This year, I'm first and foremost grateful and happy to be here. As in here on planet Earth, living what poet Mary Oliver calls my "one wild and precious life."
The miracle and privilege of this was heightened for me last week when I was at the scene of a traffic fatality. About a week later, I'm starting to feel more normal again, my shot nerves finally calming down.
A speeding car smashed into the corner of a bakeshop outside from where I sat enjoying tea with a friend. As the first responders told me, I was very lucky to not be seriously injured or worse. I did sustain some bumps, cuts, abrasions, and a little PTSD from being thrown and sprayed with shattered glass. But nothing serious.
I'm also grateful for my favorite jacket, a trusty Mountain Hardwear alpine shell that protected me from tiny glass shards and transmission fluid (or battery acid?) sprayed over my backside, ruining the shell.
|One of many good ski days in my favorite alpine shell.|
|Doing the Pose - a silly moment in the shell.|
|West Point Lighthouse.|
I'm grateful for friends and family, who were concerned and supportive.
And I'm especially grateful that the corner of the building where the car struck, just a couple feet from where I sat, was a strong, heavy concrete column instead of lesser-strength material.
"If that had been wood, it wouldn't have held against the force of the impact" said one of the first responders tending to me.
And I'm saddened by the life that ended just outside from where I sat. This being Seattle—where before our explosive growth we used to joke "There's only a thousand real people in Seattle and they all know each other"—I was just two or three degrees of separation from the victim via a cousin.
I know his family is mourning his death but is also very grateful for his life. He loved to sail, so this shot is for him boating off into the sunset.
So yes, I'm grateful for it all, for the whole enchilada. To be alive in this moment, sitting here in my cozy office trying to convey how profound and special it is to just be here. I can't say it more eloquently than Mary Oliver below:
The Summer Day
Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Wishing you and yours a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving and holiday season. And if you're not in the USA, I wish you a happy day, every day, anyway.
|En route to Thanksgiving dinner on Bainbridge Island, 2015.|