Monday, November 11, 2013

Only Able to Imagine

Left on the kitchen table with carnations and napkins

Darn! Guess this means there will be no cellphone call late this afternoon, saying "Is there anything you need from town?" to which I might reply "I am craving potato chips. How 'bout it?"

The sun is shining and the snow is sparkling. I went to bed last night and snuggled into my pillow, aware how fortunate I was to be tucked up all safe and warm in my own bed, with all my family and friends safe, while people in the Philippines are cold, hungry, grief-stricken, fearful and in shock.

It's Remembrance Day here in Canada, and I'm thinking of my great-great uncle, who died when the SS Caribou was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Newfoundland in 1942. I'm thinking of my great-great aunt Alma, who was a nurse overseas during one of the world wars and must have seen some terrible suffering. I'm also imagining what it must have been like to be mothers and sisters and wives in those days when so many men and boys left for the battlefields. How sick at heart they all must have been as they watched their loved ones go, then waited at home, praying for good news, which all too often never came. I can't bear thinking much about it, or the fact that war and killing and rape and violence are still common around the planet.

So I focus on my own little life, reminded how lucky I am to have it where it is, how it is. I can spend the morning in my fluffy green housecoat (first time in 10 years I've had a paid holiday, by the way; that alone is something to do a jig about), worrying about no one dear to me. I can spend an hour getting the Wadena News (follow @wadenanewsed) set up on Twitter; I can plunge my hands into warm sudsy water in the kitchen sink, and look out the window at the birds flitting to and from the feeders in the trees. I can slide a roaster into the oven with a homegrown chicken, for supper. I can pour chilled white wine into a crystal goblet, and make brownies for dessert tonight. My sons haven't had to go to war.

Life is good.
I wish it was this good for everybody.