With a teenage daughter and another grown daughter, I’ve long ago sunk ruggedly into a mantra of and life goes on that has ferried me through plenty of turbulent waters into smoother waters, always determined to seek calmness to keep my head together and keep working. Life and work have so long been synonymous for me, with brief forays into the pleasantness of family, of friends, of just life itself.
But I woke this morning thinking how impossible that mantra really is. Life is “going on” for so many people in such harder ways, so far away from me.
This week, I’ve been with my own family, sorting out the challenges of aging. Meanwhile, ordinariness reigns around me, with people coming and going to work, maybe buying bread and sausages for dinner, a bouquet of sunflowers for the table. How dear family life is, mine, yours, the families in bombed apartments in Ukraine.
In the end, of course, how much do our small thoughts and complicated opinions matter, anyway? Here I am, a small woman in a small Vermont village. In the face of bleak nihilism and despair, I return to the things that have made the truest sense to me — the sky that exquisitely changes from sunup to sundown, the liturgy of human language, laughter. There’s no answers here, only a reminder to myself that the wind brushes over my cheeks, and the wisdom that turns the globe is wider than my own imagination.