Friday, February 3, 2017

Icicles on Door Handles


I was nervous all day about the weather in Portland, wondering if my flight would indeed take off and land. Missing my grandchildren and wanting them to meet my friend Kofi from Ghana, I planned a quick weekend trip to attend his workshop with the Portland Orff Chapter and take them along. But with Portland’s 6th winter storm with freezing rain and icy roads that the city is simply not prepared for, things were looking dubious.

But flight tracker said the flight was on time, despite the 32 degrees and raining weather. Arrive it did and when I went to get into my daughter’s car, there were icicles on the door handles! Quite a contrast from the first plum blossom in my back yard. We drove slowly and arrived without mishap.

Both Zadie and Malik gave me that warm running-into-your-arms welcome I remembered from my own children when I came home from trips and they still thought I was God. (Ah, remember those days?) Out came the Marble Maze and in went Malik’s hand into my shirt pocket to remove my glasses and notebook.

A quick dinner, reading the remarkable Dr. Seuss book “The Sneetches” (run out and get in now if you don’t already have it). Zadie asked about what was going on in the story and I explained that one group thought they were special because they had stars on their bellies and the other group didn’t and the first group was treating the second group badly because they thought they were special. And without missing a beat, she asked:

“If they’re special, why are they mean?”

Why, indeed. Can we just get down to the basics here? Why do rich people with more money than they need keep trying to take it away from those who don’t have enough? Why do people with their health care lined up want to see others without it? Why are they trying to gut Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security? Why do people who get to go to church without being afraid want to make others afraid of those who go to another place of worship? Why don’t they want everyone to experience the pleasure of not having to apologize for who you are? Why are they just so damn mean?!

 In my day-to-day, making such glorious music with children and adults, hanging out with kind people, now spending precious time with the grandkids, life is the first blossom on the plum tree announcing more to come. In the national mood, it’s freezing rain, icy roads, icicles on locked doors. Well, go read the Sneetches. It tells a lot about what’s going down, but has a happy ending.

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