Today as I wandered through my neighborhood on my morning walk, I stopped to watch a cardinal as he flitted from bush to tree in the strip of green that marks the course of a gas pipeline. I listened as he and his mate called back and forth to one another. I never spotted her.
I stopped to examine some sunflowers going to seed, wondering if they would soon provide food for the cardinals.
I stopped again to look at the way the sun caught in the blossoms of some crepe myrtles, still heavy with the dampness of the night.
I also witnessed someone run a red light. Another driver zipped through a stop sign as if it wasn’t even there.
Why are we so afraid to stop? We’re so intent on our plans, our established course, our goals. We miss so much. We’re surrounded by this great entangled mass of life. We’re part of it, but we hardly ever stop to notice.
For the entire month of July, my book Song of All Songs is on a blog tour. There will be reviews and interviews and guest blog posts on at least a dozen different websites–you can see the itinerary here. Look forward to insights into both the book and the author! You can also see a lovely atmospheric trailer for the book on YouTube.
I’ve never been big on secular celebrations of human achievement. It always feels a little premature. I’d rather give this whole “Independence Day” thing another couple thousand years to see whether it works out or not. At the moment, I’m not optimistic.
On the other hand, I do like picnics. I like outdoor gatherings with family and friends (when it’s not scorchingly hot due to climate change) and I kind of like fireworks.
I like the fact that so-called “gunpowder” was invented by the Chinese not for guns, but to create more impressive explosions, which supposedly were useful in warding off evil spirits. By the time the explosive mixture made its way westward, it was referred to as “Chinese flowers.” Soon it would be turned toward more destructive purposes.
As I lie in my bed later tonight, trying to go to sleep while the neighbors shoot off their probably illegal fireworks, I shall try to turn my mind toward the dispelling of malevolent influences and envisioning colorful lights blossoming among the stars.