Awakening in Snow, I thought about the Blues Essay I composed a few years ago for Christmas. But this snow is so grey, backed by a complete sky of grey, it only conveys stillness, and does not inspire similarly to snow with a blue hue. Yet I do like to chase away the blues. And don't we all? Now, considering the fact that snow is only recycled rain in an implausibly sweet blanket which conceals the sin of the world and gets us skiing and slipping, and in remembering our engineer/neice Sarah trying to salvage water from the brackish depths around El Paso, and after listening to Tom, the volunteer of so many valuable boards and groups being revivified, I thought it apt to talk about recycling. Recent rains have prepared our rhododendrons to tank up before the winter rest and a few inches of snow will moderate changes in soil temperature. I am hoping for a white Christmas, laid down earlier, and a sunny twenty-fifth. Speaking of hope, I am so glad my TV is Raising Hope through comedy, portaying a young man's fidelity in rearing a child alone amid a sweetly disfunctional cast of grandboomers.
A word much maligned and misused, hope: I am loath to see it reduced to an excuse not to do the right thing here and now, while hoping for "pie in the sky" later. Don't like to see the word used to justify not providing for oneself the satisfaction of needs and wants through effort, a word used to defer maintenance. But I really needed that word to see me through two serious kidney operations this past summer, a severe trial from which I am recovering nicely, as hoped. If you ever think you may have an earthly difficulty, you would probably like to know how a word like hope could guide you through, wouldn't you?
Well, you just commit to memory this short definition.: "Hope consists in asserting that there is, deep at the heart of being, beyond all knowing, data, and calculations, some mysterious principle in connivance with me, which cannot but will that which I will, if what I will is in fact worth willing, and is willed with my whole soul." This may be a description of a theological virtue, borrowed from Gabriel Marcel, but it is good enough for me, illogical as I am, for it helps propel me through life actively executing good will in the important things, the concrete, everyday things. I am happy to recycle this word for you, and give it new, useful clothes for a change.
I hope you have a heartfelt Christmas, and that in the new year, God willing, you find yourself being staunch and fine in the important things.