Margaret Jarek was a featured columnist for the Fond du Lac Reporter. Her uplifting words on faith, love, nature and daily life inspired readers for many years. A tribute to the nourishment of spirt she provided is summarized by this letter of gratitude by Sigrun Columbia-Navis:
I have enjoyed your skillfully crafted words throughout the years and I shall miss your column very much! Your words always hit home; they were gentle and loving reminders of the spiritual aspect of life and often they would stop me in the tracks of my busy life.
While reading your section, I would usually be overheard uttering "wow", "oh my", "that's exactly how I feel", or "she is spot on.". Often I found myself tearing up, because you touched my heart with such exquisite tenderness, and I would be speechless. Your words invited me to bask a while in the sacredness of beauty, wonder, appreciation gratitude, love, hope and positivity. It is in these moments of stillness that I draw strength and meaning for my life and that I find my spirit nourished and refreshed.
I am deeply grateful for your sharing your thoughts and feelings with your readers. There will be a void on Sunday mornings and while I formerly would have eagerly opened the Sunday paper, hungrily searching for your column, I must give to myself what you have given so generously and lovingly for so many years — a spiritual moment where I let myself be still, basking in the sacredness of simply being.
Thank you, Margaret from the depth of my heart and soul — you have enriched my life beyond measure! I am very grateful that you shared your sweet spirit and your gift of your ability to put into words the very sweetness and essence of life.
Love and Peace to you, my dear friend.
I grew up in Fond du lac, in this small midwestern city on the banks of lake Winnebago and nourished my soul in solitary bike rides down dusty country roads. I played in vacant lots filled with unkept vegetation and dreamed of one day having a garden.
My mind was fed on a steady diet of books borrowed from out vintage Dale Carnegie library now replace by a far more mundane structure.
My mother, completely deaf labored long hours as a dishwasher to eek out a meagre livelihood and so it was my aunt Esther and my often bed ridden grandmother that took up the task of raising me. We lived in a cramped one room accommodation in rooming houses or, when times were better, tiny efficiency flats. And yet there was never a shortage of love. In fact they had me believing I was perfect. I wasn't, but in their eyes I could do no wrong. That sort of unconditional love and encouragement insured my desire to fulfill their belief in me.
Because of our circumstances this library became my home away from home. We were there with my Aunt and I at least once, but often twice a week. Books allowed me to escape into all sorts of enchanted realities.
Because books were so vital, I became a bit disconcerted one day when we couldn't get to the library. It was then Grandma exclaimed in exasperation “why don’t you sit down and write your own book”.
At that moment, at the age of eleven I began to write and I have not stopped seven decades later.
Initially I wrote poetry some of which was published over the years, but in 1984 I begin a column for the Fondu Lac Reporter which lasted for thirty years and continues now on this web page and will, I hope continue for a long time to come.