(One of those Nature-freaks totally wasting his time, money and effort in “vacant lots”)
As I stepped out into the frozen North, Arctic winds, and falling snow–as I am wont to do daily–to feed the birds and squirrels (who might otherwise not survive/as well), my thoughts turned to my son’s family fighting Covid this past week, my sister-in-law’s husband who elected to get a front tooth removed rather than go on suffering with an unknown no. otherwise dentist visits, a Winnipeg friend now down with Covid, and to all the homeless and poor people all over the globe, to make a long story short.
And so when I stepped back into the cozy warmth and candle-lights of the family room, my wife and I resolved to make yet another donation to the local food bank and to pay for some Christmas dinners at the local homeless shelter.
It’s going to be another long winter of our discontent what with a tridemic now officially on. Everyday will be a problematic life-and-death struggle for many hither and yon. Survival and personal charity are the first orders of business this winter. And charity begins at home: a matter of personal choice. The human instinct to persevere and prevail and–let us all hope–the will to look out for others less fortunate and up against it: something December and Christmas always both remind us of.
T.S. Eliot’s “Preludes” never fails to remind me of the fundamental human struggle:
“I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.”
Once again, the continually relevant 1917 wisdom of T.S. Eliot: