Driving straight into a thick blanket of fog, I wondered about our world, the darkness and lack of visibility we are entering. I remembered the blizzard in the Little House on the Prairie books that hit suddenly while children were at the school-house. They formed a line with outstretched arms – trying to get all the children home in a storm of wild whiteness. Only because Mary was blind did they succeed, because she knew how many steps to each building in their little prairie town. There was the harrowing story of nearly missing the first marker. One child’s finger tips barely grazed the edge of the building, or they would have all been lost only footsteps away from safety.
I’m thinking of stories of danger and the stories that always surface in the face of tragedy or terror, of the strength and dazzling beauty of the human spirit, and when we hold hands, and walk each other through the tough times, when we work together to make it.
I keep getting caught up in the bigger picture – the bigger fog that is settling down on us all, and I start to panic, and I want to fight my way back out into the sunshine, and it doesn’t seem possible, and it isn’t even realistic, and it’s horribly beyond my control, and a nightmare, and the panic is mounting, and the bile is rising in the back of my throat, and I am spinning, and terrified.
Until I stop and look closely at the rock my son hands me that he found on the gravel driveway, and it sparkles on one side, and has dust of diamonds all around on the other sides if you look closely; they are like tiny dots of brilliance. And I study it to calm myself, and he looks up into my face – proud of his discovery, and sure that its worth something.
It is worth everything to me right now. It is a saving grace, to focus on the microcosm and the minutiae, to look into the eager eyes of my son, and see his little nine-year old face, and all his potential, and all his big dreams, and all the tiny parts that fit together to make up his child’s wonder.
It is enough to be right here making sure we have stories aplenty to shore up the narrative of people working together to make life better – so someday when he is driving into fog or spinning because the world is growing ugly, he has a beauty to remind him of how we hold each other’s hands to get to safety.
Photo of our own dear back field after a heavy snow in 2017.