It's been a strange March - my friends and family up in New England have been slammed with one big snowstorm after another. Some of them love it, but most of them are getting pretty tired of it. Down here in Florida, we had cold spells in January that I loved, then in February it got too warm, too fast and I worried that we'd go straight into warm, humid weather. But for most of March we've been back in a cold spell, and I've been loving it. Our weather and the weather up north is more like February weather, but we're getting it in March.
On cold days, I miss New Englandy-things like having a fire in the fireplace. So I got a DVD of a fire in a fireplace. It sounds silly maybe, but it's actually pretty nice and it does the trick of giving me a "fireplace fix." My husband laughed at first when I told him I'd gotten it, but then I put it on while we had our morning coffee and he was just as mesmerized by it as I was.
Here, you can watch it too.
This year is evolving strangely, though I wonder if any year is not in its own way strange? What I'm thinking of when I say that is that many people I know are dealing with sad or scary situations. A dear friend's son died from a drug overdose. My friend who visited me in February had to leave early to be with her brother, who was diagnosed with brain tumors. She is still there with him as he goes through surgery and his plan of care is developed. My teacher spent eleven days at his father's bedside, helping him through the process of dying. I have two friends who are being treated for cancer. I just learned that the husband of one of my students passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, and today, I learned that another friend's husband passed away - also suddenly - after seeming to have recovered from an illness.
I don't mean to be a downer. It just seems like a lot of heartache and sadness - many battles being fought; some being won and some being lost. It is life, with all its ups and downs. Yoga teaches us to be with it all, and my teacher was a great example of this. He posted essays describing the experience of his father's journey to let go of this life and his writing was sad, moving, exhausting, beautiful, heartbreaking and uplifting. Life is all those things. The work of being human is to allow for it all, to know that we will be okay through it all. Not that we will be blase and pretend everything is fine; not that our hearts won't break, not that we won't be sad, even devastated. But that we know that we will find our way through it; that we will also know happiness and joy again. For most of us, that's a pretty big challenge.
And, seventeen people - most of them high school students, died in a violent shooting in a school here in Florida last month. March is also a verb, and on the 24th of March, students will lead the #MarchForOurLives in DC, all over the country and the world, protesting gun violence and asking for sensible changes to gun laws. We plan to march too. There are things we can change and things we can't. We have to accept the things we can't change, but this sure isn't one of them.