Friday, January 14, 2011

Gifts Within

Photograph by: Karen Holmes

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who belongs to me within my clan?... one might wonder.
What gifts find their way to me through tiny, winding, long ladders of DNA? 

My great-grandfather was as an exceptional Baker. I have stood outside the very old building in Oberott, Germany that once housed his Bakery. If we were given a delightful first opportunity to visit together in person, would my great-grandfather teach me about owning a bakery and how to knead a perfect loaf of bread... or... do I already know these things because he bestowed those gifts upon me unaware? Could it be that each time I create a baked good ... my great-grandfather and I visit together in a small miraculous and comfortable manner?

I like to imagine that when a newest member of the clan is about to be born, they are being gifted in two ways. Firstly, by all of those on earth anxiously awaiting their arrival... and, secondly, by all those in heaven who are giving that tiny soul their unique departure gifts - the ones that will be discovered along the way throughout their entire life in the form of talents and "unusually familiar" joys...

Photograph by: Karen Holmes
Cake by: Karen Holmes and her great-grandfather Friedrich Wolf


Betsy said...

Karen, This is so beautiful!
I love the little treasures you have prepared for your grand-baby's arrival!! So sweet...
But more than that, I love who you are - and how your grand-baby, as she grows up, will indeed appreciate and benefit from what you have given her and will give her of yourself, DNA and all!!
I remember how very special it was for you to connect with your German heritage all those years ago during our CC time. I can see now how you were then beginning to understand these mysterious strands...
I also found several of these wonderful strands in my own language/communications/education heritage recently. My maternal grandmother planned to travel and teach cross-culturally when she graduated from college in the early 1900's - an unusual goal for a young women of her station in life at that time. And then also my mother taught English as a second language to Eastern European and Russian Jewish refugees during and just after WW2 in New York City. Then there's the amazing connection that I applied to a 2nd choice college in 1972 called Franklin and Marshall in PA. I did not end up going there or have any connection with it again...until 30 years later when my son chose that school as his 1st choice! This happens at times when the parent did go to the school...but I visited that school once and never went back - or mentioned it much to my son - or ever dreamed he'd be interested in it!!
Fun stuff, indeed.
AND I also resonate with the bread and baking thoughts...did I tell you I am reading a book called "52 Loaves" about a guy who searched for the perfect loaf of bread and as part of his search, he actually ended up teaching monks at a medieval abbey in France how to work with wild yeast - because the last baking monk who knew how to do that had died and their tradition was about to die also. How's that for a great example of not only DNA strands but just people reaching out to people in similiar circumstances strands!
Gifts within...and without!

karen-holmes said...

I absolutely LOVE your posting... and your own shared understanding of how our heritage and connections as so beyond our own imaginings - and so often divinely inspired!
I venture to say that you are "a natural" for your new business creation that supports your own language / communications / education heritage and lights the way for others...
Yes, indeed... gifts within flowing outward blessing all!
Thank you for your post!

Melinda said...

Love, love, love the words. Love, love, love the photographs. Karen - I see a book coming. Thank you for continuing to simply inspire.
xo MM

karen-holmes said...

Thank you so much, Melinda... I am so glad you are being inspired! And I am ever so grateful for our long-ago time together in Germany... I know you understand this posting in other significant ways...
How about if we bow to our "I have a good idea"?... and off we will go to someplace like Friar's Stiles Bakery for a treat! Let's bring the CC gals! Thank you for the decades of love and support, my friend. xo k.

About Me

My photo
I have always been inspired by my Grandfather's particular generosity and encouragement, along with his love for others and nature. His spirit lives on, and the influence is quietly with me as I write and share. This is my small offering that I pray will bless others and allow them to become Simply Inspired. warmly, karen -xok.
Each day provides its own gifts.

- Marcus Aurelius

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