Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Confidence of Night

It's gone midnight. The heat is bleeding off, finally. Much as I love the summer heat and sun, I love summer nights, too. There is a cool confidence to the night I find soothing. Standing on the porch, gazing at the night sky I feel more at home within myself. It isn't a matter of darkness hiding me. It's a matter of possibility stretching out like the barely visible arm of the Milky Way. Each star is a pinpoint of potential.

I love driving at night during summer. Flying along Highway 5, new-mown hay acrid and green, stinging my nose. The highway quiet and empty between towns. Sensible people asleep while I swoop along the gentle rise and fall of the road. Driving at night in the summer means adventure, something new to see. I've always had a good vacation when it started out with a night-time drive.

It's dark beyond the window, a slight breeze easing the heat of the living room. The Beebe is streaming on the laptop, telling me news of things that American media will not tackle. I'm grateful for this technological that age allows me to hear voices of dissent from other lands, voices that make me uncomfortable, that remind me complacency is a path of cowardice.

Everything I hear, everything I see is a lesson, right now. There are always lessons but it has a way of swelling like a storm blowing in off the Pacific. Sometimes it feels like a baseball bat smashing knowledge into my head, as though some exasperated goddess has gotten tired of me being obtuse, or complacent.

So many people seem to learn these lessons at a much younger age. How do they do it? What life did they live that they 'got it' and I'm just now 'getting it'? I'm 44 and I feel like I'm just waking up. Where others have 60 or 70 years to utilize these lessons I've got 40 or 50 (the women in our family are long lived and pretty sharp well into their 90s so I'm thinking positive). Is it enough time? That's a silly question, though. Of course it's enough if I use the time well.

The things I'm learning aren't important to anyone but me. It's important, though, that you don't ignore the lessons around you. Be open to them. Be willing to see lessons even in places that don't seem appropriate for a lesson. Then take them into yourself and act on the things you learn.

I feel content for the first time since December. I think I can do anything, when I feel like this. I would like to make that true, this time.

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