Tuesday, June 23 2020
...Not long after, I discovered a potted plant atop the Columbarium, left in memory of a loved one, no doubt. It reminded me of our common experience of loss, and how someday we'll all be someone else's loss. Given our finite time here, how is it that we don't pay more attention to the world around us, savoring it while we can? Yet I find myself rushing through the day, driven by tasks, oblivious to the beauty around me. Perhaps someone is trying to tell me something.
It turns out we don't always have to look up to make discoveries. Recently I did some power washing, cleaning off the sidewalk on 19th Avenue from Washington Street to Capitol Way. When the moss and dirt were washed away it revealed the words "Main Street" on the concrete that abuts Capitol Way. (Main Street was the original name of the street according to the City website. The concrete on 19th must be pretty old.)
Later I found a mess outside far worse than any I'd encountered in the past--an unpleasant surprise. I grumbled as I cleaned it up, forgetting what I'd written last month in The Chronicle about not taking such things personally. After the work was done I reflected on what I'd said. Did I really mean it when I honored forgiveness and compassion, or was I just "talking the talk without walking the walk?" Ah, well, sometimes it takes a little jolt to remind me of my commitments.
Still the surprises kept coming. As you know, there have been demonstrations downtown lately. One Saturday morning I was included in a group text about our sign having been tagged the night before. A discussion followed about what to do but no immediate plan was devised. Mysteriously, the sign was cleaned off by Saturday afternoon, the cleaner unknown--a double-barreled surprise! Since then a neatly stenciled BLM has appeared on the sidewalk along Capitol Way.
Surely I had used up my allotment of surprises for a while, I thought, but recently the begonia has been blooming in the Atrium (see photo above), and last night I discovered a glorious crop of Rose Campion showing their colors on the corner of 20th and Washington, reminding me that good things follow when I keep my eyes and heart open.