bringing all of our senses to this moment?
I never quite know what to do with my feelings during this week-long span between Christmas and the New Year. I feel a sadness for the fading glow and beauty of the holidays as we head into the stark winter months. Old memories creep in and find me startled by their visit. I get especially pensive. Yet, I feel a certain underground of excitement arising in anticipation of a new year and a “fresh start.” I think about new ways of approaching my work and my relationships. I become mindful of the years ticking by in my life, just as one might on one’s birthday — looking back and looking forward, at once far-sighted, near-sighted, and hind-sighted.
In this season as we encounter shorter days and longer shadows, as the sun dips lower on the horizon, as we celebrate Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, All Saints Day and All Souls Day, in this season of remembrance, we may find ourselves surrounded by ghosts. Not just the ghosts of our ancestors, but the ghosts of ourselves, our lived experiences, our communities, our country.
This month as we celebrate Pride Month and embrace the dignity and freedom of expression of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, this month when we mourn the death of George Floyd and so many other black people who have suffered and died under the edifice of white supremacy, this time in history when we are emerging from our pandemic hideouts and learning to see the world anew, how might we truly SEE the world anew?
I recently discovered that Rachel Carson began her life’s work as, not as a scientist, but as a writer and poet. And this made me love her even more. Like me, she had been so captivated by the sea and the bird songs and every magical object of nature in between that she couldn’t imagine putting words to what she bore witness to without using lush, vivid language, full of color.