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Morning Sunshine "To affect the quality of the day that is the highest of arts." -- Henry David Thoreau.
Once you have known Fay Larkins, it is hard to imagine your life without her. Fay has been volunteering in the Ames High English Department for eight years, volunteering seven to eight hours a day, five days a week, typing, answering the phone, and performing many other secretarial duties. But it is not her secretarial tasks alone that affect the quality of our days. It is the atmosphere she carves with her joyful, loving soul. And it's not only the Ames High staff who appreciate Fay's many contributions. Ames High students do, too.
In the spring of 1994, the student body presented her with the Staff Member of the Semester Award. Fay is the morning sunshine. Each day she nurtures our souls with her hopeful, generous spirit. Henry David Thoreau in Walden best captures Fay's special spirit. "It is something to be able to paint a particular picture or to carve a statue and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look... To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts."
There is an artist's sympathy and understanding of people in her rare being. What Willa Cather says of Anton Rosicky in her short story "Neighbour Rosicky" we would say of Fay: "It was as if Rosicky (Fay) had a special gift for loving people, something that was like an ear for music or an eye for color." For Fay, life seems to be "the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view," a belief Ralph Waldo Emerson holds in his famous essay "Self-Reliance."
Fay is the first to admit, though, that life has its sadnesses, but she also constantly reminds us of the good things in life, of its real moments: "...each day contains an earlier more sacred and auroral hour...," something Thoreau lives in Walden. Fay's joyful nature is a daily invitation to join her in seeing hopeful horizons and in living the spiritual laws that elevate the soul. What Thoreau lives in Walden seems to be what Fay also lives daily. "I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor."
Her cheerful intimacy with the elevating processes of living makes us all more mindful of the potential for good each day holds. To be of help to others, to be a good neighbor, is what seems to fulfill Fay the most, but she is quick to remind us that she has a very special mate on this voyage and she couldn't do what she does without her shipmate, husband Milt. They stand by each other and have the same neighborly ideas about life. They both believe it is important to share what they have.
There is a kingdom of love and generosity and hope in both their spirits. It's like in giving to others, they are giving something back to God. "A return to goodness produced each day in the tranquil and beneficent breath of the morning..."
-John Forssman; With love and gratitude