It’s October 1st.
If no one has welcomed you into this day let me be the first one. It’s Monday, October 1st and there is a chill in the air. Actually there is more than one chill in the air. There is the cool arriving of Fall and then there is everything else.
The everything else that is blowing up on the news, TV and radio. There’s the biting wind of Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford; there is the devastation caused by a Tsunami in Indonesia; there are the #Me Too women; there are marches to prevent suicide; there is Western Mass. having the highest rate of deaths by way of overdoses in the country; there is the so called “tent camp” which is a detentioncenter erected on the Texas border where immigrant children are deposited in the dead of night. To date 3,800 children get to call this place “home.”
There most certainly is a chill in the air. This chill is so pervasive and blowing from so many directions that our impulse is to bundle up, protect ourselves, cover our faces from this stinging wind. The other impulse is to turn away from the cold. Declare that it’s all too much and find something else to retreat into.
But here’s the thing, on this first day of October, we can’t tell summer to come back. We can’t tell the chill to hold off for a while longer and we can’t orchestrate that other chill either. We can only do what we can do. We can vote, we can keep ourselves well informed, we can talk to one another, we can pray.
I have one other thing to add to this list. We can listen. We can listen intently to what people are saying. We can listen without forming a reply. We can listen to Dr. Ford. We can listen to #Me too women; we can listen to our children about drugs and just about their lives; we can listen to each other; we can listen with our eyes when we see photographs of detained immigrants, or people wading through two feet of water in what was once their living room. We can listen better, harder, longer, more intently. We can listen to the sound of the cooling wind blowing through falling leaves. We can listen to the chill that is rippling through our country.
It’s October 1st we have to listen better. Listen to those we agree with and disagree with, listen to our children, listen to despair, listen to truth, listen to laughter and anguish, listen with our eyes, ears, minds, spirits.
It’s still October 1st and there is a chill in the air.