It’s hot. At 8:oo last night it was 86 degrees. I’m not complaining — if you know one thing about me, it’s that I am ridiculously proud of the way I can stand the heat. We don’t use air conditioning here at Casa des Chats, even though every now and then it’s too hot to sleep (that’s when we get up and go to an all night diner, or head to Jones Beach and wait for sun rise. Or we just bitch and moan and curse our hi falutin Save The Earth ways.)
But the impatiens don’t like the heat. We had to cut down a big tree in the back yard last Fall and when I planted the impatiens in their usual spot in May I didn’t take into account the fact that without the tree’s shade, we have a lot more sun in the backyard than we used to. So they tend to droop when it gets so very hot (and it’s been very hot this Summer). But the good thing is that every morning they pop back, in bloom, waving they little petals at the world like a chorus of nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah. (I really did take these photos of the same impatiens plant at 4 o’clock in the afternoon above, and 7 o’clock in the next morning, below:)
(You are free to make your own human-flower resilience and beautiful spite philosophical musing here.)
While I was out there listening to the impatiens razzing a world that tries its best to wear them out every day, I wandered out into the backyard. It was cool,and quiet, and if you know two things about me it’s that I love this time of August the best. So in this early morning respite from the maddening heat and busy-ness of the day I said my usual Druid request of the Great Spirit: Please let me see what you are trying to show me today.
(Although, I must admit, secretly I am always hoping that what the universe is trying to show me is how darn smart and lovable I am.)
Oh lordy, I know the world is a tragic place and that you can’t miss seeing the hate, violence, and injustice that takes place every single day. This world can break your heart six times before breakfast. Everything that we love will eventually wither and fall away, people will not get what they deserve, children will go hungry or worse, there will always be war and grieving mothers, we will ourselves one day die. Really, it’s a wonder that the weight of all the misery on this planet doesn’t do us in. Sometimes, I wonder why we go on every day, writing books and painting pictures and talking to cats when it’s all going to end in either a mushroom cloud or a super nova. Us Druids, we shouldn’t watch the news before we’ve had our first cup of tea.
All I hope for, when I talk to the Great Spirit, is to be able to see past the obvious. In this world, in all its pointlessness, all I want to see is a little sign of life. A little sign that joy is still possible, that happiness matters, that beauty dignifies the cost of having a heart and a soul. Is that too much to ask?
And then I saw it.
Do you see it? Across from the paws of my helper/hindrance Lickety the Fierce Feral Cat Who You Better Not Mistake For A House Tabby Because He’s Too Fierce For That (who was hoping we’d see something Friskie’s Ocean Fish flavored.)
Do you see it?
If only I could capture the way the light hit it for that instant, made it sparkle at me… I’ve found a lot of blue jay feathers in my time (if you know three things about me you know that I collect blue jay feathers like they were sapphires or lapis lazuli because, mineral or vegetable, blue is the rarest color found in nature and us Druids think that every shade of blue is holy) but I’ve never had one sparkle at me before.
But, now that I think about it some more, it didn’t so much sparkle as glow.
I didn’t even know they made blue jay feathers this small. It’s the very tiniest blue jay feather I’ve ever seen! Are there hummingbird-sized blue jays that I don’t know about?
Well, I picked this itty-bitty feather up out of the grass and I felt such a rush of appreciation for this teeny tiny answer to my Request of the Great Spirit that for a moment I forgot that I was in a bad, entropy-filled mood. For a moment I forgot to be afraid of where this nasty, brutal, libertarian-jihad-filled world was headed. OK, it’s not a cure for cancer or a Middle East Peace Treaty; but for one little moment in one little life, it was OK.
This just goes to show you: Nothing is too small to be holy. In fact, in a world such as this, maybe the only things that redeem it day by day are the small shining (or glowing) little bits and pieces of a bigger miracle.
The Great Spirit is very nice about reminding you of this. All you have to do is ask.
And don’t forget to say “Thank You” when She answers.