Why hang with all of this? Why bother slogging through the process of grief? Why confront mortality until you wonder if you will ever feel anything but sorrow? Why bother to be so awake that reality sometimes feels like fingernails on a chalkboard?
Because doing so builds the sinews of grace and of bravery. Resiliency becomes the rubber band that bounds you through life. And when the starkness backs you into a corner, with no where to run and no where to hide, you discover you have one last option. To laugh, with joy. To love.
What can you do but snap back to the present moment, realizing this is all you really ever have? Then you let the tangy sweet blackberry play its symphony in your mouth. You marvel at the thorns that grab your pants, your skin, a passionate embrace that begs you to stop and say hello. You fill your lungs with the breath of the city and the hill, soaking with helicopters and dogs, skylines and bumblebees.
I join my daughter in the hilarity of not being able to climb up a slope, each slip eliciting more giggles. I let go of visions of jam and pie when she dumps out the bucket with an awestruck intake of breath, fingering her precious bounty of rare, juicy amethyst. I crouch down beside her and share in her discovery.
I watch butterflies alighting, drawn to her gentleness (look to the upper left). I feel the despair, the fear, the rage and the care that informs me of my love for this world. Taking a lesson from my daughter, I offer these feelings that same gentleness. The experience is so uncomfortable, so sharp and acute. Then, at some point driving home, I notice it isn’t anymore. And I fall in love with life all over again.
She dumps the blackberries all over the backseat. And laughs.
The protests are continuing, the police have stopped arresting demonstrators and are now only booking and fining. MSNBC finally covered the story. A busload of ranchers from Nebraska will be arriving soon. A family fights Transcanada against “eminent domain”…and wins. I am inspired, by the growing numbers in Washington, and I am empowered by all of YOU. Hearing your voices, your cares and concerns, fears and anger, is the best company I could ask for. Thank you for all of your comments this week, I have read them like eating manna. If you took your own solidarity picture, feel free to share a link in the comments where we can take a peek.
My friend Sara, of Forestlass, sent me this song on FB, for it’s uncanny synchronicity with the moment. I think it is exquisite and a perfect theme song for all of us up against the edge of care and rage….this is the moment.
Have a great weekend.