Some days the world is so beautiful that it is almost difficult to bear.
Today is one of those days, the sunlight slanting with its brave winter light, the breeze turning every leaf, every leaf into a show stopping carousel, the air mild but cool enough to let us walk, run if we can, or just sit watching the wavelets flurry over the estuary, lit up like a dancer on her first solo gig.
At the garden where we run our dog little kids are playing on the field, running after giant balloons glistening in the air.
Is this eden?
This has been a terrible year and next year may be even worse.
But we’re good at this now. We can take it. We know how to go inside and stay there, to read stupid books and bake banana bread.
We had to learn so much this year:
How to zoom and facetime
How to cook even better
How to shop for a week
How to treasure our friends and loved ones, to keep in touch, to try and comfort where we can
We learned to set goals, make plans, rules, schedules and how not to count on them happening
Lunch dates, trips, even camping trips, things at the store that we never thought of before
I got a new passport in January and by March I needn’t have bothered
We defeated and will soon de-seat a tyrant who is at the same time a moron
We had to celebrate births and mourn deaths on line but we found out that we could
That a word from a friend meant everything, even a texted one
That a hug remembered, a kiss only wished for blown across the screen or across the lawn, was not as good but was just as precious as it ever could be
Distances vanished in distinction, everyone was verboten to touch either here or three thousand miles away
But the distances, the distances…as the poet said.
The distances are nothing next to a day like today
Nothing next to looking in my son’s eyes from 3,000 miles away, longer and deeper than I ever could if he was sitting next to me, too mommyish, too me
Nothing next to this glorious day where we are still here on this beautiful rock
Listening to one another over air and space
Isolated and nostalgic, feeling caged in and a little bored but still somehow here, together.
So to those of you who are still alive
I promise you this:
For every sad dark moment we have to face this year
Together, yet apart,
I promise to remember the beauty of this splendid, glorious morning
And to share it with you, if I can.