When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw “the tree with the lights in it.”
It was for this tree I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years. Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it.
I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance.
The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.
I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam. --Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
I've only cowered in the basement once, so far. Nothing materialized except some water seeping under the basement wall. It rainith. A lot. we have managed to duck out between the storms. Everything is green, moist, singing, blooming . . . in such a rush.
It's been a long ten years. So much is owed to the brave men who killed the man responsible for the 9/11 strikes on America.
"U.S. forces were led to the fortress-like three-story building after more than four years tracking one of bin Laden's most trusted couriers, whom U.S. officials said was identified by men captured after the September 11, 2001 attacks."
That man who identified the courier was water-boarded at Gitmo. Update: There is disagreement about where this person was interrogated. It may have been in an over-seas facility. None of this is pretty. But neither were the deaths of 3 thousand innocent Americans.
No lights in the neighbors' windows yet. Venus, my February companion, floats above Ed’s roof. The planet is so bright with reflected light that the cold on my cheeks feels like heat.
That’s why I stand here. On a quiet street, waiting. For the planet's fading into dawn. For the cardinal's silhouette at the feeder, For Ed, in his red flannels, collecting the paper. For the heart’s cares melting, like Venus, into morning.