It was a cool, rainy day. The dreariness cast a grey mood upon us all. No, this isn’t the start to a mystery novel or a horror movie script. It’s the description of the majority of days we’ve experienced in the northeast all spring. It has been pretty darn ugly, and it is wearing us down.
On this particular dank morning, not unlike at least 40 others previous, I went about my business of getting ready for work and seeing my son and husband off for the day. I caught snippets of national and world news from the tv and my social feeds. Like the weather, everything I heard was depressing. Shootings, environmental crises, plastic in our oceans, endangered species, tariffs, threats of terrorism, war and spying, poverty, illness, political back-stabbing and lies – and lots of anger and frustration. My Pollyanna-Little-Mary-Sunshine fuel tank was headed towards empty in a hurry. The issues that confront us get so overwhelming, we start to feel defeated before we even step out the door, while at the same time we are racked with worry and guilt about not doing enough to make positive changes. Of course, as typical RW’s, we carry around the world’s problems all while managing our own microcosm of family and friend needs, issues and challenges.
I looked out the window at the usual light rain and instead of marveling at how lushly green everything had become, I worried about weeding my gardens, and if it would ever be warm and safe enough to plant new annuals and perennials. Then I saw Mr. & Mrs. Bunster. They are our two wild backyard brown rabbits who I have a hunch have taken up residence under our shed (which yes I realize means we will have more in the Bunster family very soon). They were ambling around eating clover, unconcerned about the deluge of bad news and indifferent to the rain. Mr. Bunster paused and had a brief stare down with the grey squirrel who was on his way for his usual morning routine of trying to navigate up the pole to the bird feeder. They chose to ignore each other and went on their ways. Peacefully. Watching the Bunsters gave me enough of a boost to move on with my day.
Later in the morning, I headed back out (in my raincoat with hood up because many of us have given up on looking good outdoors) for a first consultation appointment with a new Primary Care Physician. She was perky, friendly, intelligent and absolutely gorgeous. I will try to not hold any of that against her. She seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me. On the way back to work, I made two other brief stops. First at the bank, where a new Associate (I could tell she was new because of the festive welcome banner her co-workers had strung across her counter) introduced herself to me, told me how happy she was to be at that branch, and wanted to know my name. You know, all the things an ATM doesn’t do. I was feeling better and the rain was letting up as I made my second stop at a café to pick up some lunch to take back to the office. I walked in and saw a friend who was there having coffee with another friend. Cozy, relaxed, friendly.
I realized that when we get too absorbed by the big picture, we forget to appreciate the smaller picture. We’ve all heard about Shop Local initiatives, but I think we also need to take the time to Look Local, and Interact Local. It’s ok to occasionally stop worrying about world events and realize that there are nice, friendly, kind, caring people right in front of us. We can seek comfort at home, in our town, at work, in our backyards. As tempting as it is, we can’t stick our heads in the ground and ignore all the scary stuff for the rest of our lives, but there’s no rule that says we can’t take sanity breaks. When we need it most, there will be someone to smile at us, show interest in what we have to say, or share a laugh or a hug. And there will be bunnies hopping by to remind us that in our little world, for that moment, everything is just fine and beautiful.
Even more amazing, the sun will come out again. At some point. Maybe even tomorrow.