It’s been eight weeks since the earth flipped around.
I’m still here, trying to hold steady. For me, it’s a time when nothing feels easy. I search for rhythm in my days. I create lists that peter out after two or three items. I try to finish something, anything.
Each night, I decide to make it a bright day tomorrow.
I remember the things that have saved me before. Writing in my journal. Meditating. Exercise. Friends. Breathing.
Yesterday, the sun came out. The neighbors gathered for a Sunday afternoon socially distant check-in in our yard.
I poured a small glass of wine and went out the front door.
There it was: a heart made of rose petals. A bit of whimsy created as a token of affection by a neighbor.
A gift from the earth. Gratitude, affection, hope.
I caught my first glimpse of Oregon years ago on a February spring day. I was interviewing for my first job out of college and I heard the weather called “hiring weather.” This meant that fresh-eyed college kids like me would be easy to impress.
Was I! I was stunned by the sunny weather. And the blue skies. I could see snow-capped Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens on the horizon. I’d been warned that Oregon was mostly grey skies and rain, and that it would be a depressing, dreary place to live. Nobody had told me about this.
It was snowing when I left Colorado earlier that week. I was eager to take my next steps after school, very aware it meant moving away from home and taking on the work I had studied long to do. Even more than the sun, I was amazed by all the bulbs that were in bloom. Bright daffodils. Tulips. White and purple crocuses.
This morning, many years after I caught that first glimpse of Oregon, our yard is vibrant in yellow and purple with its annual show of February bulbs.
I believe this day is medicine, every bit as much as the Sinemet and Ropinerole that I take. I sit on the front steps and feel the sun on my face. As in-depth as science has studied dopamine, the only clear link I can find between dopamine and the sun is a theory that sunlight increases the number of dopamine receptors. This creates vitamin D which activates the genes that release dopamine. That’s good enough for me.
I think of the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: “You are a child of the sun, you come from the sun… and the earth is in you.”
Tomorrow is soon enough for the skies to be grey and rainy. Today I will read and sketch and make music and drink tea. Today is “hiring weather” and I want to hire whatever there is to hire. That includes several bright yellow bunches of daffodils out today, showcasing our yard.