Is there ever a week unscathed by tragedy? From losing the genius of Kate Spade to a Supreme Court that ruled against same-sex cakes to Trump’s continuously rancorous tweets embarrassing the America our grandparents worked and lived and died to shape, and that’s just the stuff of yesterday. That’s not even the abuse or despair or neglect or poverty or dead-ends so many Americans are facing this very minute every single day. Twice this week we tried to watch the evening news, but as the lead stories were homicide, actually there were two one night, we decided to pass. Sure I want to be informed, but I’d like to know about the good too. Like how some start-up was giving back to their community, or a couple on the verge of divorce thought maybe their two kids were worth another go and called a therapist for communication help or maybe someone decided to stop eating sugar and processed foods, and now a year later many of their ill-health issues are abated? Or how about the local high school students who stood in the doorway, greeting everyone who entered with a smile? All of this happens every day, over and over, in all of our communities, but it’s only a footnote that wraps up the news hour. Never the headliner. Never the grabber. Is it that we can’t get enough of drama? Even watching a tennis match the announcers slip in divisive tidbits about the players, as if their 106 mph service shot isn’t enough to hold our attention.
Thankfully I have a backyard. Hopefully you do too. Or a park. Or any space with a tree or two. Where the sky shines down and shows you some green all lit up with that gold. And you can breathe.
As June melts into July, and we settle into yet another new home, there is plenty to fracture and divide our time from our desire. There is unpacking and all those decisions of where to hang this mother’s portrait or that Bowie painting. There are boxes of cleaning supplies that look too much like work, so I vote to banish them to the cellar while she might actually want to use them. There’s me wandering on the front lawn in my bathrobe to catch the early light and getting sidetracked by raindrops on broad leaves instead of finding the lid to the pot still stuck in a box somewhere. Me wandering. Finally, I’d add. Stop the lists of to-do’s for a single moment and feel dewy grass.