I accompanied somebody I love to the courthouse today, to witness some legal proceedings. She was recently the victim of some terrible, violent crimes, so it was an emotional day. I knew beforehand that it would be, but didn't fully anticipate the scale of impact it could have upon my mood and energy. I kept it together and supported my friend (I'm not bad to have around in a crisis), but as soon as I got home—POW! Such a sadness overtook me, and it felt like my battery was suddenly drained.
I thought I might revive myself by going out to see what I could see, maybe even try to have myself a little artist date, but I only got as far as the university bookstore to buy a cheap pen, and I stumbled around the aisles, brainless, for an hour and a half. Hopefully I won't get a parking ticket mailed to me since I more than wore out my welcome in a 15-minute parking stall.
It gets hard not to give in to world-weariness. I know plenty of people who are succumbing these days. I have my own dramatic moments of lost perspective; especially in a political season it's a terrible temptation to focus on darkness, differences, and disgruntlements. But despite rampant incivility, downright abominations, and every kind of madness in between, there is still brightness and beauty to celebrate, probably more than ever before in the history of our being. Ironic, and true.
I need to spend more time chronicling my experiences with goodness. I don't want Bright Street to become overshadowed by gloom. It's time to invest some attention and good energy into pointing out sweetness, which I see around me every time I really open my eyes. I want to do this not only for myself but also for any friend who happens to stop by this blog for a visit.
I'd love to live in a world where people work to lift each other, so that's what I've got to be willing to create myself. Right?
So, may I introduce to you one of the saviors of my day, the sun-drinking, life-giving color green...
My mother-in-law and I took a lovely trip to Salem this morning, for our annual grape-picking party at the home of some family friends. The sky was just overcast enough to keep us from too much sun. Not a single soul with wings stung me this year. The grapes were perfect and plump and plentiful, and the next-door neighbor even let us pick on his side of the fence. Rita, our hostess, was so gracious, and shared more than just grapes; she treated us to garden surplus beans, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, apples, and hugs. The conversation was good for the heart. The drive there and back was Utah in September lovely. I interacted with a mantis slender as a grass blade, a perfectly leafy katydid, grasshopper garden lovers hidden in the vines, drunken bees and yellow jackets reluctant to stop sipping grapes. The neighbor's yard smelled horsey, which pleased me. What a sweetness to have friends who share, and life that springs up out of the ground and grows and sustains other lives with careful encouragement.
I'm already laying plans for a bean arbor of my own for next year. Maybe beans to welcome and shade my guests as they approach my door.
Green saved the day.