This is the second morning I’ve awakened at the crack of dawn feeling like I’m late for something, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. I’ve never overcome my childhood lack of understanding about this phenomenon. After all, there’s still only so much day light for farmers to work, no matter what time we appoint to it… My thoughts drift to last night’s dinner at our table with two bright, young friends. Many nights a week are spent uniting in various combinations for the evening meal. Some days, it’s the carrot before our nose that gets us through the day. As I lay in bed this morning, musing hours in a day versus hours spent at table, another thought crossed my mind: it’s the middle of Lent. In case someone hasn’t made a voluntary sacrifice this penitential season, just maybe the world grants us DST to disrupt our complacency!
Honestly though, I seem to have lost my morbid fascination with self-sacrifice years ago. I got over the romantic misery of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter by the time I was in my early 30’s to the point where, quite honestly, I’m not very interested in adopting new spiritual practices any more. Life seems to put heaping servings of them on my plate, without asking. Two years ago, it was a poignant experience learning to love my enemy. A week and a half ago, it was facing death square in the face.
The residual sacrifice of care giving is a happy one, all things considered. Jim’s alive and healing splendidly. We bask in gratitude for every necessary detail which was in order so that we might be able to see another spring together, realizing that, had any one detail not followed the next as it did with his aneurysm, the outcome would not be the happy one it is. So, meals at the close of day become even more profound than they already were. As our reiki practitioner pointed out, they are, for us, important moments of healing. The opening lines of this Conrad Aiken now become our daily mantra, ever grateful that it’s not yet time for one of us to be left reading the rest of the poem, alone.
Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.