Sunday, March 23, 2008

Breath of Fresh Air

Our first day of spring is filled with sunshine – the perfect time to get out for a stroll. I see a man wheeling an infant down the street in a baby carriage. Great! Maybe he’s a househusband, or giving his wife a break. So what’s wrong with this picture??

He’s taking puffs from a huge cigar and holding it a few inches from the child as he continues his walk. His baby boy is actually doing more inhaling than he is. The man looks self-satisfied. I am sure he will tell the baby’s mother how refreshing it was to be out on such a warm day and how they both enjoyed it.

As I get older, I become increasingly aware of how interrelated we all are. Almost anything we do affects someone else or maybe even a number of people. It’s important to think before we act and consider the consequences. We’re not as separate as we may feel. Even thoughts have ripples and words have the power to heal or to strike down. Our actions have repercussions that we can’t even see.

The very air we breathe is a product of what we put into it… need I say more?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Four Months of Four Walls

Residents of the nursing home where my mother lives look glum these days. In this season of never-ending snowfalls, most of them are imprisoned here. With their wheelchairs and walkers it’s just too risky to venture out on slippery sidewalks and clogged streets.

As she overhears a conversation about the mountains of snow, Mother says, “I want summer.” Incapacitated as she is, even she needs a change of scene. I wheel her to the other side of the floor to hear the caged budgies sing. Like the people in this place, the birds’ greatest comfort is often each other.

Montrealers are all talking about the weather. We’ve broken snowfall records from 30 to 50 years ago and with more on the way in the coming days, will reach an all-time high. I tell myself, “This too will pass.” By the end of March it will be too warm for anything but rain.

To break the monotony of the indoor world, I head downtown to browse the stores. Tomorrow it will again be impossible to travel – they’re announcing two more feet of snow.