I've been gone awhile. But now I'm back, and I promise, possums, Mama won't desert you again. Things are tough all over - I won't even go into the grisly details. Let's just say I've been getting a look firsthand at how America's doing.
This morning, as I drove to Aston to a specialty petshop that sells kitty litter which is no longer carried by regular stores, the radio smoothly announced the fact that we would be enjoying "snow showers". Well, duh. The white stuff was coming down fast and furious!
I used to love driving at night in L.A. during the rainy season, and have missed that sense of danger/adventure here in the Yeasty Easty. But today I was rewarded with that thrumming sensation along the spinal cord that announces to the rest of my body that something exciting is afoot. By the time I'd gotten my purchase (at 8:15am), we'd progressed from flurries to the real deal. I came home, poured a cup of hot coffee and settled at the kitchen table to stare out the french doors at the action.
Now it's an hour later, and the snow has virtually disappeared; only little ashen bits are floating and circling before landing on something and then melting. I can't help but think it's kind of like life these days. Things start looking worrisome, then dire, and you either prep for the worst or resignedly enjoy a cuppa while watching the inevitable.Then, suddenly: poof. What worried you disappears. Well, that's not exactly the case with our economy. What we feared most has happened. It's how we dig out that matters.
For twenty years, I enjoyed a level of success not many people in our country experience. And, for a living, I got to do something I truly loved. I bought a home, cars, nice clothes, vacations, fun nights out with friends. But during this time, I missed one important piece of information. I didn't realize that in everything, a pendulum is involved. Pendulums swing, my friends. I'm here to tell you, after the past three years, I can only hope my pendulum has swung to the farthest reaches of bad. But I know for a fact things could always be worse. That's why I fall asleep counting my blessings. I have health, I have a daughter, I have family, I have a roof over my head and food in the refrigerator. Maybe that doesn't sound like much to you, but if you were in my shoes, you'd know it's everything.
While I work hard to help that pendulum swing back, I do things ilke bake casseroles to take to St John's Hospice in Philadelphia. I reach out to people who need more help than I do. I listen, I touch, I pay attention. It gets to be exhausting at times, especially given that I'm dealing with a preposterous amount of wreckage in my own life. That's why when it snows, I get little shivers of joy.
Remember when snow days meant having the day off from school? Yes, parents weren't too crazy about them. But we lived for them. They were the pause button; if homework hadn't been completed, we had a stay of execution. Front yards filling with piles upon piles of snowy goodness seemed to say, "Hey, look kid, just for you: no consequences today!" It seemed like magic - like just about anything could happen. It's funny that all these years later, I think to myself, on a day just like today, that magic is underway. And maybe, just maybe, anything can happen.