Well, now that I am certain I am not going to die of this respiratory infection, I got up off my death bed this morning and took my dog for a walk in the sunshine.
Spring is flirting with us. The crocus are blooming everywhere. The daffodils look ready to pop, and now and then you get a hint of one of them beginning to open. I saw yellow on my neighbor’s forsythia bushes, and big fat buds everywhere, on everything. Tulip leaves are up, paving the way, along with the hyacinth leaves. Bulbs everywhere, in fact, are waking up.
While still cool, it is a bright sunny day. My husband readied the raised vegetable beds last weekend in a fit of spring fever, and this morning I planted peas, lettuce and spinach.
But I know what’s coming. More winter. Every February, we get teased with this fabulous weather. Usually it’s warmer and lasts for a couple of weeks. I expect that’s still to come. Last year it came early. But after that comes the fog and drizzle of March, the depressing disappointment after two weeks of spring’s promise. March, for me, is the hardest season to weather in the Pacific Northwest.
But today it’s good. And I know on the other side of March is April, with its wild and wonderful weather, and then I’ll be putting in the garden. That’s my favorite time of the year–well, one of them, anyway. This flirty time of year is kind of nice, too.
A friend of mine asked the other day, “What is forgiveness?”
I’m not sure I know the answer to that. The very next day, my brother asked essentially the same question. We’ve all been told to “forgive and forget” but the truth is, forgetting is impossible. We always remember, learn, and guard ourselves against subsequent pain from that particular angle.
If forgetting is impossible, is forgiving impossible as well?
Today I have the tools with which I can be rid of a resentment. Is that the same thing as forgiving?
Is understanding the one who has hurt us the key to forgiveness? If we were to look upon that person as a very, very old parent might, would we see the one as a mere child, trying to find its way through the difficult morass of relationships? Can we forgive the indiscretions of youth–our own or others’?
Or perhaps forgiving means merely to show mercy. We’re all capable of that, even if we can’t forget. Even if we do guard ourselves against subsequent pain.
I have committed more than my share of youthful (and not so youthful) indiscretions, for which I have been shown more mercy than I deserve. Have I been forgiven?
I don’t know.
The 18th annual (can you believe that?) Ghost Story Weekend will take place on from 5pm on Friday, April 25 to noon, Sunday April 27 at Siltcoos Station on the Oregon Coast. Come and join us — there will be a maximum of 13 attendees — and write a spooky, sentimental, or funny ghost story in 24 hours. Challenge yourself and find out just how good you are!
Register by going to the Lane Community College website, clicking on ExpressLane, and registering with your L-number for CRN 43026. If you don’t have an L-number, call LCC at 541-463-5252. Unfortunately, this class doesn’t appear in the general LCC catalog, only in the Florence edition.
We’ll have a great time. We always do.
Today I celebrate my husband.
Al Cratty is one good man. One of the truly good guys. He takes very good care of me, and goes along with most of my hair-brained schemes. He’s easy to live with, very handy, good to my kids, and the dog loves him the best.
Once a year, I try to hold International Al Day, just to show my appreciation. It’s usually in the fall, and generally some disaster befalls us on that day. One year his car blew up while we were in going for a drive in Pleasant Hill, and we spent the whole day at a gas station in a sleet storm while we waited for the tow truck. We spent the evening buying a new truck in the same sleet storm. That’s usually how International Al Day goes.
He didn’t get his day last fall, so here we are in a dreary February, and I made him a cherry pie for breakfast, which he will eat after his omelet. No Cheerios this morning–Al gets whatever he wants today. I’ll take him out to lunch, too, and he can decide what he wants to do about dinner. (Boys are all about food, aren’t they?)
There aren’t any marching bands today, and he doesn’t get cards and well-wishes from far away, and it isn’t really a big deal.
Except that it is.
I make it a big deal for him, because today, on International Al Day, he’s the only one who counts.
There has been a little dust-up in a group I’m involved in, and in the middle of the night last night it occurred to me that I’m the cause of it all.
I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’m too close to the situation at the moment to see it clearly, but it is certainly a possibility. And so what should I do?
First, I am always the first one to take the blame when things go wrong, even if they have nothing to do with me. I think this is something that most writers have in common; we’re egoists with inferiority complexes.
The person who voiced hurt and anger over the situation may or may not be angry with me, but I’m soul-certain that I did no harm. So in truth, she’s responsible for her own anger. That is not something for me to tinker with.
My spiritual program tells me that what other people think of me is none of my business anyway. I am right with myself and right with my God and therefore I’m okay.
So what actions do I take?
Of course my initial reaction is to opt out of all subsequent discussion on the topic. But how does that serve the whole? Or her? Or me? It doesn’t. It perpetuates the ugliness. And yet, are we (am I) to walk on eggshells? No. That does not serve, either.
I think the best course of action is for me to take a back seat on this particular situation and let it play out. I’ll participate, but less so. I hope that the whole group isn’t intimidated into silence. But if it is… so be it.
Still… I can’t help but take it a little bit personally. It’s always personal, after all. Isn’t it?