Saturday, January 11, 2014

As If Resilience is a Muscle

I took some time off from the blog over the busy holidays. Sometimes it feels good to not say anything and lay low. There's a perverse sense of satisfaction in keeping that part of the brain quiet, as if silence knows best in the end. Getting back in touch with that sense of finality, the mother of all thought, a very Buddhist kind of place beyond the contradictions, the choices, all the issues we deal with on a daily basis.
Now that we're through the Christmas season, we're in a  quieter stretch of the calendar. It has its unique pleasures. Today was one of the ugliest of New England days. Gray wet skies just spitting that slush in a fine mist that the weathermen call a wintry mix and coating every surface with ice, the kind that bends the birch saplings to the ground and scars them for life. Still it was nice. Took the dog for a walk and he had his head up smelling for things over the snowbanks that he couldn't see. Inside the house was crackling warm with the wood fire. A good day to read after the basketball games and the house cleaning, the sheep fed and the chicken shed door freed from its icy clamp.
It's an in-between season, a time for quiet reflection and gathering strength. I heard an interview with a man, a safety expert on the radio who said we need to formulate a script in our heads for the emergency times, the lockdowns, the unimaginable scenarios we prefer not to think about. As if resilience itself is a muscle that we need to exercise. I tend to think we will be fine. I have a sense that in this quiet time, family time, reflecting on the good things and keeping a still focus, there is exercise and preparation enough for any bad times if indeed they are coming. I hope we are more like maples and less like birch. The ice storms will not break us. They haven't yet.

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