I woke up this morning to the sound of what seemed like hundreds of birds chirping. Lovebug, my sweet cat, was still snuggled, undisturbed by the unease I felt. I looked out my bedroom window and there he was — a fat Robin going about his normal hunt for worms. And moments later the landscapers arrived, pots of colored pansies ready for planting around the grounds. Daffodils had appeared out of nowhere overnight. A few crocuses and hyacinths peeked out shyly. It is gray and chilly, but without a doubt, Spring is on its way!
How is it possible, I asked myself? This normal change of seasons, so beautiful and an ancient routine. How can it be, when the world seems to have gone mad? When every day a new crisis arrives or intensifies, and ugliness is the new season that makes its arrival?
That is the question I find myself asking. Do I have the right to feel cozy and safe, blessed by the appearance of flowers and birds, the sun gently warming the air with the aroma of freshness, while my cat naps unaware of the dangers and horrors that lurk everywhere? How can I write about the magic of Spring when everything around me is dreadful, frightening and sad?
I feel guilty and useless. And yet, there they are. The life-affirming, spectacular everyday events that go on no matter what.
I think this is what gives me faith. Or at least helps me to understand the concept and embrace it. Somehow, peace, kindness and beauty can coexist with war, cruelty, and destruction. And when things look impossibly bleak, too hard to even comprehend, God or the Universe or whatever gives you hope – gives you Pansies, Daffodils and a Robin.
So this morning, I will make my favorite coffee, toast a slice of homemade raisin walnut bread, fill the bird feeders, brush Lovebug, do my chores, and try to find some way to live with this Paradox Of Life.
I will have Faith.
Carole Leskin is a retired Director of Global Human Resources. Embarking on a second career as a writer and photographer concentrating on her personal accounts of aging, her essays and poetry, frequently accompanied by her photos, are published in Jewish Sacred Aging, Jewish Women of Words, Starts At 60, Navigating Aging ( a Kaiser Health publication), Women’s Older Wisdom, Time Goes By and Next Avenue. Her poems, “Father Time” and “Carole’s Debate” were selected for inclusion in the 2019 anthologies of poetry, New Jersey Bards. Her photos have been featured in Mart R Porter Nature Forum.