The clock ticks 6 a.m.
Outside our Little House in the Big Woods the wind howls fiercely. Father November has thrown a deep cloak of blackness across the breasts of trees and the wood stove sputters in the basement.
Barry still slumbers.
I must drive to work through darkness, hoping the wind won’t snap huge branches awry on the roads. Florida feels long ago, a dream perhaps.
I shall schedule this post to appear at 9 a.m., when you’re awake, when darkness lifts its cloak and the world promises new possibilities.
We’ve lost our health insurance come January. Blue Cross canceled us last month, even though Obama promises reinstatement. That promise won’t matter; our employer won’t offer health insurance anymore. We’re perusing the Marketplace. Will we be winners or losers? We may be poor enough to qualify for some subsidies; we may be rich enough to lose everything. It’s Russian Roulette.
I listened to the TV news in Florida and witnessed why folks despair. What fear-mongering! I am so glad we can’t get TV service anymore. (We could buy satellite if we so desired, which we don’t.)
It would be so easy to lose hope if one listened and resonated and believed the awful stories which endlessly circulate. One might think the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. (We’re always going to hell in a hand-basket, every generation moans. What’s the world coming to, anyway? How will we escape the earth’s demise, the politician’s greed, the killer’s rage?)
This is my weekly blessing post.
I feel rich beyond any fears. Beneath the mind’s constant hopes and despairs, beneath the latest tragedy and suffering, the world gleams a treasure. I don’t know why, but hope shines stronger in me than anything. To lose hope would be a travesty, a wound bleeding endlessly.
Our lives are filled with fears and worries, if we allow them dominance, if they overcome the still pond which always surrounds us before we resonate with our latest possible devastation. Yet how many unspeakable things have happened? Have we been cast penniless, broken, despairing upon the shores of unthinkable suffering?
Perhaps some folks have drown in the quicksand of suffering. I know it’s possible to take one’s life in overwhelming despair; to say “enough” and shoot the gun, swallow the poison, choke away breath. Perhaps terrible illness or death or indignity or hunger has whittled away hope until it shivered and curled up around itself.
If the unthinkable happened, I perhaps naively imagine still turning toward the horizon of hope, toward that mirrored pond beneath the mind’s tumult, to discover where grace lingers at the edges, where it’s preparing to sprout, where new opportunities will grow.
Perhaps I’m deluding myself, but it’s a delusion which continues. In the midst of the sorrow, in the midst of darkness, in the midst of wind blowing fiercely, in the midst of losing health insurance: I can almost see the resolution of grace, the shining blessing disguised in loss, the way we can still dance unimpeded in the pouring rain, tree branches falling everywhere, still praising our opportunity to be alive, yes, alive, on this confusing, chaotic, fearful, joyful planet.
I will not be shackled to fear, oh no, oh please no.
I once read a story about souls begging to incarnate, to birth. “Give us another chance to be alive!” they insist.
“Would you come even if your destiny is to die in the dust of Somalia, a bullet in your back, hunger in every move?”
“Yes!” say the souls, “Anything to be alive again…”