10-minute post about a wake-up call

I have 10 minutes to write this post, as I wolf down some dinner and prepare to head back out in to the city to see some dance (hooray for last minute Alvin Ailey adventures). I’m not going to edit it, I’m not going to edit my photos. So be kind.

Today, as I walked home from the bus stop, I found myself gazing around in stupefaction at the light. Moments like that make me wish I was a poet, that I was better at conjuring feeling with words.

It had rained, and the air was nearly cold, but the light, good lord, it was harsh and hard and sharp and beautiful. Everything stood out – the color of the houses in Jamaica Plain, the few little buds peering out of their branches, the American flag, the asphalt. I walked through this light feeling every moment I spent in a dreary office this week, feeling it pressing around my chest like a physical weight. I felt every ounce of the tissuey layer of, not exactly gloom, but, let’s just call it…deep reflection…I’ve been experiencing lately. I felt my floppy, wind mussed hair falling dispiritedly against my cheeks.

And I felt all of that lift…for just a bit. It was as if that light just, well, lightened it all for a few moments. It wasn’t God light, it wasn’t magic hour golden light, it was brighter, thornier, more the kind of light designed to knife through you and tell you to quit looking at your phone.


It’s the kind of light that makes you remember that your Facebook memories showed you it’s pussy willow time in the Arboretum across the street from your apartment. That makes you rush up your stairs, grab your dog, and head out for the quickest of walks.

The light was gone by then, but as I walked through the Arb, chased by a big dark thunderstorm cloud (we are having weird weather today), I realized that the magnolias were budding, and I hadn’t even thought to come see them. The pussy willows were almost done, and I’d nearly missed them. Yellow buds are sprouting, purple flowers pushing up through the ground, and I think that, if the light hadn’t smacked me in the face, I’d have missed seeing them.

I’d have been so hung up in my head on all those, ahem, deep reflections…about looming birthdays, about a restlessness I can’t shake, about working so hard not to be lonely, about friends and family and all that I’m not doing that is bold and brave and adventurous, that I nearly missed my favorite place at my favorite time of year.

Shame on me.

So thanks to the light, I got to stand amid the last days of the pussy willows and touch their soft, perfect fur. I made a vow to walk that same path tomorrow and maybe the next day, not caring that it’s not new, not different, not full of adventure. It’s the same. And that’s ok. That’s totally ok.



2 thoughts on “10-minute post about a wake-up call

  1. yes. and amen. and Good light is God light in my book. but my def of God is pretty untraditional. 🙂

    and i felt what you were feeling as you wrote it. so the writing is effective. and sharp, like the light.


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