Where Oh Where is Love?

Where oh Where is Love ?

Do you recall the scene from the musical “Oliver” when little Oliver gazes out the window to the busy street below and his loneliness at being an orphan flows over into his voice as he sings, oh so plaintively, “Where oh where oh where is love?”

II thought of this scene from Oliver when I gazed at a you tube photo of another little boy, this one in a red shirt and blue shorts , whose body lay face down on the shores of the Mediterranean. Another sad and lonely boy but this one was all too real This little kid was dead.

Oliver was fiction and eventually he found his mother and family but there was no Hollywood ending to the story of the little Syrian boy, whose name was Aylan.

When the picture of the boy lying as though asleep in the sand first flashed across the screen on television, the producers warned us that the photo of the little boy might be too graphic for their audience.

They wanted us to be able to shield our eyes from the awful truth of innocence betrayed, and what really happens to little immigrant children caught up in a nightmare they had no part in causing.

But you know something? We needed to look at this little boy because he was one of us. Little Aylan didn’t drop from Mars. He was family and now he is dead. And if many of us shed a tear at the sight, maybe we owed him at least that token of our caring. Hopefully, we can do more.

The little three-year-old’s lifeless body was a sermon in flesh to the rest of us that we can’t afford to ignore. As Americans we have always stood tall in responding to the human needs of our brothers and sisters all over the world. It’s who we are; it’s what we do.

President Obama has pledged that we will take in 10,000 refugees. That’s a start. But we need to do more. We need to demonstrate to the world that the true wealth of our nation lies not in our gross national product but in the generosity of its people.

A generation ago, a past generation of Americans dug down deep to help the impoverished and desperate victims of World War 2 with the Marshall Plan. We can do it again.

Where oh where is love? It’s right here in this big hearted generous land of immigrants. Let’s do it for Aylan.

A Boy’s Will is the Wind’s Will

Alone With a New Grandson

Little Ben and I are having a staring contest. He will win. Nobody in the world can outlast the stare of a two-month old baby. I wonder, for the upteenth time, what is going on in his head. Is he thinking anything at all?

The lines of a poem by Henry Wadsworth poem pop serendipitously into my head.

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will and the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

Most of us adults assume that the thoughts of a tiny baby are pretty well fixed on survival stuff .
“Will someone please feed me or change my diaper or pick me up?” But maybe we are the ones who are short sighted.

In many ways we are all mysteries to one another. Could it be that this little tot is already sizing us up?

“Hmm! This face sure looks different from Mom. His voice is deeper too. What the hey, he’s making funny faces at me. Now that’s a kick.”

“He’s holding me kind of awkward. Looks like he hasn’t held a baby for a while. But he does smile a lot. He seems to enjoy being with me.”

“I wonder a lot about stuff. Like, how come someone pulled me out of that sweet warm place where I used to be? Well, it was getting a bit cramped in there and I have to admit that I was getting restless.”

Now that I find myself in this new world, I’ve got to figure out where do I go from here. What did that old guy say?” “A boy’s will is the wind’s will and the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.?” I gotta think about that one. Not sure what it means but then again I’m not a youth yet.

I’m in no big hurry to grow up. There’s lots of friendly people around me, welcoming me into the world, loving me, taking care of me. I guess I can wait a while before I start thinking those long, long thoughts.