Stories from the past shape our view of the present

Glimmers May 14, 2017

Dear Friends,

Many years ago, during a season of reading science fiction, I entered the world of Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day.” It was the story about children on the planet, Venus, where “it had been raining for seven years; thousands upon thousands of days compounded and filled from one end to the other with rain, with the drum and gush of water..” These nine year olds, who could not remember a time when there wasn’t rain, cruelly taunted a little girl who had traveled from Earth more recently. She remembered the sun’s warmth and light. She tried to tell them what it was like, as they anticipated the two-hours of sunshine predicted to appear that afternoon. For some reason, as humans sometimes do, the children would not listen. They mocked her and put her in a closet before the teacher returned. There she stayed while the rest experienced a glorious summer’s day for two hours, until the next seven years of rain began again. And then they remembered to open the closet.

This story has stayed with me, speaking of loss, of cruelty, of ignorance…all part of the human condition I see in the world today. But I always remembered the sunshine, the vision of “that yellowness and that amazing blueness … of the fresh, fresh air and … the silence which suspended them in a blessed sea of no sound and no motion.” I celebrated the feeling of hope that a sunny day brings to my heart.

It’s possible these images remained with me because I was the girl who moved from sunny California to rainy Washington. I was the girl whose father’s death put me in a space so different from other sixth-graders. Today, as the promise of Spring keeps trying to present itself in the wet, coolness of New England’s month of May, I am still trying to remember light in the midst of darkness. Today, as cruelty and ignorance seem to take over the land I am part of, I seek to embody that light in my own way. I will celebrate the light, I will not be deterred. I will join with you, who speak of truth and love and hope, even as we wait for the rains to stop. We know the warmth of the sun.

with blessings on this new day, Lisa

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