Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Crispness of Is

Weather made headlines again yesterday in our little corner of the state. We had about 20 inches of snow, not the most that hit the area, but quite a thick, furry blanket of the white stuff. It was indeed a wonder coming down and down and down. Son of Mando and his best friend joined me in clearing a few sidewalks and driveways, only to find them completely covered by new snow and drifts just a couple hours later. Resistance was futile, so we made pizza -- alfredo with chicken, tomatoes, and portabellos (and yes, we have no Romano, Leotaprof) -- settled into a favorite old movie ("I think this was Gennaro....I think this was, too") before turning the clocks ahead an hour.

I always hate losing that hour but in the wake of the biggest storm of the year, suddenly it didn't matter as much. Mother nature stood before any and all plans and firmly said, "Not today, you won't." And so it was we drifted into sleep, completely surprised to find the snow stopped and the sun shining full and bright in our morning sky.

The air is never as crisp and clean as after the snow. A friend told me this is because snow actually acts as a sort of air filter, grabbing all kinds of pollutants on its way down through the atmosphere. But all I know is, it sure smells good, like after it rains. It's a smell of the present, of is.

That's where I spent my weekend. In is. Looking backwards, looking ahead too far, neither has profited me much in any way. I started a new book this weekend by Jungian James Hollis, and I am ready again to go deep, let things be, sit a while with "is" to the degree that I can.

Despite the snow the kids and I made a busy day of it again. After a swim -- what's more refreshing in 12 degree weather than a trip to the pool? -- and a little goofing off at a kids' fitness fair where my daughter did 15 pushups, 30 situps, and a whole lotta running around -- she made a few "birdfeeders" and ventured out to hang them. She said she "brought the birds out of hiding", much like the sun brought us out. After a satisfying and spicy pot of chili, we settled in to wind down with another favorite flick and all too soon it was bedtime. These weekends with them always go too quickly.

Tomorrow I hope I can take "is" with me. I hope I can take the clean crisp air, the goofy way my daughter braided her hair as a silly surprise, the dedication with which my son and his friend plowed everyone out and then hit the snow for fun far away through the woods, the beauty and power of the storm as it covered us with a layer of nature's soundproofing, the picture of my tall skinny son and his little sister less than half his height striding alongside each other at poolside while they hatch a new game. Too soon these moments will be gone, and we'll be remembering them over the phone a dozen years and a hundred miles or more away. But not yet. Not just yet.

Turning Around
From Two Journeys
(Tim O'Brien (Howdy Skies Music/Universal Music Pub, ASCAP))
Turnin Around © 2001 Tim O'Brien

From where you sit you cannot see it
No one watches anyway
No one stops to listen for it
Covered by the sounds of day

But we each play our own part in it
Nothing that you need to learn
Every breath from birth to dying
We all help the world to turn

Turning like the water flowing
From the mountains to the sea
A gentle wind that keeps on blowing
Pray that it will always be
Turning around, this old world, turning around

Through the window I can see you
In the garden sewing seeds
Hand and heart with rain and sunshine
Growing what the family needs
Need it like the water flowing
From the mountains to the sea
Keep the roots and branches growing
Pray that they will always be
Turning around, this old world, turning around

All God's creatures have their own way
Knowing how and what to do
Buzzing bees and birds a singing
Like I sing this song for you

Sing it like the water flowing
From the mountains to the sea
This melody that keeps on going
Pray that it will always be
Turning around, this old world, turning around


At March 09, 2008 9:46 PM, Anonymous Fearless said...

I have always loved that TimSong. Just wait until ya hear the new one!

I once saw a bumper sticker that said something to the effect of "Wouldn't it be great if the schools had everything they needed but the Pentagon had to hold bake sales?"

First thing tomorrow morning, I have to turn in the funds we've raised for the kids' musical. We got by with a little help from some friends... check it out.

I just had the loveliest chat on the phone with Liz Carroll about how best to support my kids in their musical endeavors. I wish that I had taped it or something. Ya know, people over in Ireland still talk about "that kid" from America who came over as an 18 year old and won the Senior All Ireland fiddle championship. It took tremendous sacrifice from her family, but they never, ever held it over her. They never threatened, bluffed or cajoled.. always just encouraged.

There are days (like right now) when I am tempted to get a shirt that says "Event Staff" on the front and "Transportation and Finance Dept." on the back.

But like Dr. Suess said "Oh, the places you'll go!"

At March 10, 2008 8:42 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hear, hear, Fearless. I have notecards somewhere with that motto so I'll send you some.

I can't believe your daughter hasn't made you a shirt like that. You and K both need one! I think I may be guilty of not encouraging my kids enough. Son of Mando really wants piano lessons but I haven't made that happen yet. Thanks for the encouragement.


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