It is morning, still, clear, soft blue sky. Three year old Zach is in the why stage, so each time I am with him I explain many times about the turning earth and the rotation of the earth around the sun, and the tilt of the axis. For him, everything orients around Mt. Tamalpais, and he always says the whole word, just as he knows his home when he is not living with his grandparents is in San Francisco, not "the city."
I read the news this morning and feel a detachment from it. It feels irrelevant to me in this moment. What matters is that when I open the door this morning for my cats, there is a new feel to the light. Spring is here and the sweet pungent smell of acacia is in the air. Daffodils bloom. You may be in snow and cold, but here, there is that feel of spring on this first day of February. I feel the shift of light inside, a curious nosing into another year.
I am reminded now of the book by Ram Dass, Still Here, Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying. I was reading Wendell Berry's book yesterday That Distant Land, about life in the country in a small town in the late 19th and early 20th century. Death was a given then, an acknowledged part of life. Women lost children and though cheerful, may have always worn black.
In the short story Pray Without Ceasing in this book, a woman learns her husband has been shot and is dead.
"She was already wearing black. She had borne four children and raised one. Two of her children she had buried in the same week of a diphtheria epidemic, of which she had nearly died herself. After the third child had died, she never wore colors again. It was not that she chose to be ostentatiously bereaved. She could not have chosen to be ostentatious about anything. She was, in fact, a woman possessed of a strong native cheerfulness. And yet she had accepted a certain darkness that she had lived in too intimately to deny."
In New York City, when all was booming, black was the color. Then, for the Inauguration, colors were in, but I wonder now if we can address a certain gravity that is always necessarily in our lives when we acknowledge it. Those who have stolen so much money, legally stolen, it still appears, bought two homes, three, four without thought as to what life might really be about.
Maybe now, we acknowledge the turning each day of dark and light, the revolving tides that are life and involvement on this beautiful globe in this changing and evolving world.