Tuesday, January 31, 2017

do you see what I see?

Not since I was Snowdrop's age (if then) have I done this: slept my way through a twelve hour night.

I wake up feeling much better. And I wonder if this happens to you sometimes? When you go through an illness, you remember how precious it is to feel fine and how important it is to appreciate and preserve those moments of calm as long as you can. Deliberately and continuously.

This is a tough assignment these days, but I have ideas!

My first step is to discontinue the project that I would roughly call "100 days of reading comments and writings of people who hate me."  I don't think I quite made it through 100. I began in ernest on the day of the election and that was not a full three months ago. But I did read tens of thousands of comments, especially in response to writings that seemed to encourage the winning side to raise its collective fist at people like me.

The thing is, I'm not unused to it. I lived here as a child when I was hated for my citizenship and allegiance to a country that was under so called communist governance. No elitist liberal bi-coastal stuff, but you know, the communist ideology that promised (successfully at that) jobs for all, no matter how economically feasible or how stifled economic growth would become.

I thought I'd learn something through my "100 day..." project. And I did: there is among a vast number of sore winners very little desire to engage, or discuss the pros and cons, or the merits of diverging ideas. There's hatred and name calling and mockery. No trumpeting of what's good, merely scorn for everyone who these days feels (like me) that perhaps we should walk carefully rather than take sudden and extreme and inexperienced steps in matters that invariably will have consequences -- good or dire, for millions.

So enough. I do not ever intend to surround myself with people who think like me. But I will cut back my readings in much the same way I narrow Ocean comments: say one nice thing about the opposing viewpoint or person holding it before I will even listen to you. And the minute I sense a mean-spirited undertone or worse -- the deliberate inciting of hostilities, I'm out of there.

In the meantime, it's breakfast as usual at the farmhouse. Here we are, still not enjoying sunshine, but hey, this dull gray stuff wont last forever! (And my breakfast buddy is a lot less cranky than the pic would have you believe!)


And at noon, a truly miraculous event takes place here, in Madison Wisconsin! As if in affirmation of a new direction, a new calm, a new sparkle to the world around me -- I see this!

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Oh glorious sunshine! How we've missed you!

It's not only sunny, but also quite mild: a few degrees above freezing.

Snowdrop is delighted when she sees that I have brought around the stroller for our walk back from school! Hello, sunshine!

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Lookin' around and feelin' groovy!

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I tell her that I have a surprise for her -- and only with a two year old can you make this appear to be a treat -- (upon the request of parents) it's haircut time!

We walk over to the local haircut place (Bang, where three generations of us get their hair trimmed) and I am just so impressed with the little one. The last time we were here, I basically held my breath hoping she'd last the three minutes it took to cut her hair. Today, so much more was expected of her: look down, look straight ahead, don't move, can we blow out loose hairs?

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Snowdrop couldn't have been more cooperative. High five, little one! (Lyndsy, her hair cut person said she has the gentlest high five in the world...)

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Looking good!

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Not that she is without spirit. She takes a nice gallop around the place while I settle the account.

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After -- well, it's so grand outside! I tell her we can try to visit the nearby playground, but I warn that it may be snow covered and inaccessible.

It is that, but I am able to wipe down the swing and she spends a few minutes flying high and squinting in the golden sunshine!

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As we walk home past the coffee shop, she notes its presence. I ask her if she'd like to pause for a quick snack. Yes!

Oh, it's been a long time since she and I have sat at a table while I broke off a piece of oatmeal raisin cookie for her and enjoyed a hot macchiato for myself! And again, I am so impressed with her maturity, her conversation, her willingness to follow suggestions.

(Do you see the blue of the sky reflected in her eyes? And the pink hands? Snowdrop, on the way home, let's put on those mitts!)

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At her house, she is radiant -- all smiles and playful spins. And I do notice this: if left to her own devices, here, as at the farmhouse, she favors people play. Put her in front of the train set and she'll pick up the little characters and make them climb bridges and woosh down hills while the train cars stand idle, or even get pushed out of the way!

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And of course, always always, there is that joyous Snowdrop run. Round and round.

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... faster and faster!

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Until I remind her it's time for a nap.

Later, much later, when dusk has taken hold, I cajole Ed into a walk up and down our rural roads.

(Here we are! Sauntering at sunset!)

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We watch a lone person walking the fields to the east of us. Is he planning for the season ahead? I haven't allowed myself to think much about spring, but today, I saw wisps of it again. And it felt so good, so uplifting!

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Do you see it too? Signs of spring? Maybe?