Remember: small changes are phenomenal. It’s not just about impact, it’s about our soul, about living the best life we can in respect of each other and the life around us. Let's concentrate on that. Let's work for a society that is not based on individualism and competition, but on trust and care, a democracy that is not representative, but direct, an economy based not on extractivism but on cycles.
We have all the tools.
Sabine, from Interim Arrangements
Whatever you think of the old year or the new year, it was a new day, and I hope you’ve had a good one. I really liked what Sabine said in her post, so if you have a chance, read the rest of it. Impassioned and smart and hopeful with a tad bit of goading, because isn’t that what we all need?
Southern California has had a strange visitor this past week — not just rain but a rare snowy owl who is currently perched on various rooftops just south of Los Angeles in an Orange Country suburb. Carl, my Bird Photographer, has long wanted to see one of these but hasn’t been successful arranging a trip to some northern climate in order to do so. When he heard about the sighting, he thought it was a hoax, but sure enough, it turned out to be a Snowy Owl, and it’s been hanging in this neighborhood called Cypress, near Long Beach/Huntington Beach for the entire week. It’s wrong that it’s here, attracting hordes of avid birders and interested people, and people conjecture that it either came in on a freighter or cargo ship off San Pedro, or got caught in the Jet Stream or a storm that scrambled its path. It’s a magnificent young animal — truly incredible, and when Carl gives me the okay, I’ll post a photo of it here. For Carl, that was, of course, his Christmas miracle!
I picked some collards from my little garden this afternoon and cooked them with a pork chop (because I didn’t have a ham hock) and some black-eyed peas. I ate a spoonful or two and fed Sophie a bowl. Hopefully, they will bring us health and wealth. I’ve had both my sons around the house for the past couple of weeks — Oliver back from his semester in Italy and Henry coming back and forth as he is moving into his first apartment! I think that move is what’s keeping me from feeling roundly happy — I am not sad but rather melancholy and not a little bewildered at the passage of time and all the — well — clichés — about parenting. Oliver asked me whether I missed those days (he was referring to how we sat around the tiny kitchen table and ate together, every single night of their childhoods), and I said that I didn’t really miss them but felt rather grateful to have had them. I told him that each stage of parenting is strange and beautiful and interesting, and that’s the truth. Oliver went out to our garden as well and picked all the Meyer lemons. I wish you could smell them:
It’s been raining the last few days, which is a good thing for this poor old dry state, but the lack of sunlight really does affect me. I look forward to a bit of blue and sunshine with more rain following later this week and perhaps a trip to the ocean to welcome in the new year. We tried to make our way up to Griffith Observatory this evening to catch the sunset as the skies cleared a bit, but the line snaked for so long up the hill that we landed up turning our car around and heading back home. Such is life in the big shitty, I guess. But dang, what a place it is!
Happy Happy New Year!
How good to hear about Carl's Snowy Owl in contrast to life in the 'big shitty' and all that lies between. Parenting is indeed a bitter sweet thing, the way the things you miss are soon things for which you're grateful, some of them at least. And then, before you know it, there are other joys. And sorrows. You can't call it post parenting. I doubt that ever happens. We always worry for our children. At least I do. But as they grow older and older and older, they keep on giving in different ways. They help to frame my perspective on life as I see yours have done for you. Especially Sophie with her endless challenges and gifts. I stand in awe of you, Elizabeth. the way you grab life by the tusks and keep on hauling.
As soon as I read about the owl, I knew Carl would find it! So cool. You have beautiful things there in California. I miss the lemons and the ocean, but I love the snow.