By Lana Turnbull
The literal definition of echo, is: (1) a sound or series of sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener; (2) a close parallel or repetition of an idea, feeling, style or event. As the last feature of every Well-Being, that’s what “Echoes” is all about. As we finish production of our 50th issue, we thought it was a perfect time to reflect on what it means to look back…and how in remembering the good in “the good old days,” we are often blind to what was not so good for everybody.
I always get nostalgic as the holidays get closer. I’m old enough to remember what it was like to get the big Sears “Wish Book,” and go straight to the toy section to mark all of my wishes. But on the other side of that fond memory of childhood, all too often I forget that in my school, even in my own class, there were children who would never see a “Wish Book,” much less have their wishes come true.
Every year we celebrated the Nativity with a “Christmas program” at our church. We had Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, who was really a Betsy Wetsy doll wrapped in swaddling clothes. There were angels and wise men. It was quite the pageant. I was always an angel (I’m referring to my role, not necessarily my behavior). We sang carols to welcome the baby’s birth, but I don’t remember that we ever welcomed anyone who lived on the other side of town to join in our praise.
There was always a big family dinner with all the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, complete with congealed salads, homemade rolls, turkey, ham and all the fixin’s. We bowed our heads and asked that our food be blessed. And it was. In fact, we were all blessed with so much more – warm homes, enough to eat, good health, and clothes to wear. Looking back I wish I had understood how fortunate we were. I wish I had understood how many families would not be sitting down to a Christmas feast.
I really love the holidays. My happy memories are a big part of that and I wouldn’t take a zillion dollars for them. I just think it’s important to put the good old days into perspective and not get lulled into believing everything was good for everybody. There is no Wish Book for making the world a kinder, fairer place. But we can each do something to make a small part of it better. It‘s a season of hope and I have to believe that with faith we can see our way through these divisive times and get back to the business of making the good old days, good for us all.