On the way in to my paid work office, I notice the sky, showing off the way it does. The trees drop their leaves and stand naked in the cold just so it can be seen more clearly. It’s why buildings have windows. It might be why we have eyes.
I am walking the dogs at Lee Martinez Park when the bells of St. Joseph’s start to ring. They mark the hour of this day, ringing now, here, but in my mind, in my memory and my heart, they are also sounding and counting all the hours of my childhood spent in the St. Boniface parish.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Sometimes when it’s the brightest, what I notice is the shadows, like the dark lines of our Aspen tree branches against our garage door this morning.
Sometimes waking up is a really long process. When I said I was only staying in for a few minutes, I meant it. But when there’s someone else willing and able to feed the dogs, give Dexter his medicine, and when Sam comes back after he’s finished eating and cuddles next to me, warm and soft and so relaxed, listening to his breathing becomes a lullaby and a few minutes stretches into a few hours.
Eyes dilated from a visit to the optometrist, I realize how precious my sight. I can’t work on the computer, paid work or my own, can’t see anything, everything is blurry, too bright. My eyes feel swollen, achy, dry and itchy. I can’t focus to read a book, take a walk or even sit still outside, and when I try to watch TV, I have to close my eyes and just listen. Finally, I give up and sleep.
This morning, as I scrapped ice off my car so I could see to drive through the freezing cold to yoga class, it hit me: everyone on my block has taken down their Christmas lights. No wonder it’s so dark around here, seems so quiet, so early, so late, so lonely, so sad. I try to cheer myself up, remind myself that the days are getting longer, warmer, that spring is coming, but it doesn’t work. I get in my car and drive away, into the dark morning that looks so much like the middle of the night.
In the backyard, still covered by a thin layer of snow, the weather feeling more like spring than winter, we play. Bowing, running, chasing, wrestling, biting, bumping into each other, rolling around, barking/laughing, with a single toy and big love connecting us, all of us awake and alive, together in this shining, brilliant moment, “soft and unrepeatable,” (Mark Nepo).