Mywriting is a bit dire these days. Cause the writing on the wall is a bit dire. Since COVID crawled out of the news like Ringu, bad juju has been following everyone around. Since 2019 me and everyone else have been under this constant level of stress that I don’t even notice anymore. I don’t even notice how stressed I am until I have moments where I’m not.
I’d like to share a few of those moments with you.
My children are like delinquent ducks and getting them out the door is always a challenge. But yesterday as I was clucking them out we all looked up and we all saw it, a perfect rainbow in the sky. And in that moment I just stopped, and I just breathed, and for a second I could feel like they felt. I just felt joy.
Just a perfect rainbow, a prism in the sky. I felt the urge to capture it, to share it, but I can’t, so I just stood there and let it in. By the time we told their great-grandparents next door, it was already fading. Such a fleeting moment but when I was in it, I was in it. And that was everything.
I was walking past the cemetery where we buried Dom’s mother on Monday. The candle wax was still melted on her grave. Sometimes there’s cows in the graveyard and they always make me happy, but this time I saw just a flit of blue, out the corner of my eye.
It was a kingfisher, like the one we have in our garden, but just seeing that color brought me joy. I love those birds, they’re so beautiful, their beaks so comically large, their coat so riotously blue, it’s like the bluest sky just flying by. Every time I see them I feel lucky, and as my eye tracks them my mind stops wandering. The bird is flitting endlessly, but it stills my mind.
I was taking the kids home through traffic and the AC can’t handle the heat and we barely have fuel, but then we passed under a bo tree and for a moment each of its leaves just vibrated in the wind. I still remember when I first got glasses and I saw all the leaves on the trees, what had been a blur for so long. I still get that feeling sometimes, and I did that sunny afternoon.
The Buddha gained enlightenment under a Bo tree and he must have opened his eyes under one, seen the same leaves twinkling in the sun. They each vibrate on their own axis, with their own rhythm. You can almost hear them. For a second the voice in my head is quiet. We just listen to the silent sound.
These are just three happy moments. I wouldn’t say I’m sad—honestly, we’re so blessed given what’s going on—but there’s definitely this low level of worrythat’s just what it is to be an adult, in this year of our Lord, COVID-19. I don’t consciously carry it, but I can never put it down.
But sometimes the light comes through the trees, or a bird floats past the cemetery, or a rainbow appears in the sky. And for those moments, those brief moments, this is not the age of dying. It’s just a moment of being alive.