Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


The Cremation of Sam McGee

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

This is the beginning and the end of the poem by Robert W. Service. I used to read it to my class every year. Service's poetry is wonderful when read aloud. But the reason I remember it tonight is that it is so cold outside. Not that it won't get colder but I don't like the cold. If you click on the title or the picture above you can read the entire poem. But the part I am reminded of is when the narrator gets up enough nerve to check in on Sam and he writes:

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

I always empathize with Sam this time of year. I hate the cold weather and I know I could move. Maybe I will.

Stay warm. Hugs, j-bear.

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