I hate to admit how profoundly external circumstances affect me, but there it is. They absolutely do.
One external circumstance that I’ve been plodding under since May has been the depressing absence of morning sun.
But I haven’t wanted to complain because…Santa Barbara summer weather in recent years has seemed to have only two gears: dreary fog, or the frightening combination of high winds, heat, and fire danger.
Mostly the latter. I wouldn’t want to jinx it by mentioning how sick I am of the fog.
Not that I think I’m that powerful, but who knows, if enough of us complain we could somehow encourage the destructive opposite of fog.
I’m reveling in sunshine this morning. It doesn’t feel like we’re in for sundowner winds, so at the moment I feel calm and peaceful.
This is in stark contrast to what appears to be happening or imminent in the outside world.
We’re three days into what many are calling Red October. Dire predictions of economic collapse abound. Various militaries are reportedly shuffling troops and strategic equipment.
And on the Covid front, the jaw-dropping hubris of world governments has reached such absurdity that I half expect the curtain to draw back and the vaudeville emcee to gesture for the actors take their bows.
The show’s over! Thank you for being an appreciative, if captive, audience. You may all go home now.
I’m pretty sure I should care about how awful things are. I should do something, although I’m not sure what.
Instead, I find myself daydreaming about doing some fall decorating. Contemplating plans for holiday meals. Maybe even having people over for Christmas!
It doesn’t get much more frivolous.
What’s curious is that the judgmental part of me that insists I should be deeply concerned about something, anything, outside my own little world, isn’t finding a toehold in my awareness.
The peaceful pleasantness of this very moment—the sun shining, the birds singing—overrides the preoccupation with misery that I have lived with nearly continuously since the lockdowns began in March 2020.
Locally, we continue to suffer from an ominous form of governance that seems to portend an American totalitarianism—a contradiction in terms if there ever was one. Our overreaching governor, for instance, now wants to force Covid vaccines on schoolchildren (once the FDA “approves” them).
Seeing people needlessly wearing masks outdoors—which tells me they were probably first in line to get a vaccine—ruffles my autonomy. But not nearly as much as it did a year ago.
It’s like an invisible barrier, a benevolence of energy, shields me from that which is inimical to peace of mind and to experiencing the joy available to me right this moment.
The birds still trill with joyful abandon. The wind has not risen. The cats sleep peacefully in the sun.
And I—I have the choice to spend this beautiful day combing through Internet worries and speculations.
Or peacefully contemplating nothing.
Or equally peacefully engaging in leisurely (or industrious) endeavors.
I am profoundly fortunate in this moment. I know Red October is here, and many predicted upheavals may finally be upon us. Tomorrow I might not be able to access my bank account if the direst prognostications are valid.
But this benevolent energy of personal peace, even if it disappears the moment I stop writing, can be a counterweight to the global disturbance of peace.
Until we are living in a realm where opposites have commingled into radiant oneness, I am happy to put my thumb on the scale and weight that balance toward peace.