These Last Minutes of Winter All Count, Too

Photo Credit:Andrey Bond/Unsplash

There’s not usually much alignment or coherence between what I write in my daily journal and these bi-weekly blog posts. The latter I polish up, making sure they’re sanded and the corners are all level. I’m getting used to just pressing send twice a week whether it’s “perfect” or not. It’s a good thing to be aware of what you’re sending out into the ether, for sure, and not waste people’s time with just half-ass work.

However, I’m less interested in this as performance than as catalyst for someone else’s own gratitude work. It’s easy to get so consumed with whether I’m writing well and how I’ll look and how many claps I’ll get on Medium that I can forget why I’m actually doing this. The journal I write in, from which this whole blog series was born, has none of that concern. I just write about whatever’s on my mind, without concern for punctuation or run on sentences or crossing t and dotting i.

Thing is, that’s everyone’s life. What do you see? What are you grateful for? What obstacles are in the way of your being grateful? Hopefully, whatever I happen to write could be suggestive or resonant for you and your own life, your own Inquiry Into A Gratitude Inspired Life.

Most of my words are compostable. Any writer needs to accept that. John MacDonald (he wrote, for example, all the Travis McGee books) said one needed to write at least a million non saleable words. What I care about is how many times someone took the time to read one of these and went off on their own riff, about their own life, wondering how to be grateful on a given day.

And on this given day, March fourth, we are sixteen days from the vernal equinox. That train has left the station and spring is just ahead and being announced at every stop. The longing for sun and warmth and longer light and crocuses and baseball and planting seeds and turning the soil and cooking outdoors and exercising outdoors and wearing shorts is so deeply human and communal.

Vaccinations make us hopeful. By the time of my second dose, the days and nights will be the same length. I’m wondering if I might finally get to meet my grandson some time later this year in Sweden.

I usually start counting down the days until spring training almost as soon as the last out is recorded in the World Series. And then being back in Fenway Park. At least I did in pre-COVID seasons. We align ourselves with time, we’re time-bound, we look forward to vacations.

Yet, I have this reminder like a little boy tugging at my shirt and looking up at me or one of those advertising banners behind a prop plane. Don’t wish away one second of your life. Look ahead, yes, but don’t let that interfere with right now, which is all we’ve been given. It is still winter and these days all count, too.

I was leaning one handed against the wall at the urinal, the way men do, before I started work, and I was thinking about how tired I felt and how I wished the day were over already. Tired of these masks, tired of the protocol, tired of being patient. Eight hours seemed long, too long, when this thought came like a grace, like a whisper, unbidden“Listen, Dude, these minutes are all you have, your only currency, the coin of this realm, don’t wish them away, any of them!”

Be. Here. Now.

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