I managed to get out to the barn this morning for the first time in at least two weeks. My poor boy was happy to see me and we had a leisurely, easy ride which suited both of us. He got to swing his head and trot around on a long rein and I got to smell that old familiar horse scent and gaze at the mountains.
"Has it been announced that Southern California has the best weather in the world at the moment?" asked my barn-mate, Jan. We should feel embarrassed for the weather we're having -- 74F and sunny skies, the kind of weather we get in late Spring or early Summer. And the rest of the country is freezing. And Europe is snowed in. It's -20C in Tonsberg, southern Norway where my cousins live, and about -4C where my mother lives in England. Carrie's Swedish friend is reporting -48C, which is truly shoot yourself in the head weather. Well, I'm announcing it here now. I'm sure it will make all my British friends furious, but the weather here is nauseatingly good.
Sidenote: The general pleasantness of LA is a rouse. The weather will become extreme and when it does, it gets very nasty. Biblically so.
The family had a traditional summer Sunday lunch -- Salade Nicoise with black olives and thin green beans and crispy warm bread -- on the deck with the hawks whistling overhead and the dogs laying on their sides and blinking in the sunlight. It's a quiet, odd time. The blue sky is like something you'd find on Google images when searching for "clement weather."
The trees are beginning to bud. I should stop being surprised when spring comes so early. There has been an enormous earthquake in Northern California but here we're tranquilized and listening to NPR and reading books and cooking and trying to move along as best we can, amidst the emptiness that naturally follows a death. It's not spoken about. Not directly anyway. I wonder if my children had an American mother whether we'd speak about it more. Whether we'd sit down as a family group and have focused conversations about how everyone feels. It seems mawkish now. But it colors everything. The Maharishi thinks about him every moment of the day. He wakes up thinking about him. Extra meaning is imparted into everyday things: a 357 magnum, Lebanese rice, lamb meatballs with pine nuts, a photograph that sits on the big, round table in the hallway, surrounded by daisies, a T-shirt from a party at the beach in the 80s, his widow and best friend who will come for supper tonight. Even movies.
Nearly 400 people turned up at the funeral to pay their respects and celebrate a life that touched them. Friends, family, competitors, garment manufactures, factory workers, sewers. All kinds of people. The church was filled with poinsettias and Christmas trees as Wednesday was Epiphany, a day in much of the world when Christmas is celebrated. Apart from a wreath decorated in daisies, the church was red and green. Father Zadan led a modified version of the Catholic funeral prayer service and we sang Morning Has Broken and All You Need Is Love. There was a swelling, a crescendo, and by the last chorus, the whole congregation had broken into song. He would have laughed.
Have you ever woken up from an afternoon nap, usually an outside nap, where you can feel the wind and the sun, even though you're sleeping, and you believed you've glimpsed another world, or another time and place? You know that way your perception shifts just slightly to the right or the left, or in front of behind of where you actually are, and you believe you might have seen something or heard something important? But the thing you've seen or heard is elusive, although tremendously significant, and try as you might, you can't quite grasp what it is or what is being imparted? I am sure there is a word for it. And, dear reader, as I've been having quite a few of these episodes, I'd be very grateful for that word, so I can speak of it succinctly, and with authority, instead of sounding like an enigmatic lunatic.
You see, I believe that everything is better. It could be the new year, the end of a totally crap year, (epic failure in fact), the beginning of a new decade. (Ten does sound better than nought any way you slice it.) Or it is that somehow goodness is being sprinkled about, liberally, willfully and with purpose?