Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Margaret Clark Journals

May 24, 1997

Summary: Life through "rose" colored glasses.

Journal entry: There is in this world a group of silent souls that does not fit in. They just do not fit the mold. If you are one of these people, you imme- diately recognize yourselves. You know deep down inside what I am talking about.

When you were young, it was always the struggle of trying to understand the group mentality, the group talk, the group actions. You would sit in school and try to understand the lessons. You thought things through and your reasoning seemed valid and made sense--to you. The teacher would ask the question, you would raise your hand and give the answer. It seemed right, but the look from the teacher sent another message. You tried again, and again and after awhile, you became the silent one. If you managed to make it through school without dropping out, you found yourself facing real life---relationships and jobs. Relationships sort of develop--water finds its own level--and likes sort of find each other. If you are really lucky, you find a mate who is willing to tolerate your quirky nature. If not, you develop your own comfort zone and operate within those bounds.

Jobs and employment are quite another item. You are lucky to find a place. You either have to be in an independent position or become self- employed. Now don't get me wrong...self-employed people by nature are not all this way, but it's a great place for the independent person. Basically in life you have the two choices: you can fight yourself and seek for group standards and acceptance or you can be at peace and decide your own tactics for life.

The problems arise when you and your neighbor want the same goals, but he wants to do it one way and you want it another way. He wants to walk through the front door to get into the house, but you want to climb the rose trellis to the second story window and slide down the bannister. In the process of climbing the trellis you may get pricked and poked from the roses. You may tear your pants on a nail sticking out of the roof. You may crawl through a dirty window and get dust on your hands and face. The ride down the bannister may get a little fast and tricky and at the bottom you fall flat on your face. But when you finally stand up and take a look around, you are inside the front door.

You both reached your goal. You are both inside the house. Your methods are vastly different. His was probably the most acceptable. Yours was different; but on your way you played ball with the children in the yard, you smelled a few roses, you admired the spiders web on the window ledge, you had a conversation with the fellow roofing the house, you shared a pleasant word with the upstairs maid and you had a thrilling ride down the bannister.

In the end you both made it to the inside of the door.

At the end of the Mormon Trail Trek we will all be inside the front door... we will all get to Salt Lake Valley. Many are walking in the front door. They are conforming to the standard set of daily tasks and rules. I truly admire their conviction, their sense of group, their drive. They are the adhesive that brings order, peace, and continuity to this cause, this movement, this forward force. But there are off to the sides, in the front, in the rear the unseen few who do their tasks their own way. They are still a part of the group, but their methods are different.

I watch them....they come and go. They question and ask and suggest and think and help things change and improve. They sort of seek all of the experiences of the trek rather than just one or two. They try on lots of hats and find the comfortable ones.

I see 10 year old Kimberly as the embodiment of my theme. She is the pixy dust of the train. Kimberly runs from front to back. Now you see her - now you don't. She knows practically everyone. She is barefoot. She has shoes. She lost her coat. She found her coat. She trades her lunches for better ones and talks every grey-haired, grouchy teamster into a smile. She will never be happy with the plain and ordinary and in her vivaciousness she will lighten the world--just as she lightens the folks on the train. We can't help but smile when she flits by. She will arrive in the valley, but she will have ridden every wagon, every horse and mule. She will have pulled every cart and talked to every person. I'm sure her dresses will be torn and dirty and she will have a few bumpy rides and fall a lot. But we will love her and accept her and in return she will bring to us a certain joy. And in the end, we will all enter the valley together.