It was not the governments of the world that tore down the Berlin Wall.
It was not soldiers in uniforms, nor officials or dignitaries.
The Wall was brought down by ordinary people. Millhands and plumbers and taxi drivers and waitresses.
People who would no longer tolerate the isolation and separatism practiced by their native countries.
The Earth is our homeland.
We are one people.
Thinking of the
Great Cosmic Game Clock.
Fate has woven within it
an intrinsic twist.
Mortals may never know
what lies around the curve.
Our fates entwined, I am carried along her wandering course.
Only the river has changed.
Here, within my canoe, I remain the same.
Now looking out at a different landscape.
Everyone can do something.
Seek peace and stay well,
“I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I wanted: and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot comfortably enjoy what God has given them, because they see and covet something he has not given them. All our discontents about what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.”
– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
“There is something sacred about stillness. The world has not changed outside our bounds, we just realize peace and tranquility are possible, if we make space for it.”
– Ed Lehming, From Where I Stand
“If your environment is poor, blame yourself. Tell yourself you are not poet enough to call forth its richness.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Horas non numero nisi serenas.
“I count only the happy hours.”
continue to echo,
to circle back,
time and again.
multiplexing on a vector
with the present season.
Like practicing a song
you know by rote,
until you know it
Such newfound joy I behold each year
When April’s song bends my ear.
The robins’ whistle by the fence,
The gobble of the turkey thence.
The warblers chatter, the swallows dart
In living, breathing, springing art.
From Earth rises all manner of things,
As if for the deaf April also sings.
First crocuses, Colt’s Foot and shad will bloom,
Then tulips and daffodils vie for room.
Trees, still leafless, seem eager and greener,
As if taking cues from the grass’s demeanor.
The sky looks bluer, the clouds fly higher,
The sun warms our face like the past winter’s fire.
The wind brings with it no freezing strife,
But the essence of growth, the breath of life.
As each day grows longer ‘tween end and start,
So, too, warms and grows hope in the heart.
Crocuses are blooming now, and Canada geese migrate northward. The air each day hints more of spring. The song of the red-winged blackbird fills the yard. Sunsets are lavender then orange. Mornings sport foggy patches, and the deer have come down out of their winter yards.
The beautiful world has been busy being beautiful for a long, long time. Make that a very, very, very long time. Nothing to date has affected her all that much. The sky is still aquamarine blue, and clouds in the sun will reveal rainbow colors if you look closely.
The grass is greening as green as any year, and dandelions have wasted no time getting started. The trail greets Sassy and me with the same joyous embrace we have come to know, and the air smells as sweet as any spring I can remember.
Mankind has always sought out and marveled at beauty. Nature and the arts. Throughout recorded history we have breathlessly described new frontiers. We have written ballets devoted to the seasons, composed and choreographed the essences of life’s beauty to be displayed upon the stage. We have written books of adventure, love, poetry. Songs that embrace light and love, devotion and bravery. We have painted and drawn and sculpted masterpieces attempting to convey our overwhelming joy to be witnesses to this marvelous world.
These things have never tired, never faded: the world’s beauty and humankind’s appreciation of it.
Humans have observed and recorded beauty at all times. All times throughout history.
During bountiful years and seasons of drought.
During times of enlightenment and growth as well as times of darkness and evil.
During plentiful times, and times of starvation and death.
We can hope and dream with all our might, yet we must bow to the unwavering truth that there will be some dark days for most of us during the courses of our lifetimes. That there will be dark times for our world.
Humankind has harnessed the power of light. It began long ago with a fire in a cave. It continued as gaslights recorded in the stories of O. Henry and Charles Dickens. It entered modern times with Mr. Edison’s curious invention. It has followed us into the future with lasers carrying our telecommunications, and solar farms gathering the power of the sun for our use.
And so it is the power of beauty and light that I will embrace now.
There will be lilacs in May.
There will be peonies in June.
There will be raspberries in July.
There will be morning glories in August.
You have plenty of places elsewhere to read about the darkness.
Let’s keep our eye on the lighthouse, and keep the lamp lit.
Let’s marvel at the sweep of the beacon through the fog.
Until the storm has passed.