|View over back hillside-early AM-photo by Libby Fife|
There are more tangible things to grasp onto however. The smoke in the air has cleared and the smell is slowly dissipating. The weather is gradually cooling as we move towards Autumn. There is a noticeable crispness in the air. As I walked in our backyard this morning looking for photo opportunities, I reflected on the fact that much of life is about the acceptance of both the good and the bad coexisting. We had dinner with our family last night. They have two of their friends staying with them who are victims of the fire. They lost everything. Absolutely everything except the clothes in their suitcases and whatever they were wearing. It's beyond my ability to understand. And theirs too I imagine. Yet, there has to be acceptance. The worst has happened and what do you do? Rage against it? It's already come and gone.
I find it somewhat helpful to recall something that I read years ago. Rabbi Harold Kushner, noted author and progressive conservative Jew, wrote a book called When Bad Things Happen To Good People. My take from the book is that bad things are not a judgement or an omen or retribution from God. They are just part of what's what in this lifetime; what constitutes the human condition. That's very hard to accept and yet, I do accept the explanation. I imagine that God is just as offended at awfulness and grieves just as much in the face of tragedy and human suffering as we all do. His presence and partnership is the comfort.
And as I look at my beautiful backyard and cherish what I have right now, I know that my time will come too. I will have to accept the bad along with the good; the up and the down at the same time. It makes me want to hold on to things just a little bit tighter and with much greater awareness and acceptance.