That greasy spatter of apprehension draining from Washington, sometimes becoming dread, seems to leach into every normal errand and action, but birds subdue its effect … and dogs and laughter and children. All of this adds up to less time pondering the damage done by the political ghouls who too often command my attention.
Our dogs begin pacing each morning at 5:30 or 5:45, hungry, up with the light, and in winter long before any light, but they rouse me, and I begin the day with them, comfortable creatures thankful for food and us and shelter from heat and storms and utterly intimate with the pulse of time outside of any other pressing concern. They happily only live.
The birds are a continual presence, my awareness of them as expansive as I can make it both here, glancing through windows at the trees knowing I’ll see something on the wing or feeding, and out walking, where I spend my time looking up, sensitive to movement, to the flits, loops and straight-shot trajectories of any number of species. If I have a spirit-animal, it flies.
My wife and good friends, family and colleagues at work are gifts. Their conversation is the great remedy for most aches. One wants to be heard. One learns to listen. Thus the exchange that helps us keep steady and courteous.
At work, I have been entertaining little children one morning a week for six months now — singing to and with them, reading stories, doing animal imitations together, being raucous and foolish. I used to teach mostly 18 year old’s so this has been an adjustment but less than one might imagine. They are a delight. That has forever been the case. I feel absolutely childish among them while also hovering and choosing each by name to make him or her feel as if they exist independently of every other fledgling around them meowing like kittens or making the spider climb the spout or growling like harmless tigers. One cannot become a misanthrope among them, and thus they perform a rescue mission on me too.
This is the great day of the year, I think, the day of longest light. I hope the light finds you wherever you are, and that you too have some bounties of the world come looking to lay hands upon you and lift you up.