Hanging on my kitchen wall, where I used to see it every day is a print of an old Irish saying, author unknown; of one thing I am certain, he or she is a parent.
God keep my jewel this day from danger
From tinker, from pookah and black-hearted stranger
From harm of the the water and hurt of the fire
From horns of the cows going home to the byre
From teasing the ass when he's tied to the manger
From scones that would bruise and the thorns of the briar
From evil red berries that waken desire
From hunting the gander and vexing the goat
From depths of sea water by Danny's old boat
From cut and from crumble-from sickness and weeping
May God have my jewel this day in his keeping
I kept this in my kitchen where I would see it, daily, reinforcing all my prayers for my children. I was not an overly nervous mother, but their safety was never far from my mind. I liked it best when I knew they were all asleep in their own beds.
Today, it is horrifying to think that none of us are safe, anywhere. I am not overly nervous about that, either, because it is so completely out of our control. Since the Christmas Day ( almost) bomber, we are assaulted with newspaper articles and TV reports; Embassy closings in Yemen, can we move the terrorists from Guantanomo to Illinois? Is the President handling the situation well? For me, he is. There are others to whom Dick Cheney is still spouting his theories.
But we do have more to fear than fear itself, and we need to recognize it. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes the same prognosticator who previously had reckoned that the day of rapture would be in 1994; that passed without the world coming to an end. Previously, he had mathematically discovered that the Apocalypse would happen in 2012. The new date was just announced by Biblical scholars: May 21, 2011. There are good people who are true believers. They are not afraid. I do not believe any of that, but I know there is more to fear than the end of the world.
The recession is not over; there are still more homeless than beds in shelters; jobs are still very scarce; and there are children in Columbus, Ohio who carry home school provided food in their back packs to tide them over throughout the week end. It is scary out there.
So. take care. Happy New Year.