Caring in Remembered Ways
Maggie Davis
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Buy *Caring in Remembered Ways: The Fruit of Seeing Deeply* online

Caring in Remembered Ways: The Fruit of Seeing Deeply
Maggie Steincrohn Davis
Heartsong Books
160 pages
July 1999
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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When I lost my father five years ago, and saw what wonderful care he received from hospice volunteers, I became quite immersed in and impressed by the caregiving world. Caring in Remembered Ways is in some ways written for caregivers and/or people who are watching their parents and friends age and die. But it is also written for almost anyone who loves other people a great deal -- anyone who needs to step back and reflect how important the relationship truly is in their lives.

Maggie Steincrohn Davis runs her own press, Heartsong Books, in Maine. This is one of a handful of inspirational books she has published. The books are lovely to look at and to hold. This one is also inspiring, full of short narratives and quotes from heroic people like Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer. Davis' connection with animals and all of nature also makes this a solid read.

You can pick the book up, dip into it or read it straight throughout. There are several chapters, and within these chapters short anecdotes and quotes set apart by floral graphic devices. One could easily take some of these thoughts and write a journal response or a letter to a loved one.

In her preface, the author tells how she might have condensed everything she wanted to say into one sentence: " See deeply the beauty and interconnectedness of all life; then think, speak and act from what you see." That does about sum up her purpose here. Another wonderful line which sums up much of her content appears in her chapter entitled "good vibrations": " We are all healers, each one of us containing richness from all kingdoms of nature. One day, believing this, we will call forth from ourselves all we need to heal ourselves and others."

One might ask who is Maggie S. Davis? She is a wise woman, a mother, twice-married, a dog lover, a writer and a philosopher of sorts. She has run a café and is an enthusiastic gardener. She has gone through quite a bit of physical and emotional hardship, which she shares briefly with her readers.

The only thing I wish is that Davis had a more careful editor. Many of the quotes she has added are not adequately credited. If the reader wished to find such and such a video or such and such a book, there are no clues where to go to do that. More credit ought to be given.

That said, that is the major argument I have with this book. Caring in Remembered Ways is warm, good-spirited, thought-provoking and easy to read. There are many, many feel-good books these days. Many of the Chicken Soup books do just this. But this small volume is somehow more substantial. It rises above the basic level of "smell the flowers, smile, be happy" and imparts some deeper thoughts and actions we might incorporate into our daily lives and into the way we care for others and ourselves. This is a good and useful read.

© 2003 by Deborah Straw for Curled Up With a Good Book

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