Letter From New York September 3, 2014

Or, as it seems to me…

The sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds; it is warm but not hot, only slightly humid. Sighing, I am noticing that more leaves outside my window where I write are turning yellow while the soft breeze blows through the branches.

Outside my living room and dining room windows, a tree is being taken down; struck last year by lightening; it has given up the fight. Dying, it needs to be removed lest it fall upon the cottage. I am sorry to see it go; it was a good, strong tree that provided shade to the deck. It was sturdy; it had its place in my life and then, literally, lightening struck and it now is going. It will change my view of the creek; its departure will change my life a little.

But that is what they say life is about: changes. So I have to embrace the change. I am doing a lot of that lately, with having moved on from Odyssey. Appointments in the city moved from this week to next and I find myself with a week at the cottage, an unexpected delight – and a challenge. Now that I do not need to go into town everyday, I am discovering how to discipline myself so I don’t go completely to seed here at the cottage.

The day begins, as it always does, with a perusal of the news from the NY Times, assimilating what has happened overnight. Today there may or may not be a ceasefire in the Ukraine but the possibility of one is a hopeful sign.  

The world is continuing to grapple with the death of American Steven Sotloff, gruesomely beheaded by ISIS [or IS or ISIL, depending on which source you’re reading or who is being quoted].

And, in another sign of change, the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, will now allow gay groups to march in it. Come next March 17th you can be out and proud and Irish all in the same parade.

Not all change is bad; much of it, in fact, is good if we allow room for it in our lives. That old adage: nothing stays the same is true. Recently, I cleaned out a box of old pictures and nothing reminds you of the time going by then photos of yourself from a different time and life.

I consigned them to the dustbin of history and sent them to be recycled. I am more concerned about now than then. I have carved out a good life for myself here at the cottage and down in the city. I am embracing it. I smile to myself at times; it is a time to cherish, watching the light splatter on my drive, the little fountain in the center of the circular drive gurgling. I have good friends, good neighbors, and good things happening – all the while the world is changing about me.

Carpe diem, said the Romans. Seize the day! And so I am seizing the day and moving on with it, nurtured by the sight of leaves turning in one more cycle of life.

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