Well-made Plans

The rest of this geranium looks like it’s on its last leg, BUT one little stem greeted us with GREEN LEAVES back here in Iowa. Such a cheerful sight!

A small sign, but so powerful! There’s still life in this plant after wintering over without any nurturing whatsoever.

Of course, that’s what geraniums do, right? But still, these tiny green leaves encouraged me. Sometimes we may feel downhearted, discouraged, dilapidated, spent due to health challenges or what life in general throws at us. About a year ago, I was undergoing surgery for a broken femur. An undesirable circumstance, to say the least.

Then comes that BUT.

The other day I re-discovered one of Robert Burns’ poems written in the 1700’s. The well-made plans of mice and men…”gang aft agley,” and it’s only human to wonder about and ponder our troubles.

Often, things simply don’t turn out as we planned. That’s why we’re instructed to cast all sorts of catastrophes in the way of our fictional characters.

And it’s why signs like a few vital leaves can mean so much!

To a Mouse by ROBERT BURNS –Scottish poet

On Turning her up in her Nest, with the Plough, November 1785.

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

          Wi’ bickerin brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee

          Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion

Has broken Nature’s social union,

An’ justifies that ill opinion,

          Which makes thee startle,

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

          An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

A daimen-icker in a thrave

          ’S a sma’ request:

I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,

          An’ never miss ’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!

It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!

An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,

          O’ foggage green!

An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,

          Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,

An’ weary Winter comin fast,

An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,

          Thou thought to dwell,

Till crash! the cruel coulter past

          Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble

Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!

Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,

          But house or hald,

To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,

          An’ cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,

In proving foresight may be vain:

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men

          Gang aft agley,

An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,

          For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But Och! I backward cast my e’e,

          On prospects drear!

An’ forward tho’ I canna see,

          I guess an’ fear!