16 January 2011

Where the ponderings lead

The world we looked out on and moved through today is almost back to normal.  The only ice and snow still visible is in the most protected places, at the base of trees, along the shady side of the dam.  Rain and a high temperature in the 50s is forecast for tomorrow.  That should finish off the melt.

The novelty of being housebound by both the snow and ice as well as the cold -- being sort of hunkered down -- gave me unusual periods of unclaimed time.  Beyond reading, taking care of the house and providing meals, crunching around outside with the camera, I've pondered more than a bit.

I have considered the waxing of the moon, its light illuminating with progressive brightness night by night the white scene outside the windows.  Methodical, sure, mysterious, beautiful.  How many full moons have cast pale light across this nighttime landscape over the eons?  Month by month, year by year, decade by decade, century by century?  As the continents drifted?  As the poles aligned and realigned?

The moon sort of set me off, I guess.  I have ended up blown away by memory.  For example:
  • My grandfather Johnson in his extroverted fashion took credit for the existence of our family.  After all, had he not caught sight of the new teacher walking down the street in Milford, that new teacher wearing that fetching red winter coat, and made her acquaintance ...
  • My parents were at the same boring dance one evening in the early 1950s, both miserable.  Mother was leaving, going back to the dorm.  But not before a handsome young man intercepted her and asked her to dance ... They were married within a year and I came onto the scene some 11 months after that.
If Grandma hadn't bought a red coat, if Mom had escaped that interminable dance five minutes earlier, I wouldn't be curled up in Tal's big blue chair tonight.

I wonder.  How many discrete events had to have occurred to get me here and to this moment?  All it might have taken for me not to be here at all is one single encounter not to have happened, one decision made by some anonymous person somewhere along the line to have been different.  Could it actually be that the life I am living got its start at the moment human life emerged on this little planet?  Are we that connected to the march of time and events and to one another?

One hundred thousand years in the making for an 80 year plus or minus lifespan.  Oh my ... 

I suspect it's probably a good thing we're not housebound any longer.

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