First off, autumn here was long and glorious, and my larkspur plants are confused. They think it’s spring. They are blooming, showing tinges of blue among autumn leaves that fell a few weeks ago. Tomorrow it’s supposed to snow so later today I’ll cut the larkspurs, place them in a vase, and hope their remnants and seeds will shoot up again next spring.
A friend told me that on the occasion of the first snowfall, she wears her set of snowflake earrings. “I have two sets,” she said, “because every snowflake is different.” Suddenly I felt I immediately should go out and buy myself a set of snowflake earrings! Incidentally, as it began to snow today. I looked out, thought happy thoughts about my friend, and considered my larkspur plants.
But some bits of life are sad. This autumn I had the sad but happy opportunity to attend my oldest brother’s funeral. He died on Election Day, just as my father died on Election Day back in 1980. Somehow that coincidence pleases me. The funeral was sad but uplifting. I learned more about my brother’s life from comments made by various speakers than I had known before. For instance, I did not know that my brother “majored in Greek because it was the easiest subject for him.” He also studied French, Spanish, and was proficient in Portuguese. I knew he liked languages, but I did not know he was so linguistically talented. I also got to visit with my other brothers, who are enormously talented and good-looking! How in the world did they get that way? It was something I pondered on our trip home as the super moon rose across harvested fields while simultaneously the setting sun colored the horizon a brilliant red.
But then, there are also little blessings. When my family attended services the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the choir finished their anthem, my little granddaughter who was visiting blurted out loud enough for the congregation to hear, “Good!” Somehow, I liked her impulsive and spontaneous approval.
Amid the business of this season, our local Arts Commission held a luncheon to honor a couple who have been loyal patrons of the arts. The hostess made an extra effort to make the occasion elegant. In this time of paper plates and plastic spoons, it was a treat to sit at a well-appointed table, drink from china cups, and use nice utensils, a bit of civility and culture that pleased me.
Recently as I walked through a store, I saw the game “Connect Four” for sale. It occurred to me that if a person going through this world of woe, can connect at any time with four persons in a meaningful way, he or she is doing fine. The Christmas season is a time when we make and/or remember connections, be they at special events or with family and friends. Connect Four. It’s a good metaphor. And so we carry on with life the best way we know how, uplifted by bits and pieces of human interactions, little blessings, and from time to time, a compliment that affirms the spirit.