Tis the season of food drives and toy drives and considering those less fortunate than ourselves. It is the season of counting your blessing and sharing your riches. Time to watch out for those who need our care, and that extends to those minute song birds that stay through the winter months.
This week I wrestled with post-holiday blues and in this quiet time I recall those no longer here. Those shiny, vibrant beings who escaped their earthly bodies to dance with stars. Or at least that’s what I imagine tonight. I mean, if I can’t share a bottle of champagne with my mother anymore, at least I can presume she is doing something fabulous, starry even, right? As my eye drifts out the picture window at the endless snow falling, I hear her ringing laughter, for she adored the holiday season, skating full force from one glittery gathering to the next without pause.
Without fail, on certain days, I find myself measuring myself against the giants, those who trod across uncertain landscapes firmly and with certainty, ease. I know I shouldn’t, but it has always been my cross, to want more. I’m not sure I can blame my parents for this one, maybe it was their post-depression dreams feed to me with all they believed possible, men reaching for the moon, a culture breaking sexual taboos and racial barriers, and seeing a world rebuild after war. Today I attempt to content myself by focusing on the little stuff. Finding the joy that nature brings. Taking a moment to look up at the blue or remembering to look down, to really see what’s here and now.
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.
This week especially, maybe because of the full moon or who the heck knows, there’s been a divisive air in the air. People have been out to get someone. Even people who normally bat for your team, now are eyeing you sideways, judging your every move. I’ve done my best to ignore these astrological blasts in the past, but the last few days, wow, it’s stretched my good nature. Tonight, instead of crawling deep into fetal, we decided to blast the other direction, head to game night.
Driving along my road home, both front windows open, the sky draws my eyes upward. This is one of those late spring days that you remember. Actually, it is just this moment, not the whole day, but you get my meaning. Ordinary yet memorable. Worth holding on to a little longer. The scene? Rolling hills all around me. Cows out to pasture. Horses too. Green fields popping with yellow dandelions. A flock of geese settled down momentarily by a reedy pond. Black birds darting from one side of the road to the other as a dare, they play, cavalier about the outcome. How close they flap by my bumper! Crabapple blossoms cover each and every branches with puffs of pale pink and even speeding past their fragrance is a wafting sweetness. All this in one flash of a moment.
On Mother’s Day, my spouse and I ventured into the woods, she with her camera, and I with a hat. Spring in Vermont fully here, bird song, rushing rivers, and myriad shades of green exploding from forest floor to tree top. Ours was a meditative stroll, moments barefoot, even a toe dipped into the icy mountain stream, feeling the great mother of us all.