In my birthday card, Rita wished me, “partly-sunny-and-sometimes-rainy days”. And, my birthday month has been just like that. We are in its final days, before the unofficial start of summer, this Memorial Day week-end. Already (how did it happen!), summer is upon us. She also included in her card, a quote from Thomas Mann, “Time has no divisions to mark the passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”
I’ve been thinking about how it ‘is only we mortals who ring bells’, realizing that is what I do in these blog posts about the weather. I am making my own divisions, in marking the passage of Time, by describing whether it was sunny that day, raw and cold, or quiet and still– whether or not it felt expansive, or closed in, filled with melancholy or hopeful expectations for the future. The weather is a wonderful metaphor. It’s unpredictable (despite the increasing accuracy of forecasting), constantly changing, impervious to our wishes, and totally outside of our control. It’s something to connect to, nonetheless, as the earth spins on its orbit, galaxies expand and open black holes, and the atom gets smaller and smaller. On my tiny speck in the Universe, I can frame a day by asking myself, “what were the skies like this morning?”, and, hopefully, just be here for it, and believe that it matters. Natalie Goldberg, in her book, Writing Down the Bones, says it so well:
“We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn’t matter. . . Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency.”
On This Date by Annie Lighthart
On this date many things happened.
Governments were heaved into being, creeds
were repeated, maps and speeches given and believed.
There was quiet on this date. A little boy lived.
There was sleep, and one birdcall stitched all the way through.
On this date there was longing. Someone walked
through a room. One hand brushed loose crumbs into the other.
The earth received them out the side door on this date, on this day.