Lately there has been so much disturbing news, here and afar, that sometimes I find it hard to know what to say about anything. Instead, I’m trying to focus on happy memories and the small pleasures that are close at hand. Yesterday. I drove out to Living Soils Farm in Yellow Point and, as I drove along Quennell Road, I was cheered to see the masses of daisies and buttercups at the edges of the road and the peaceful views of birds on the lake. Further along I admired the cathedral-like canopy of cedars, maples and pine trees that form an arch over the road. Our planet is in bad shape for many reasons, but there is still beauty all around us.
As I drove home, now bearing bags of fresh peas, strawberries, salad greens and a very handsome cauliflower, I admired the light over the lake and was reminded of a message my dear friend Marilyn sent recently which included a poem written by Polish writer Adan Zagajewski, who died earlier this year:
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
Translated by Clare Cavanaugh.
Nature is healing, and a return to memories can often offer joy.. Despite the troubling news, there is yet so much to praise.