Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dare to Inspire and to Be Inspired

April was a busy month and the first week of May was more of the same. On May Day, I went to the Lodge of the Four Seasons to spend time with some of the most inspiring women I have ever had the pleasure to add to my circle of friends. Business Women of Missouri are focused on improving life for all women, but especially those who are struggling. I am proud to be part of a group that focuses on legislation to help women, scholarships, collecting personal care products for women’s shelters…everywhere you looked, women shared ideas, hugs, and helping hands.

My friend, Nancy, has served as the state president for the past year. As part of Nancy’s team, I learned just how complex planning a conference can be. Fortunately, we had capable leaders who were able to crunch the numbers to find that, indeed, we could meet our obligation. They dared to break the mold and try some new ideas. Because of this, our Saturday morning program included two dynamic, and inspiring, speakers.

Nancy finished her term as president and turn the reins over to Sherry whose theme is “Dare to Inspire and to Be Inspired.” Inspiration—the word comes from the same Latin root word as respiration, spirare, which means “to breathe.”  Inspiration makes me feel alive.

Today has been both a sad day and an inspiring day. This morning, the sun was shining and a breeze provided a perfect day for being outdoors. The day started with setting tomato and pepper plants into the earth, with the promise of fresh produce later in the summer.

It was still early when I headed toward Versailles to a memorial for a lovely lady who left this earth too soon. Loretta had asked two family members to speak at her services. Both spoke of how inspiring and life-changing their relationship with Loretta had been. There’s no better legacy to leave than to be a positive influence on others.

Afterwards, my mom, sister, brother, and sister-in-law went out to lunch. As is typical in a small town, the place was filled with people we knew. When my aunt and uncle came in, we squeezed together to make room at the table for them. The conversation was lively, filled with humor. I was sitting at a table with people who inspire me. Then, more cousins/aunts (our family is complicated because my dad’s cousins married my mom’s brothers). It was heartening to spend some time with people I’ve known my entire life. Inspiring.

My day ended with board members of our local Business Women’s Club. Once again, I sat at a table with caring women whom I admire and am inspired by. These women give generously of their time and talents.

As we said our goodbyes, shared hugs and encouragement, I walked out of the restaurant thinking I would jump in my car and head home. It had been a long day. Instead, I decided to walk across the street and look at the veteran’s bricks I had purchased in honor of Jim and my dad.

The evening breeze whipped the eternal flame. Suddenly, I realized how beautiful the evening, and how inspiring the tributes to those who dared to lay their lives on the line for our country. The names on memorials and the rows of bricks were evidence of sacrifice and commitment. I wandered down the sidewalk reading the names. I saw one inscribed with a date when a life was lost in the Philippines. Sad, but inspiring.

I walked around snapping pictures of this familiar landmark, that had suddenly taken on a special atmosphere. I was the only person on the courthouse lawn. Had that ever happened before? What a perfect evening. What a great day to be alive, and appreciate those who died so that I could walk around the courthouse on a peaceful May evening. The breeze, the very breath of inspiration,  ruffled my hair, caressed my skin, and filled my heart with hope and happiness, as I dared to be inspired.

copyright © May 2014 by L. S. Fisher

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