making the day what it can be, in the winter of should have/would have

Thursday, March 5, 2015

We're frustrated. Face it. We are. Our delayed trip to see our daughter. Our thwarted trip to see the sun. Our meeting that's been canceled. Our promise we can't keep.

This is our weather, and this is our now. We've tilted our planet on its axis, so to speak, and the planet was always going to be larger, and more powerful, than we are.

Today I was to have joined Professor/Writer Cyndi Reeves and her students at Bryn Mawr College to talk about memoir. I was to have later lunched with her and her teaching colleague. After that I was to have headed down to the Philadelphia Flower Show with my husband, looked at flowers and pots, and joined my friend Adam Levine for the official launch of his glorious horticultural magazine, GROW. And finally, 8 o'clock, thanks to my brother and sister-in-law, I was to have dined at Laurel, the "intimate French/American BYO restaurant by Chef/Owner Nicholas Elmi." (Top Chef viewers will remember him.)

All of that now jeopardized, junked, postponed, terminated by all the snow that falls.

"Peaceful out there," my husband just said, having opened the door and stood, for a moment, in the white plenitude. "Peaceful." I stop typing. Can barely hear the wind. Can almost hear a train on its track. Can see no one in the street, no car passing.

Peaceful, he says.

Make the day what the day can be, I remind myself. A lesson that my son keeps teaching. A lesson that the world is demanding that we learn—again. Make the day what the day can be. In this sudden wash of white time, I will write an essay about my students, My Spectaculars, and what they teach me (and us). I will count the eggs and measure the sugar and experiment, again, with my new KitchenAid. I will read the new memoir, Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah, by my brilliant friend, Anna Badkhen, who walks the world to learn the world and who whispers one word, again and again: compassion.

Peaceful. To you, from me, while the planet reminds us how small we are, how temporary and shifting our plans.


Unknown said...

Your husband is wise...very wise. As a telecommuting worker, my daughter will have to wait for snow fun but I plan to make the most of it with her after work to make up for my working.

Susan J Tweit said...

Beautiful piece, Beth. The plant and its interwoven web of lives (ours included) is indeed larger than our individual days and lives, and as the bumper sticker says, "Nature bats last." Which doesn't mean we can't learn to find the blessing in the moment and the frustrated plans, as you did. Blessings to you both!

Lindsey said...

Oh, yes. Thank you for this reminder to be here now and to surrender to what is. I do love the way the weather has reminded us of our place in the grand scheme of things (small)!

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

This is the gift a storm gives: an enforced pause, a slowdown, silence, uncommon beauty.

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