Almost Spring

There is a hint of spring in the air. The slightest of hints. Blink, and you might miss it. A spring that wants to break free of the shackles of the icy winter, the winter that wants to hold on for just a little longer. I look out of my living room window every morning with the hope of seeing the tiny yellow or green blossoms, the earliest signs of spring, on the trees in our tiny backyard. Any signs elude me.

Today was different.

In Jersey, spring time is mostly a lot like rainy season back in India. It rains for the most part and it is cold at times. Jackets are a constant requirement till we usher in summer in late May, early June. As someone who does not have a particular fondness for that incessant rain, my feelings about spring here are mixed. Yet, I am looking forward to spring this year. A spring that will gently melt into summer, a summer that will bring in the endless blue sky, the colors and the warm breeze. A summer that may whisper to promise hope. Hope of traveling 8000 miles to see faces whose hearts long for their grandkids; who hold on to time to get a chance to make memories with the little ones that will last them for as long as they live. Hope of a place that is still home, my corner of the world that protects like no other, that nurtures like no other, that is warm like no other.

So, to spring I say:

Come, it’s time.

Come in tiny steps of green or bursts of pink and yellow.

Come in to fill our senses and usher in hope.

Come with rain, I do not mind.

Just find your way in, as always.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe. Stay kind.

Of Cowardice And Courage

We recently finished the basement of our home, a process that we had started in September of 2021. What once used to be a cold and dark place- wires jutting out from here and there, strange pink insulation padding peeking out from corners along with a wonderful display of cobwebs- has now been transformed into a warm and inviting place, that is part play area and part music area. The kids have found a slice of heaven it would appear, the good man enjoys his guitar and we all groove to music that plays over a new speaker. In addition to having a functional space that we all get to enjoy as a family, chances of us stepping on tiny pieces of toys, while walking around in the main living spaces of the house and shrieking out in pain, are also a lot less now.

But while I enjoy a good book on the couch in our new basement, all cozy under a bright yellow blanket, I know that across the ocean, basements are being used as bunkers, as shelters, as make shift care centers, as temporary nursing homes. Videos and images of atrocities and also unfaltering courage, in the face of all the senselessness, have caused for a sudden silence in our house after the kids fall asleep. They sleep in peace on their beds with their favorite stuffies, as their lullaby plays on and the twinkling star lights on the ceiling of the room create a space that comforts them, keeps them safe. My babies are safe.

But at this exact moment in time, thousands of kids, like mine, are traumatized, to put it mildly. They are homeless, they are refugees, they are separated from their parent/s, many will lose a parent or both, and many will also pay for this senseless act with their precious lives. What was once their warm site of endless recollections, their comfort, their source of happiness has all but vanished or is in the process of vanishing. We all watch in horror and disbelief. We express solidarity, we donate and march in town squares, where possible people are opening up their homes and hearts to provide for a safe space for those fleeing and seeking shelter, while politicians and law makers and others with important job titles scramble to find ways to stop a madman in his path. History sighs. What the world is witnessing today- this unforgivable act- She has always had such pages. Always. The sun that rises each morning is hopeful, and yet it, sadly, continues to set on an unjust, unequal and vicious world.

While I tuck my kids safely under their blankets and kiss them every night, a mother somewhere watches over her sick kid and prays for more time with them; while someone raises a glass to congratulate a newly married couple, another buries their loved one. Painful and precious moments have coexisted in this strange world since time immemorial. A wishful thought maybe, but since man has reached the moon and beyond, has tamed grave illnesses and attained heights of glory through music and art, wouldn’t he have also figured out a way to prevent humanity from ever reaching a juncture- something similar to the one we are at now- where history would repeat itself? But as we all know, truth is stranger than fiction and so, some men continue on in their path of destruction, led by greed and all that seek to strip them of their humanity. The world descends into chaos. Yet, when sanity takes a backseat and there is not much to hold on to, when tears no longer fall as every drop has been shed, it is man again, a different kind, who rises to inspire and to believe and to show what courage can look like, what humanity should look like. The cycle continues. This omnipresent dance of cruelty and beauty, of cowardice and courage is oppressive and still strangely uplifting, don’t you think? The display of gallantry shows the power of togetherness, the power of humility and of honor and while it comes at a cost that is too much to bear, it paves the way for future generations to learn from, to write more hopeful chapters in the story of our shared world.

The winter carries within it the heart of spring.

Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe. Stay kind.