Thursday, December 9, 2010

That Moment

Just now, it happened.

I was standing at the front window, looking out. The view is different today. Yesterday at this time, the skies were clear; the thermometer hovered around 0F. The crisp breeze sharpened the edges of the needles on the pines and balsams.

Today is gray and warmer, about 10F. Snowflakes fall but they're the kind of snowflakes that would be mist if they were water. Periodic breezes nudge poplars and birches into motion. The trees lean toward each other and away, whispering.

Just now, as I stood there watching the snow, our outdoor light went out. At nearly 9 a.m., the morning finally grew light enough to trigger the sensor that turns it off.

How often does that happen? How often do you know something has changed at the exact moment it changes?

You probably think this is a "where were you?" moment about John Lennon or JFK or, God help us, Princess Diana or Michael Jackson. It's not. It's not even about the shooting, 21 years ago this week, of 14 female engineering students in Montreal.

And I could argue that it's not really one of "those moments," the ones where you know your life is different, for better or worse. Like standing on a beach to promise forever, or sitting at a bedside when the goodbye has already been said.

This is just one event in a string of them, one pearl in a necklace. I could even say that it's an event in someone else's life, not mine.

But saying that would distance myself from the truth. Yesterday afternoon, I received an email with someone else's scary news. Today, things are different--for me, too. On the up side, I may be able to be of use, to do something concrete to help one of my brothers. On the down side, one of my brothers needs help. Big help. He needs new blood. He can have mine, if it is of use to him. We will find out, in time.

Snow falls, and I imagine each flake as a blessing, a prayer, a wish for health--not only for my brother, but for anyone who's frightened, depressed, sick, or in pain.

So today's view through the window is different.