Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy New “Cycle”


Well, this morning dawned like any other, which came as no surprise to me. The apocalyptic predictions fizzled like so many previous ones have.

I did hear from one person who woke up this morning to the sound of unusual silence and a power outage. That proved to be the result of yesterday’s storm, however and not attributable to ancient – or modern – superstitions.

If you are still blissfully ignorant of the purported “end of the world” that some had predicted would happen yesterday, based on the Mayan Calendar, then good for you for living above or beyond the media chatter! Yesterday was considered to be the end of the 5125-year-long cycle that the ancient Mayan peoples used in what’s called the long count calendar. Presumably, then, the new cycle begins today.

Happy New Cycle!

May the next 5125 years be better than the last. At least by then whoever is around will know how this global warming business turned out.

I was delighted to open my New York Times last Sunday to find that their editors had turned to poetry to commemorate the event (or non-event).

Here’s one short poem from the collection they published that I found particularly trenchant:


The blue jay
Was the last leaf
To fall
When it rocked
From side to side And slowly tumbled
To land on the snow
As a piece of sky
Broken off
The cold blue place
Where winter keeps
The number zero.

Of course today is also the winter solstice. So, if the whole Mayan calendar thing is meaningless, we still have that traditional reason to celebrate a new beginning today. I for one always welcome the return of the sun, gradual though it is. And what a beautiful day it turned out to be! Though the cold was punishing it was quite lovely while I could stand it. I went out to the County Grounds to look around at the new fallen snow and I make this offering to both the new Cycle and the solstice.

I will close with another poetic meditation, this one by Mary Oliver:

In the Storm

Some black ducks
were shrugged up
on the shore.
It was snowing

hard, from the east,
and the sea
was in disorder.
Then some sanderlings,

five inches long
with beaks like wire,
flew in,
snowflakes on their backs,

and settled
in a row
behind the ducks --
whose backs were also

covered with snow --
so close
they were all but touching,
they were all but under

the roof of the duck's tails,
so the wind, pretty much,
blew over them.
They stayed that way, motionless,

for maybe an hour,
then the sanderlings,
each a handful of feathers,
shifted, and were blown away

out over the water
which was still raging.
But, somehow,
they came back

and again the ducks,
like a feathered hedge,
let them
crouch there, and live.

If someone you didn't know
told you this,
as I am telling you this,
would you believe it?

Belief isn't always easy.
But this much I have learned --
if not enough else --
to live with my eyes open.

I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
This wasn't a miracle.
Unless, of course, kindness --

as now and again
some rare person has suggested --
is a miracle.
As surely it is.

~ Mary Oliver ~

1 comment:

  1. Eddee: Thanks for sharing this message and the beautiful poems.

    Happy Holidays!