Brody: Storing supplies for difficult times

Do you enjoy reading?

Do you like hearing someone’s true story?

Can you put yourself in the plot of a book or story?

Have you ever met a person and recognized him or her as someone who will probably remain in your life?

Sometimes, the only way a person can come into your life is — rather than in person — through reading a book or hearing a personal life story.

This truth is personal for me because, as my readers know, I have macular degeneration in both eyes.

Until special medical care, I have been unable to read and writing was nearly impossible.

Now, I can read using a large powerful magnifying glass with a light inside and with special glasses, which has allowed me to write this column. Every time I submit my weekly column, I do so with a prayer of thanksgiving. I have read a paperback book I feel led to share with you because it took me on a journey inward.

The name of the book is, “Out of the Skin, Into the Soul.” It was written by Dorothy Albracht and Doherty and Mary Colgan McNamara about the importance of memories.

For two days I read, reread and read again it’s words. I read until I couldn’t hold anymore insights. They pushed away chores and my regular daily schedules.

I can’t possibly deal with all they said now but they made their points by telling stories, which is my favorite.

They began by saying, “For this kind of seeing, eyes must be closed.” After reading my column, maybe you can sit a spell, close your eyes and think about what this story has to do with your own life.

It’s about Fred, a field mouse who lives with four other young mice in an old stone wall all summer.

In the fall, the four young mice worked diligently storing supplies for the approaching winter cold. They gathered nuts and grains all day long while Fred sat, seemingly idle.

They chided him but he said he was storing and gathering the sun’s warm rays, the color of the seasons and the words to best express these gifts to others.

In the cold of winter, after the nuts and grains were nearly gone, Fred then shared his “supplies” with the others.

“I’ve collected colors to paint our winter world and I wrapped myself in words to wear when it’s cold,” Fred said. And he enlivened and warmed them through the dark times.

Of course, this story is about how we live life. It is about the importance of storing memories and warmth and color and love along the way so as we come into our winter, we can bring them out not only for ourselves but as our way to make the world more beautiful for others.

We all know the importance of work, of building and providing for life’s necessities, and most of us do this along the way to the best of our abilities.

The part we forget too often is storing things of the heart and the soul. We forget to be like Fred the field mouse.

I don’t believe it is ever too late to begin gathering such important supplies.

Now I would like to end with a thought for you.

Pull your hands together in the shape of a small bowl. Picture your life as a vessel — and a vessel is formed for two functions. One is to hold.

Now flatten your hands as if you were making an offering. The other is to pour.

Let’s think about that.

The view from the mountain is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in the Sun for more than 25 years.