Saturday, May 24, 2008

A "Feel Good" Place

I was very pleased when a friend told me that visiting my blog made him feel good. Nothing could possible be more to my liking nor give me more satisfaction than providing a place where both Friends and passing Strangers can have a moment of comfortable ‘feeling good.’

Reflecting on that Truth, I am reminded of one of my most treasured poems. It was written by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911) and is titled "The House by the Side of the Road." I share it with you in the hope that it gives you ... in the midst of whatever Holiday ("Memorial Day" here in The States) Weekend madness you are dealing with ... a moment of 'feeling good.' And I thank you for your visit.

“He was a Friend to man,
and he lived in a House by the Side of the Road.”


The House by the Side of the Road

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In their place of self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road-
It’s here the race of men go by.
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I;
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

IMAGE source unknown


Jen Ballantyne said...

Dear John-Michael, this is just beautiful, thank you for sharing it with us, I had never read it before and I am delighted to be able to do so today. I truly hope you are feeling well and on top of things today, I have just had the most lovely 3 days of feeling 'normal' oh so sweet! It makes me wish happy days for everyone else so here's to you, hoping your days are filled with happiness.

John-Michael said...

Hi Gorgeous!! Thank You for joining me in a bit of late breakfast. (9:52AM here) I have (of course) had a bit to go with the coffee before work (at 3 this AM) and a little snack as I tended to some chores. But now have the skillet on and doing the sausage, eggs, and hot cakes thing. Wow! I sure am glad to hear from You, Jen, My darling! And to hear that you have had the enjoyment of a few days of comfort! FANTASTIC!!! You just made my week a glorious one for sure. This is such a lovely Gift ... knowing that You and I are sharing this caring (though absurdly distant [grin]) moment with each other.

Please know that I have already reflected on and enjoyed thoughts of You several times today. I do Love You so very Much! Drop in ANY TIME!!

lime said...

oh! i like that VERY much! that's real. that's honest. and it speaks to the small town part of me....not the hustle and bustle big city, not the withdraw to the mountaintop...the slow steady stream of passerby, some you just watch and reflect upon as you observe, some stop by and look for a bit of rest as they visit. yes...i like it very much.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that lovely verse. Reminds me of a front porch swing. Just gently swinging & watching others go by & perhaps a wave & smile. Its a happy thought.

John-Michael said...

You summed it perfectly, Dear Lime Darlin.' Your expression of its elements mirror the aspects that always charm and entice me when I "slip away" into this work. i have always identified with the portrayal as reflective of my life. Quite accurate, in fact.

You bless me with your expansion of and clarity added to my perspectives on life. I do love your presence in my Heart.

John-Michael said...

Ah yes! ... a "front porch swing." Absolutely perfect for the enjoyment of and welcoming of Loved ones. Thank You Anonymous One, for that vision.

Just Joni said...

and indeed you are "a friend to man"...enjoyed the poem and the imagery it inspired...I have to tell you the picture you gifted me with from the school days of yesteryear was precious and timeless...I love the classroom setting and the smile on one young man's face...I can still see that little boy in you somehow...brought a smile to my face for certain.

Your breakfast sounds amazing, wish I lived closer by, I'd drop in for a bite and conversation! You do have maple syrup right?

Have a good day friend ~

John-Michael said...

Prairie Home Companion has concluded (from Wolf trap, Virginia) and 'tis time to retire for the evening. And the last words that I offer, this day, are to You, My Dearest Joni. So touched by my overflowing sense of fondness for, and kinship with You today ... that I had no words to express it. It has been a few weeks of emotional living that has me in need of respite. And You, dear Friend, give my Spirit peace and respite that blesses and lifts. I am grateful for and thank you for your generous inclusion of me in your world.

I love You, Joni.

Zoe said...

your blog really is a warm cozy place

John-Michael said...

Darling Zoe, I can never hope to have anything better than what You have expressed. You have, truly, made me feel very good. I humbly thank you.

I do believe that You are lovable ... yes, I do.

ric said...


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