Thursday, November 13, 2008

Footprints in the Sand

My mother dog gave birth to a large litter of eight puppies a few weeks ago. And I was so happy with the colours of the mongrel puppies. Having decided which ones to give away I kept four being the greedy me. I kept the all white one (called her Snowy) . I kept the all black one with little brown paws (and I called him Bruno). I also kept the black white and brown one (and being a female I called her Pretty) And I kept the one that looked exactly like the father Bubba. I called him Butter Scotch because he was so sweet and butter scotch in colour.

One morning while the sun was just able to cast some longish shadows I was quick enough to take this picture of their paw prints on the sand patch left by the contractor who had built a new wall for me.

The paw prints could have been Snowy's or Pretty's. This photo is the only keepsake of their short lives with me.

The day after the photo was taken a heavy rain washed away the prints.

And soon Pretty was stolen followed by Snowy. Butter Scotch met with an accident. Now I only have Bruno with me and the rest of the older pack.

Life is fragile and love vapourizes all too soon. The pain of loss goes on stabbing at my heart.

Two poems below have helped me through life's long and tough journey. I hope they too can help stir the poet in you and help you overcome insurmountable tasks.

A Psalm Of Life
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807-1882, written in 1838

Footprints in the Sand
Author unknown

One night a man had a dream
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the
sand; one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow You, You'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed You most You would leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints in the sand; it was then that I carried you."

That poem always touches me every time I read it. A lot of times the only thing that keeps me going is the fact that God is with me, and He will always help me through the hard times in my life.

I hope this poem touches you, too. God bless!

2 memories:

Arani Jantok said...

the poems are all very beautiful and reflect our the human need to be in some form of a state of grief every once in a while.. but you must remember that grief must only happen for one reason, and one reason only.

the grief must never overwhelm you.. and there can only be so much grieving to be done. i guess we must all limit our periods of grief in order for us to move on to the happier things in life.

on the bright side.. at least you still have Bruno and the rest of the older pack.. there will be more to come.. just like the many litters of puppies that we have been so blessed with over the years.

sarawakiana said...

That's a beautifully written piece.

Yes we have to look at the bright side and more happiness will come.


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