A Great ___________ Happened There

IMG_20141212_114706This morning, I set a timer for ten minutes and wrote. Stop start stop start stop, then finally finding some flow. it came when I got to god, which became God, which became G-d. Light blue pen sliding over the white paper like a cormorant glides over the surface of the water, how it looks so effortless and what we don’t see is all of that furious action below. It takes effort to stay upright, you know? Which is to say, to keep writing.

But sometimes, it’s when I ease up on my death-grip that I start seeing the blind spots and hearing the stories of the undertow. G-d, glide, ocean moon tide pull that I never sit around thinking I need to better understand in order to live and love and grow. To be a grown-up is to be the dash in G-d’s name, held there evenly when the question of balance itself is what throws my balance, like in a yoga pose, how I can stand on one leg without thinking but the moment I think about balance, I fall.

Miracles. My girl in the school concert last night, coming onto the stage with 130 other kids. They are all dressed in black and white and she had blue mardi gras beads in her pink ponytail. I look up at her and think, wow. Miracle. Named after my grandmother. Four generations of sisters, five, four, three, two, and there she is singing, one voice among 130 others, yet it is easy to hear hers. Later, in the middle school cafeteria, her friend bounds up to me to ask how I knew all the words–she’d seen me singing along to Coldplay and Matisyahu–and I tussle her hair that’s curly and reminds me of me when I was a kid in that very school nearly 30 years ago. I’m that mom, I think to myself, as my daughter hugs me, barely an inch shorter than me now.

**

So. I started this post five days ago.

I keep wanting to write about the missing nun on the red dreidel our rabbi gave to Aviva. Nes Gadol Haya Sham means “A Great Miracle Happened There.” Nun, gimel, hey, and shin are the four letters on the dreidel, one on each side. Nun is the Hebrew letter for nes, the miracle part of the equation.

The nun side of Aviva’s new dreidel was blank. She wrote one in with a black sharpie.

The word for “miracle” has the same root letters as the word nesiya, or test.

And so it is that for nearly two weeks, I’ve been contemplating the missing miracle. What it means to write in our own, as if adding a name to the ballot. The inherent connection between tests and miracles.

Now that I’m finally sitting down to write about it, though, it’s lost its juice. I thought about it enough and decided not to try to make something of it; the metaphor is so obvious that it doesn’t require any further explication. Must every small thing hint at some greater, hidden meaning?

I spent much of the day with the girls, driving to the bank for them to deposit holiday gift money from grandparents, to Target, where V went off by herself to get gifts for me, Mani, and Pearl. To drop Aviva at a rehearsal and Pearl at a gingerbread-house party. To CVS to pick up an electrolyte drink for Mani, who has an appointment Monday to do diagnostic tests for Mast Cell Activation Disorder; her symptoms and prognosis fit those of this “orphan disease” to a t.

Around 4:00pm, I took a late-afternoon walk by myself to Sunset Farm, down the street from our place, literally running through the field of frozen kale to catch the light before it faded. The geese–which I’d seen, and heard, early this morning–came flying overhead from the north by the dozens. It was as if they knew that tomorrow is the first day of winter. I imagined them procrastinating, weeks behind the others.

Tonight, I cooked dinner. and then the four of us lit the menorahs in the kitchen. After dinner, Aviva got busy in her room, her new portable record player blasting a slightly warped-sounding Beatles album, and made a gift for my parents involving crayons, posterboard, and a hair dryer. Pearl, too, was in a creative mood; she made a calendar out of a calendar, cutting off the months and repositioning them all on printer paper with scotch tape.

I tried not to dwell on the weird lower-back ache that has been plaguing me for a while now, savoring instead the few minutes when Pearl put her arm tight around me while we watched the beginning of a movie, and taking extra enjoyment in reading Stuart Little and singing You Are My Sunshine to her while she sniffled and coughed and fell asleep. The child who almost never gets sick, who buys onesies for her teacher’s newborn baby and can’t wait for their visit to her class on Tuesday.

“We need a rest from ourselves that only a night like the winter solstice can give us.” This, from a beautiful piece about the Solstice in today’s New York Times.

Maybe that’s what this thinking about miracles and tests and what’s missing and what we can write in the blank amounts to: The longest night of the year. A child’s arm, reaching for me. Forgiving the fusses and accepting the unforeseen, maybe even appreciating the way the hard, scary things throw into high relief the obvious, the miracles, the blessings of us, together. Rest.

That was what occurred to me, when I first stepped outside today. I texted Mani, “It’s a good day already.”

In moments of wondering if I am shallow or selfish, I’m more likely to lose my balance Usually, these times also correspond with trying too hard–tipping the scales from doing for others because I love them and I want to, to doing more than necessary and slipping into martyr mode.

A rest from the tyranny of trying so hard to do and be enough.

This is the part where I learn that another meaning of nesiya is “journey.” A couple of days ago, there was an end-of-semester holiday lunch for the Student Life staff at Hampshire, where I work. I sat with my coworkers from the career office, along with other colleagues. At one point, a few of us were talking about walking in the woods around campus. Someone at the table said she thinks the trails actually move around. I knew exactly what she meant. I told Pearlie about it tonight, in fact, while we were snuggling. “But that’s impossible,” she said.

I agreed, it is. And yet.

Something about it made complete sense to me. There have been times I’ve set out into those trees on my lunch break, sure I knew where I was going, and ended up in a field I didn’t know existed, or so turned around I wondered if I’d ever find my way back to my office, only to emerge by the farm, or the tennis courts, totally unclear on how that had happened.

Do the trails move?

Are the tests just journeys?

Are the miracles blanks, waiting for us to get out our sharpies and participate?

Is the ache a wake-up call to pay attention?

Is illness a gateway to some stripped-down awareness of love, which over and over ends up being the only thing that matters, and everything, at that?

Do not strive for an easy life, said Liza, the director of Spiritual Life, at Thursday’s luncheon, following a presentation of Japanese archery that moved me so deeply with its silence and intention and letting go, thinking of my aunt who is in her final days of life, and of my mom’s cousin who recently died in a car accident, of the many, many people Mani is connecting with these days whose lives have been radically impacted and altered by an illness most people have never even heard of, or my kids’ boundless hearts and sass and creativity and even their moments of seeming ingratitude, that come around in spades when I am honest with them, let them see that I, too, need to feel acknowledged and appreciated.

And then, in the end, at least in the end of this long, sprawling post, the journey is this: To allow space for all of it.

Not to hide, fear, justify, or diminish emotion, or be hard on myself.

Sometimes, a poem reaches you at just the right moment. Direct, the way a good friend can be, calling bullshit and reminding you of who you are and what the miracle really is. That’s how I felt when I read “Not This” by Olena Kalytiak Davis, from a collection my dad gave me last week:

my god all the days we have lived thru
saying

not this
one, not this,
not now,
not yet, this week
doesn’t count, was lost, this month
was shit, what a year, it sucked,
it flew, that decade was for
what? i raised my kids, they
grew i lost two pasts–i am
not made of them and they
are through.

we forget what
we remember:

each of the five
the fevered few

days we used
to fall in love. 

I will not spend my life saying, “not this.” I will not lose day after week after month after year, banging around wondering what the test is and how do I pass it?

You’re the only one grading you, Mani said gently, as we talked last night.

And then, without striving, something happens: I fall in love again, as I did today with my life, my wife, and my girls and myself. May these days not be the exception, the “fevered few,” but the norm.

Yes, this.

I’ve Lost Touch with Her

tumblr_ls98llINzX1qbqq5fo1_500I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be. –Joan Didion

OK. I have been sitting in front of this quote for twenty minutes already.

And I wrote that sentence ten minutes ago.

So half an hour has passed for me, since the Joan Didion quote, though only a moment has passed for you, and if I were a different writer, I’d be starting to worry that I will lose you if I don’t say something interesting soon. Or witty. Or beautiful or insightful.

I’ve lost touch with her though. The one who wants to hit a home run–or run home. The one who would wait for the muse, for inspiration, for brilliance. The one with so much to prove: I’m working hard! I’m worthy! Look, Ma! Look, world! 

I Google her name sometimes. She’s not online. I dream about her, too. She was always trying her best and it was never enough, and she compared herself to all of the amazing people out there. Mostly, she struggled.

I’ve lost touch with someone I used to be. Someone who fought reality, a losing battle. Someone who questioned herself at every turn. Someone who tried and tried to get it right. Someone who apologized, left and right. Someone at turns depressed and defensive. Someone longing longing longing stuck on repeat same song different station.

She didn’t do anything wrong. I just realized, gradually, that we were growing apart. As I grew, and grew up, I grew tired of focusing on the past. On what didn’t last. On recycling stories and eyeing the neighbors and obsessing about things like income and life over there, always over there where I wasn’t quite… where my life wasn’t quite right.

I haven’t forgotten her. But whereas she would have waited, I’ve leapt and leapt and leapt again. It is in the leaping that I’m learning to let her lie. Unlearning the lies, that love is this fragile thing that requires great caution. That my safest place is in a clinch with myself in a boxing ring. That memory is a place of safety, when really, it may be the opposite–it may be that memory can also be a cage. That vision is a source of inspiration, when really, it may be that aspiration asphyxiates and stifles the kind of sinking in to What Is that brings relief. I can let down my guard now, with her far away.

Who I was when I began this post , now forty-five or so minutes ago? Am I the same? Are you? What changes, when we arrive to the place where we are actually living? In my case, that place is here, sitting next to my wife in bed, where we are both writing, listening to The Lumineers. Sheets are in the washing machine. I can feel a draft from the window behind my head. The space heater is working extra hard and I’m glad utilities are included in our rent, the rent that is higher than any mortgage my old self had and thought was too much.

If she were here now, she might say things are not ideal. She’d point out what was, what isn’t, what could be, what should be different. She’d sigh questions. Why don’t you have a couch? Aren’t you worried about this, and this, and this, and that other thing? 

It’s a relief, to settle into life without talking myself into it. Maybe I am writing the same thing I’ve always written, about being here. It could well be true, but I’m new. Always new. But new and improved? No. It’s just that I’ve come to know choosing.

In the mornings, Mani drives me to work. In the car, we each say five things. Five good things we can come back to throughout the day. Happy kids, the potential for a snow day. Karma. Breathing. Choice. Gratitude. Radical perspectives on things that might otherwise twist us into a tailspin of fear and certain doom. An evening together.

I glance over and Mani’s looking up quotes. She’s listening to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. I’m loving her. I’m loving my life. I’ve lost touch with someone I used to be, who dwelled in fantasy, who created struggle where there was none and swallowed anger to smooth it over when there was.

Hidden, internal, better, different. Her themes, her dreams, her locked-up imaginary never-really-here-but-always-talking-herself-into-presence ways exhausted me. Sometimes, I still have to remind myself, that I don’t have to keep up in order to keep being loved. Life no longer has to be over there / behind the shelf.*

And so I come back after many years to the last stanzas of Anna Swir’s poem, Myself and My Person:

I stop
at a street corner to turn left
and I wonder what would happen
if my own person walked to the right.

Until now that has not happened
but it does not settle the question.

I walked to the right, she to the left. She kept looking back, but I’ve finally stopped with the Lot’s Wife business.

I look up and around instead, eyes forward, finally seeing where I am, finally not so concerned with where it is I’m going or who I’ll be, when I get there.

* Emily Dickinson (640) 

I #SupportWNDB – The Series: LET’S!

I “met” Madhuri Blaylock only recently. It was after the November 21 National Book Awards, where Jacqueline Woodson won a prize for Young People’s Literature for her book, Brown Girl Dreaming.

After Woodson gave her acceptance speech, to a standing ovation, host Daniel Handler, made a watermelon “joke” that, in Woodson’s words, reminded her and the world, “in the form of a wink-nudge joke about being black.”

In an eloquent and moving op-ed, Woodson elaborates:

In a few short words, the audience and I were asked to take a step back from everything I’ve ever written, a step back from the power and meaning of the National Book Award, lest we forget, lest I forget, where I came from. By making light of that deep and troubled history, he showed that he believed we were at a point where we could laugh about it all. His historical context, unlike my own, came from a place of ignorance.

In a PR shitstorm, Handler went on to apologize, and to announce a huge matching gift to We Need Diverse Books, a grassroots organization committed to diversifying children’s literature. I was incensed about the whole thing and, though newish to Twitter, tweeted: “1. Be racist. 2. Apologize. 3. Donate money. 4. Do not repeat.”

Madhuri Blaylock retweeted this, and thus, I met a kindred spirit. (In small-world fashion, it turns out we overlapped in college for a year.)

In addition to my good fortune of finding Madhuri’s writing, the whole episode introduced me to We Need Diverse Books. Again, I’ll quote Ms. Woodson:

Mr. Handler’s watermelon comment was made at a time of change. We Need Diverse Books, a grass-roots organization committed to diversifying all children’s literature, had only months before stormed the BookCon conference because of its all-white panels. The world of publishing has been getting shaken like a pecan tree and called to the floor because of its lack of diversity in the workplace. At this year’s National Book Awards, many of the books featured nonwhite protagonists, and three of the 20 finalists were people of color. One of those brown finalists (me!), in the very first category, Young People’s Literature, had just won.

Madhuri has been running a series on her blog to support the work of WNDB, the efforts of which could not feel more critical than now, in light of police officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo walking away from justice, along with how many others, while racism runs rampant on scales micro and macro every single day in this country where equality still doesn’t reign.

I was struggling to articulate my feelings about all of this a few days ago, and wrote as much on Facebook. When Madhuri asked me if I’d guest post for her series in support of WNDB, of course I said yes. Because damnit, we have to be the change. Racism is not born, it’s made. And so much begins at home, with the books we read, the images we see, the stories we learn and spread in the world.

supportwndbRead my guest post:
I #SupportWNDB – The Series: LET’S!.

And there are only 5 days left in the WNBD Indiegogo fundraising efforts to diversify everyone’s bookshelf. Donate to this vital campaign HERE.

WANT NOT

Poster_Patti_Be_Happy_in_Advance-page-001_large1150-1200; Middle English wante < Old Norse vanta to lack

1. require, crave. See wish. 3. need. See lack. 11. desideratum. 13.dearth, scarcity, scarceness, inadequacy, insufficiency, paucity, meagerness. 15. privation, penury, indigence. See poverty.

Yeah, there’s that. Want, require, crave, lack. How does that string of words make you feel?

It makes me feel like NOT wanting.

Yesterday morning, I took Pearl to Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, to get a new pair of winter boots. I was glad I had enough money to get her and her sister boots. She picked a pair she didn’t love, and when she started to complain just a little bit after we left the store, I told her we could return them. But we didn’t. Instead, we sang Don’t Stop Believing, the version from Glee her sister belts out and she rarely gets to sing herself. It was sweet, those few minutes with her in the car, just the two of us. I just like her company, that one.

We had also bought a pair of winter boots for Aviva, in what had turned into a bit of a comedy of boot-buying errors, but the ones we picked up were too small. I had a moment. The really-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me kind, when I realized I would have to make yet another trip down Route 9 (this would not be the fourth, or maybe fifth, boot expedition in as many days, and I was beginning to feel ridiculous and resentful). But then I stopped myself. I get to spend some time with my twelve-year-old daughter in the car. I get to get her winter boots, since her feet have grown exponentially since last year (they’re bigger than mine, now, and she loves to parade around the house in platform shoes, sidling up to me, almost eye-to-eye now).

So, we did that. We drove BACK to Sam’s. And she tried on a few pairs, not finding exactly what she wanted. What she lacked. But finally settling on a pair. And as she always does, she turned up the radio on our way back, and there were Christmas songs and we sang along and she said, laughingly, “I’m a bad Jew,” to which I responded predictably that there is no such thing as a “bad” Jew, and she said that despite her preference for bacon cheeseburgers, she is glad she’s Jewish. I asked her why. “Because Barbra Streisand and Idina Menzel are Jewish.” You’re in good company, I agreed, and then we turned up Sam Smith’s latest single and sang along, and for once she didn’t shush me or roll her eyes. And it was good, this time with her, just the two of us, in the car.

The evening before, Thanksgiving, after we came home from the afternoon at my parents’ house, I joined the two of them on the air mattress on our living room floor (a regrettable couch snafu left us couch-less, so we have to save for a new one) to watch Ramona and Beezus. For maybe a half hour before an inexplicable meltdown left both kids crying and our movie time cut short, we snuggled up, the three of us, in a way we don’t do all that often these days together. Pearlie’s head on my belly, V’s pushed up against my shoulder, blankets and pillows all around and below and on top of us, the overhead light out but the twinkle lights I strung up after our wedding making the room glow. We could have been watching Godzilla and I’d have felt all tender and lovey-dovey. Nothing fills me quite like snuggling up with my girls. (Though I have to self-correct; Pearl would rather I say, “My kids.” I’m working on it.)

Yesterday, we all went to Waltham for Thanksgiving Number Two, at my cousin and her wife’s house (is that my cousin-in-law?). Aviva got to ride shotgun with my oldest sister, who blasts music just the way V likes it. Mani read to me from our latest book, Hardwiring Happiness. As I drove, I noticed the clouds and the light, paid attention to how nice it was, to listen to her reading. I noticed how inclined I was to focus on the knot in my left shoulder. Instead, I listened:

 The norse root of the word want means “lack.” Wanting is different from inspiration, aspiration, commitment, intention, ambition, or passion. Can you aim high and work hard without getting caught up in drivenness? Based on a deficit or disturbance, wanting activates the reactive mode of your brain and feels contracted and stressful. Consider this saying: Liking without wanting is heaven, while wanting without liking is hell.

I remember when I was younger, and also not so much younger, liking an experience and not wanting it to end. Wanting to hold onto it, even as it was happening. Family gatherings had this quality, sometimes–the feeling of togetherness, always concurrent with fleetingness, that knowing that it will not last, knowing we will all part, later in the day, later in life.

It’s like the awakening all children experience, when they realize that everyone they love will, eventually, die. When this first dawned on Pearl–she was in maybe first grade–she was so sad, so frightened. She would cry, imagine me and her dad dying, all the older people in her life she loved, and worry that she would be all alone. I remember just holding her, and telling her that there would be new people–always with a God willing, because we never know what order things will happen in–that by that time, she would have grown up and met lots of other people who she would also love.

But it’s a very hard pill to swallow, when you’re little. Not necessarily that much easier, when you’re not so little.

We want–I want. I want to hold on to the together. I want to sing in the car with my kids. I want to call everyone on the phone not twenty minutes after a long Jewish goodbye to say thank you, to say I love you. I want to snuggle. And so I snuggle, and then Aviva throws a squishy ball at the TV for no apparent reason, and I asked her why she did that, and Pearl is mad because it’s her ball, and suddenly Aviva is slamming her door and blasting her Jewish heroines with all the lights out, and a tired third-grader is crying and asking for mac and cheese, and I’m glad, that for those few minutes of movie time, we snuggled. I’m glad, when a bit later, we’re all piled on our bed talking about who-knows-what, Aviva with bright pink lipstick and her Broadway fedora and Pearlie in her monster pajamas that are surely two sizes too small on her but she is nostalgic for being little because two was “her best year,” and this, too, is together.

Writing is how I remember: I want all of it. And I lack nothing. When we went around the table on Thursday, that was all I could really think to say: If you have food to eat, water to drink, a roof over your head, and people to ask for a hug who love you–everything else is extra. There is nothing more to want, no poverty here though sometimes I worry about things like getting winter boots for my growing kids, the day of the first big snowfall.

We drove home later last night, after visiting with my extended family, the ones I grew up celebrating Thankgsiving with year after year. My heart had a pang of goodbye in it, but knowing Aviva and Pearl were cozied up watching Frozen on a movie-sized screen with their cousins and second-cousins and second-cousins once-removed (we just call them all cousins for simplicity’s sake), I exhaled and decided to be happy.

At the toll booth, the young black man working made eye contact with me when he handed me the ticket I’d need 64 miles later at the Palmer exit, and I looked back at him, and we had a moment. It was fleeting. I wanted it to last. I told Mani, after rolling my window back up against the single-digit cold, how it seems like such a small thing. Not so small, she said. And I thought, yeah. If every black person and every white person had a moment, a moment of looking at each other, imagine how the world could be different.

Then she played music for us on her phone–Tom Waits, Shakey Graves. When we lost service because T-Mobile thinks most places are remote and wild, we turned on the radio and blasted Sweet Home Alabama as we cruised west on the Mass Pike.

I didn’t want anything. I was happy. Happy to be driving at night. Happy to be sharing Mani’s company, to be going home with her.

Today, we stayed inside until around 1:00pm. Then we went to the Hospice Shop, to donate a bunch of things we set aside when we moved in September. Naturally, we decided to look around. And we left $25 later with about ten new pieces of clothing–a super-cute plaid shirt with an $88 price tag for $2, a pair of $100 jeans for $7. I felt rich. I felt even richer when we bought Pearl a yo-yo, the fancy kind, for one of her Hanukkah gifts. Boots AND yo-yos. Family gatherings AND a quiet day with my woman. My wife! Heat that works. A moment at a toll booth. Kids who have cousins. Music and more music. What more could I want?

Yes, of course, I want. I could make a big long list and send it to the North Pole or to Hanukkah Harry and whomever. But seriously. The more I train my brain to return to the good–whatever in this very moment feels good, is fulfilling–the less I lack. And while the wanting doesn’t disappear, what does dissipate is that sensation of deficiency, of entitlement, of… WAH. And WOE.

It’s only through this practice that  inspiration, aspiration, commitment, intention, ambition, and passion come alive, that I am able to actually feel these things–and see how they affect my mood, my way of seeing and interacting with the world around me and the people in it, be they my nearest dearest, or strangers I’ll only encounter for a passing moment.

Happy. I’m not so sure we have to choose happiness. I think we just have to allow it. Or, as Patti Digh writes, maybe it’s something we actually decide:

Happiness is a decision–decide to be happy in advance. That’s happiness as an intention, rather than as a reaction to circumstance.

Some nights it feels like a matter of life and death, how we decide to live, in the very best way. Because it is. Is really is. It is so precious, to be here.

Image: Poster from Patti’s Life Is a Verb shop, where you’ll find “tools for loving well, living mindfully, and making a difference.” (She’s the real deal. And so are you.)

From Inside the Silence of a Snowy Day

f4361853b79df161ddc87ed2f4f89da1It’s Wednesday. It’s quiet. So quiet I can hear the clock ticking. Occasional heaps of snow falling to the ground from heavy pine branches. There is something about being home mid-week that always feels special, different from time home on the weekends. The timing of this first winter storm comes as a gift — certainly not to those traveling or attempting to travel today, but to me, here, the gift of being able to stay home. I did go out earlier, to buy a pair of winter boots. And it’s lucky we went when we did, because two hours later the roads were barely passable, the slight incline of the driveway impossible to ascend.

Aviva is at her cousins’ house for the night, and Pearl is having a blast with her friends. It just kind of happened, plans that did not need planning, the best kind. And so I am here, inside, homemade hot chocolate to my left and Mani working to my right.

It’s the kind of quiet that almost feels blasphemous to interrupt with words, even ones on the screen that make noise only in my head and through my fingers tapping quickly against the keyboard. And still, I come here to write, though I do not know what I have to say. Sometimes it’s like this, the outer quiet–a train passing by now, not a mile from here–mirrors a kind of inner quiet. The world outside my windows slowly being covered up by snow.

I was going to write. A blog post, or a poem.

And then the quiet overtook me. I read some poems, instead. About snow. Many of them about the quiet, too. For I am not the first to note the way a steady snowfall mutes the world. And I have nothing new to say about it now. So to sit here, propped up against pillows that will later cushion my fall into sleep, is all. A plowtruck pushing ice. Dusk setting in, already, not yet 4:00pm, grey on white. Even the white board where she writes quotes or intentions most mornings has been wiped clean, hangs blankly against the yellow wall.

Several people who have asked about the upcoming writing group have asked me variations on the question, “What if I have nothing to say?”

I have no answer. Sometimes, it’s as simple as, “Then, say nothing.” Sometimes, “Write anyway, and see what happens.” For me, today, I am writing anyway. With, and in, and within, the silence of the snowy day. Not about deer, or persimmon seeds, or permission slips, or walking the dog; not about slipping or the way even the water becomes still beneath the layers of ice; not about the world and how history keeps coming up from under us as reality; not about gratitude even, or heartbreak or hurt or injustice or beauty. I have nothing to add. And this, this is the practice. Of showing up anyway, not to parade something pretty or prove something worthy. Not to produce something share-able or win friends or followers. Just to say, it is quiet. I am here. You are there, reading. In that way, in this silence, there is a connection between us we may not even know exists, and yet we do, we both know. For a moment, this is true. And then it is covered again, by the next thing, the snow still falling, the phone rings, the ticking clock, the unplanned plans.

And it is something, this. Comes and goes. Like the quiet will go, and the snow, too, will melt and then fall again and be new and pristine and then dirty and then one with the trees and then water in the earth and then ice and flood and eventually, spring.

Image: Raceytay Photography