“Once upon a time” is the classic, timeless beginning of fairy tales. I think it has wide utilitarian viability for most recounting of memories and even recasting of “facts” of what passes as history.
When I was about 9 years of age I acquired an old set of World Book Encyclopedia from my Mother’s Mother, “Grandmother”. “Mrs. Adelaide” was a farmer’s wife, mother of four, and elementary school teacher, mostly third grade in rural Lincoln County Tennessee. She contributed mightily to the family of six during the Great Depression.
I would read some in those old blue books every night. With that exposure to information about all sorts of things fueled by curiously. I didn’t get glasses until I was 12. That condition impacted any interest in sports I might have had early. I couldn’t see well enough to be any good. Books became my world. That and drawing. I was diagnosis as near sighted through the Lion’s Club Vision Program in the Schools in the eighth grade.
The facts I read in the early 1960s from a 1940 set of encyclopedias shared some information that grounded my efforts to understand the world. But they were conditional and limited complied by researchers and scholars repeating the conventional truth of their generation. I came to understand I’d have to do more study to get a fuller truth about the past and that would always be compromised.
My Daddy had a phrase that has proven golden for me. When I’d they “Well they say…”. He’d advise, “Just consider the source, Son.”
It was my job – challenge and joy – to learn and incorporate new information. Such is ever one’s lot. We all are called into a life of discernment engaging new information, ideas, and sensations. Consider the source.
While it can be warm and safe to ‘live’ in memories, old remembrances, nostalgic revelries…I prefer historical biographies: I’m reading a good biography of David Crockett presently…each dawn presents us both new troubles and blessings. I’m so thankful that we have one another here at UUFEC to sort through whatever comes. Here we care enough to wonder…consider the source and claim the blessings for these times.
Love – Doak
The Reverend Doak M Mansfield