Willing to be Patient

You can find gold in the smallest of details if you're willing to be patient.

I just heard Malcolm Gladwell say that. I knew it already, but it was fun hearing him say it.

Here is some gold, some treasure for you today:

I called a person whose wife is in hospice care to ask if I can visit on Monday and at first he was hesitant. We're not really religious people is what he said, but people say that all the time and the truth is that chaplaincy isn't always a religious thing. I mean, for me everything can be traced back to God, but I don't feel the need to label it. Who cares if you're religious or not? I'll come to your house and eat ice cream with you when you're in hospice care, if you want. 

So I kind of did my thing and told this man about myself and then, without warning he launched into a very passionate and colorful description of what he wants for his own memorial service. A cathedral and a choir and I think also a horn section. I loved his ideas; I loved that he had plans, for a 100-person choir to sing ... You must look it up! he told me, the Berlioz Requiem.

Sure enough, it's magnificent; it gave me goosebumps.

I was thinking today about two of my favorite stories. I was thinking about how I landed here in Pawlet, 26 years ago. It was because of rain. It rained on August 31, 1992, and that is the reason why I came to Vermont that day and didn't go to the beach with my friend. I've told this story a thousand times and it never gets old. Rain is the reason why I have two boys, and why I have been living in Vermont all these years.

The other one is about Charlie, an amateur woodworker who became my friend because we both visited the same general store for coffee in the morning when my boys were young. We met at the store and we started talking to each other and pretty soon we were friends and one year at Christmas time he gave Sam and Nate little wooden trinkets, ornaments. Sam carries his still, a little Santa head, in his backpack. That's 12 years that he's held on to that talisman. He claims it brought him good luck when he passed his road test after failing on the first two tries.

I had lunch with my mom today. We live quite close to each other and she came down to have a bite with me at the diner in town. The whole time we were together I was captivated by her face. She is so beautiful. I've known her for almost 53 years now and I was just mesmerized by how beautiful she is, and also how kind and thoughtful. But mostly how she just gets more beautiful with each passing year.


While I'm on the subject of my mother I should probably tell you about my daughter, too. She organized the rally at her school, the 17-minute thing. She wrote an essay the day after the Parkland shooting, then she reworked it as a letter to the editor for the newspaper. Then she rallied all her friends with the plan to leave the school on the 14th to join in the nationwide walk-out, only it turned out to be a snow day. At first the administration at her school had this idea that they would do things in school that day, but the kids were already empowered and in a truly respectful and admirable way, worked around and with the principals to move forward with their plan to leave the school in reverence for the dead and out of anger for the reality of their lives as potential targets for angry young men with guns.

There she was, standing next to her friend, with a bullhorn, reading the names of the dead. My daughter, the political activist. Now she wants to go to Washington in two weeks. I had this coming; I've been complaining about rallies and marches ever since the pink hat ordeal. I've never imagined myself in a big crowd with a poster chanting anything. I've never wanted to know any more about these things than I can find out by watching the news, but I guess I'm about to learn. Kids, sheesh.

Gold: rain; Berlioz; my mom's face; Charlie's Santa; kids.