Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inevitable losses

Forgive me if I get personal here for a bit. It’s spring in Washington DC (despite the fact we had a smattering of snow last night). The cherry blossoms are out and will be in full bloom this coming week. I am studying the weather forecast to pick the best day for me to go downtown and take my annual walk around the Tidal Basin under the blossoms. This ritual is hugely important to me – I think I’ve only missed one year in the 24 I’ve lived here. For me, it’s a time to take stock – like New Year or birthdays are for other people.
Taking stock is especially important to me now that I’ve reached the age when the inevitable losses have started. I need to stop once in a while and try to get some perspective on the trials and troubles of daily life. There’s only so much time and I want to spend it on the things – and people – that matter. Some people might get the same feeling looking out from the summits of the highest mountains in the world or over the ocean. But somehow for me walking among the crowds of people all happily paying tribute to a phenomenon of nature is as renewing and sustaining as religious worship. Those people are there despite earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, genocide, and the accidents, diseases and personal griefs of life. They’re there. Even in the face of my own inevitable losses, I want to be among them this week - joining that celebration of the always-astonishing resurrection of spring.