THE RAINBOW BEHIND THE CLOUDSWritten by Arleen M. Kaptur
It is an absolutely perfect day. The sun is shining and warm breezes gently cross our path. The sweet sound of chirping birds fills air and gentle lapping water on lake adds to total "perfect" picture.
But there are a few clouds that are determined to continue coming and closer they get more ominous they appear. The warm breezes turn into chilling wind and birds have turned silent. The water now swirls and sun has been obliterated by these menacing clouds.
We take shelter and decide to enjoy a hot cup of tea or perhaps coffee. We build a fire in fireplace and pick up that novel we always wanted to read. A warm coverlet covers our legs and we snuggle into a soft, leather chair. We will weather out storm and wait for it to pass.The windows are pelted with rain and sound of thunder shakes our little cottage. Somehow we have relaxed to point that we have fallen asleep.
We awake to total quiet. The fire has died and sun is filling room, streaming through windows. We jump up and throw open door. And there it is - most beautiful rainbow that you could imagine. The colors are vivid and range from pinks, purples, and blues to green, yellow, and hues we can't even put a name to. The air is sweet with smell of fresh rain and birds are again filling air with sound. Everything is calm and breathtaking in its beauty. We are enthralled by rainbow and can't take our eyes off of it. It arcs over lake and we dream about that pot of gold at end of it. We are glad to be alive and feel stronger for having weathered storm. We feel more confident, somehow, as well as more appreciative for all storms in our lives that bring rainbows.
THE POWER WITHIN Written by Arleen M. Kaptur
Everyone uses them, but not everyone knows how. We all take them for granted, yet many would give their very lives just to have them. These intangible offerings can work miracles, heal wounded, and set hearts afire. They can also destroy, mutilate, and wreak havoc that no one can undue.
What can have such power over people and situations, yet cannot be totally controlled or contained? WORDS -
Words are at disposable of anyone who wishes to use them. There are no restrictions, guidelines, or penalties for misuse, no stated rules or punishments for wrongful use. They are tiny and one-syllable long or they can be complicated and unknown to many. Words are so powerful that people fear them, while others long to hear them.
A writer uses words as tools of his trade. With careful manipulation, they can delight readers with stories, anecdotes, and passages that will transgress time. If not used correctly, they will give misinformation, misdirection, and confusion. Vocabulary can hasten a heartbeat or cause it to halt and die. They bring smiles to children, thrills to lovers, and soothe a fevered brow. Without effort, they can cut right to heart, invade soul, and mind, linger, cause pain, and sometimes destroy a person from inside.
Words should never be taken lightly. Children use gibberish to test water of language. As they get older, they begin to sense power they hold in a simple “No.” Older children will begin to use them to get what they want or manipulate others to a certain conclusion. Adults use them constantly, yet many do not take responsibility for what they do. Generations make note of them and destiny quotes them.
Speech is one of finer points of being human. It is what separates us from animal world. Yet many of us would benefit by being speechless and at a loss for words in certain situations. Words are a marvelous way to touch someone else, share knowledge, lift spirits, turn lives around, and make world a better place to live. If used with responsibility they deserve and demand, our own lives and those of everyone else can be enriched and empowered. There is always a downside. If spoken carelessly, impact they create may never be evident at moment they are used. But that is power they are endowed with. Maybe not same day, same month, or even same year, words will come back in delightful memories or rekindle pain and hurt. Once spoken, they cannot be made to disappear. They are there in world and you have given up all claim to them. If they are “good” they will make you proud and bring you rewards untold, but if they were “less than good” they may haunt you, embarrass you, and cause you sorrow.