I didn’t write much last week, the first time that’s happened since I committed to blog daily in May. Oops! If we are to communicate, we must keep up our end of the conversation, right? And when one falls silent, so does the other side.
It’s just, in the craziness of kids still at home, summer ending, work ramping up and all that jazz, well, I found it hard to find time to think, let alone speak, in the busy-ness of the day. And many days passed like that last week, until we hit this week and it’s a quiet, warm, humid morning, gray with rain, the ground saturated and moist from a silent rainy night.
Down South, people are being battered by a Hurricane. Dan and I wondered yesterday why anyone would choose to live in a place which, year in and year out, is pummeled with horrific storms, some of which can destroy everything.
Here in Michigan, we have no extremes anymore – no extreme winter, sometimes extreme heat in the summer but then it breaks into days in the 70s and besides, it’s never as extreme as my friends who live in Arizona. There is always some place worse.
On Saturday, we went to Canada for a yoga fundraiser for breast cancer. Katherine Austin, owner of Karma Yoga, headlined the event. From the other side of the Detroit River, our city looked majestic.
There’s always another perspective.
I remember a cold February night a year or so after the divorce, when I took Asher and Eliana downtown to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday in Eastern Market. We were on our way to Roma Cafe, Grandma’s favorite Italian restaurant from so many decades earlier and allegedly Detroit’s oldest Italian restaurant still in operation.
In the dark of the night, we drove the highway service drive to turn around one of those Michigan lefts and a homeless man sat by the cold roadside with a cardboard sign asking for money. Asher was probably 6 years old, maybe 7, and he said, “Mommy, we have to help him!”
I turned the corner and the man was out of sight.
I bristled at the many lessons unfolding in front of my children. I didn’t stop to help. It was cold and dark and this was the other side of the city. When he asked why I didn’t stop to help, I said the more pressing need was keeping my children safe. It was the fear talking or maybe the sense, I don’t know – there is always another perspective.
It’s almost time for back to school and the house is filling with pencils and notebooks. We have to write names in permanent marker on the backpacks and lunch boxes. We have new water bottles without cracked lids ready to go.
Next week, routine starts. But the routine always changes. Always another perspective, always another attempt at order.
I’ll try harder to communicate, keep up my end of the relationship, rather than just get stuck in the hamster-cycle of running from point A to point B. Maybe it was the news that another friend died of breast cancer last week, my age, unexpected. Maybe it was the lack of focus in my meditation. Maybe it was just the natural course of how life goes – some weeks you get it better than others.
On the way home from Canada, over the Ambassador Bridge, the only cloud in the pink setting sky was a huge angel wing. Feathery and delicate, but definite right there in front of me. They were watching, guiding, consoling. There is always another perspective.