It's the winter solstice. After a bitterly cold stretch last week winter comes in with a warm whimper. Temps above or near freezing are forecast through Christmas. Rain, possibly heavy, is forecast on Christmas Day.
I haven't had much time to think about the solstice and haven't spent much time out enjoying the snow. Son Ryan and I did manage to get in a day of grouse hunting last week in sub-zero temps in the Nemadji State Forest.
This week has been a different story. Our fourth grandchild, Mabel Rose, was born the 19th. I (we) have been helping with Mabel's sister Meadow, cooking, and trying to get ready for Christmas Eve and Day.
Mabel came a week early. I had written to someone last week that Mabel had dropped and was poised for her grand entrance in the world, but she now waited, perhaps pondering whether she really wanted to be born into Trumpland. If so she didn't wait and ponder too long. It was a rush to the hospital Monday morning followed by two hours of labor and two pushes. The delivering physician reportedly said, "well that was fun."
Whatever newborns think about, I am grateful it isn't thoughts about the times we live in. That kind of thinking - or is it brooding - is left to us adults. It would be pretty easy for me to slip into a state of despondency as I watch with horror the unveiling of the cast of characters in the next anti-Administration.
But for the children... We have much work to do and no time for despair. And so I call to mind this recent post by Kent Nerburn:
A wise woman named Robyn Sand Anderson just posted this in the blog comments as a possible theme of unification for those of us trying to make common cause for a better world in the face of what just happened. I love it. If it were within my power, I would plant it here and make it grow. But I am but one person, and none can say why some seeds grow and some do not. But this is a good seed. And it is a gesture of creativity in defiance of our collective shock and despair.
Thank you, Robyn. And to the rest of us, imagine the marchers for Black Lives Matter and the protesters at the pipeline and those meeting in the churches and those tweeting to their friends all doing so under the banner of “Our Children, Our Future.” Imagine it as a mantra rather than the traditional prayer at a religious family’s dinner. Imagine someone saying it from the pulpit and someone writing it in a zine.
Imagine it alive in our hearts as we move out from the shock of this dark moment.Our Children, Our Future.
Of such small things will our healing be made and a positive future shaped. A thousand flowers, my friends, a thousand flowers. Pick yourselves up and start to fix this mess, whether it is at your tables, in the streets, or in your tweets and blogs. Robyn’s phrase may not become a rallying cry. But maybe it will. And no matter what, she’s planting a flower, not staring blankly at the ashes. We’ve got to stand up. Our children need us. The future needs us. This is our time, because, for the first time in recent memory, we are united. Now we need to make the unification around a hope and a dream, not a common anger and dread.