feet,
The life of muscles rocking soft
And smooth and moist in vernal heat.

Out of the wood two hulking tramps
(From sleeping God knows where last night,
But not long since in the lumber camps).
They thought all chopping was theirs of right.
Men of the woods and lumberjacks,
The judged me by their appropriate tool.
Except as a fellow handled an ax
They had no way of knowing a fool.

Nothing on either side was said.
They knew they had but to stay their stay
And all their logic would fill my head:
As that I had no right to play
With what was another man’s work for gain.
My right might be love but theirs was need.
And where the two exist in twain
Theirs was the better right–agreed.

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

~ Robert Frost

 

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“The inspiration of a noble cause involving human interests wide and far, enables men to do things they did not dream themselves capable of before, and which they were not capable of alone.  The consciousness of belonging, vitally, to something beyond individuality; of being part of a personality that reaches we know not where, in space and time, greatens the heart to the limit of the souls ideal, and builds out the supreme character.” ~ Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

 

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“I know this now.  Every man gives his life to what he believes.  Every woman gives her life for what she believes.  Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing…” ~ Joan of Arc

 

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“You’re not going to find the meaning of life hidden under a rock written by someone else.  You’ll only find it by giving meaning to life from inside of yourself.” ~ Dr. Robert Firestone

 

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“Be courageous this month. Take on a challenge that you always thought was beyond your capability. Pursue an idea despite not knowing if people will respond positively. Dive into a relationship even if you’ve been hurt. Embrace vulnerability and reveal yourself without holding back. Exposing who we are (good and bad) takes lots of courage. Actually the root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart and it’s originally meaning was “to connect by revealing all of your heart.” ~ Brene Brown

 

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“People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. You find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past” ~ Nicholas Sparks

 

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“No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed.

No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined.

No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled.

No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.”

~ Henry Emerson Fosdick

 

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“It’s okay to be sad when you mess up, but don’t dwell for too long. The mistake has already been made, and you can’t erase the fact that it happened. You can either learn from it or mope about it. The choice is yours, but remember, we are only human; we were born to make mistakes.  Simply put, if you have never made a mistake in your life, then that means that you have never taken a risk.  Taking risks means that you go outside of your comfort zone – that you go outside of your boundaries. The most successful people are the ones who are not afraid to give it their all and possibly humiliate themselves greatly in front of others.  It’s like that one saying, ‘The person who asks a question is a fool for five minutes, but the person who never asks and remains silent is a fool forever.’  You choose the way you want to live your life.” ~ Cynthia Amy Tang

 

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“This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;  being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” ~ George Bernard Shaw