You hit the ground running, because the ground itself, separate from you, is running. Sometimes in your direction. There are those other times when, at the moment one foot or another makes first contact, you discover the ground moving hard to your left, and it takes great effort to remain upright.
We all fall down from time to time, tumbling, rolling in the direction toward which the ground travels, not necessarily the direction desired. “Here we are,” we say to ourselves, suddenly awake in that moment.
There are those other times, perhaps on a typically overcast Sunday afternoon in this part of Western New York, when the sentiment is more hum drum. Like some imagined Scandinavian fellow looking out on the diminishing light of winter, thinking perhaps “Here today, gone tomorrow.” A phrase useful for repeating as necessary. It gives the reassurance, the predictability, of an unavoidably benign commercial break.
It’s been a tumultuous Season, the one just passed, the one that early winter waves at from the rear view mirror, winter behind the driver’s seat, starting its own run slowly, emerging from deep solstice.
We move away from an unexpected and far too early loss within the family. We move away, as well, from a close call, a six second stopping of the heart, and a blessed recovery, a steady recovery, keeping pace, keeping the rhythm of a life giving pulse.
2013 was, we are about to say, the year we bought a second home, as if we were rich, as if we knew what we were doing. A home on the North Coast, and a home on the South Coast. The differences are dramatic. And when someone asks, “So are you going to live there?”, we hedge. “We’ll see,” we say, offering little comfort for such uncertainty.
The other day I saw something I had never seen before: two robins in the backyard of the house in the North. The temperature was in the 20’s. They should have left with all the other robins a few months ago. What were they doing there? They looked busy, uncomplaining, going about things like nobody’s business.
Coming out of a professional office building early this morning, in the vaulted space of the lobby, the management was playing one of the famous crooners’ rendition of “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” Because of the large and mostly empty room at that moment, the singer’s voice had a slight echo quality, dream-like, haunting, in search of an audience.