secular blessings

another day spent inside these four walls. on a day meant for being outdoors. warm weather. summery skies. puffy white clouds drifting by. songbirds singing. breezes rattling our rickety windows. sun streaming in from the south. but the kid is sick and seizure-ish. he is in and out of it. sometimes in a trance. at others, clammy and panicked. i wish i could sleep standing up. good thing for windows and shades that pull down. good thing we're safe and sound. i think about gaza. good thing we aren't being bombed.

the garden is exploding in greens and pinks, ivories and whites. the viburnum's scent is splendid. i finally spied a hummingbird. there's beauty everywhere i look. trees in each window. they're alive with the wind. i wish i could join them in it.

i watch robins hunt for worms in the earth. cocking their black heads left and right. going in for the kill. sometimes the prey escapes. i follow calvin in circles as he crawls around the house between napping on me or the couch. he isn't eating or drinking. he's listless, but alive. we're trapped, but not imprisoned. there's a difference. we have room to move. nothing much to dread or fear. at least not of any imminent consequence. that's privilege. unlike too many in this nation. unlike the rest of the world. i count my secular blessings.

last night we had two guests inside the house. second time in over a year. it felt odd and amazing to say, come on in! embraces were made. tears were shed. laughs were had. glasses were raised. later, we watched a film about vampires called, only lovers left alive. again, i think of gaza. about the hatred of neighbors. the shedding of other's blood. the conceit of creeds. the lust for power. the grabbing of land on a planet we all call home. dogma is not god. that one is unforgiving. so much suffering and killing in the name of religion. ignorance and conspiracy theories abound. cowards become deceivers and demons. how hard is it to love others different from ourselves?

outside now the skies darken. dots appear on the asphalt. it's sprinkling. our roof is good. our house is solid. we're warm and dry and fed. i hear only my dog snoring, my son breathing, cars passing, small aircraft high in the clouds. there are no mortars or rockets. the streets are not bloody. the skies are not teeming. i enjoy so many secular blessings—hope, joy, luck, love, health, safety, forgiveness. with my boy in my arms, i find i can sleep while sitting.


  1. Lovely writing. In my mind I see a
    Young man perhaps dreaming of another varsity letter swim season in the family proud SHS colors.

    Go Calvin.

  2. You amaze me. Your lens is clear.