Friday, February 06, 2009

Thoughts for Winter 2009

If there is anything good coming out of the global financial crisis, it may be the fact that people are being forced to live more consciously every day.

The times are much harsher on some folks than others, but it does seem that all those little decisions that add up to a course of action are now being made with more deliberation at the personal level than ever before. Some of us may be deciding just to hold still and see what happens. Others are taking a new look at what they really need to get along and what can be pared away. Our trust in institutions has been shaken and leadership has failed us, so more than ever it feels as if our fate is in our hands.

Meanwhile, hope and change are in the air.

For me as always in the dead of winter, any small sign of spring is encouraging. The light is changing and my windowsill plants corroborate it by looking more sprightly. By the end of February, mourning doves and cardinals will be pairing up. Soon red maple tree flowers will emerge.

This is the promise of the natural world, that the seasons will roll on no matter what we mortals are up to. But now we also have hope and change as President Barack Obama and his team begin to reshape and restore government to something more honorable than it has been for a long time. Early on, the notion of personal responsibility is emerging as a hallmark of this new era.

Hard times are still ahead, everyone agrees. By the time my forsythia basket blooms, we all will have experienced lots of adjustments. Fate and volition will move in tandem till we get to the end of this chapter of our lives. And then we can write the next chapter.

--Bernice Paglia


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