Usually we think that only difficulties come without warning. It hadn’t occurred to us that harmony and abundance can seem to come without warning as well, until we read this from the Selected Poems of Mark Strand:
You stand at the window.
There is a glass cloud in the shape of a heart.
There are the wind’s sighs that are like caves in your speech.
You are the ghost in the tree outside.
The street is quiet.
The weather, like tomorrow, like your life,
is partially here, partially up in the air.
There is nothing you can do.
The good life gives no warning.
It weathers the climates of despair
and appears, on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing,
and you are there.
Is it because we are hardwired to take a darker view? It is certainly the reason that we maintain a practice of counting blessings, to consciously bring out attention to all we have. Maira Kalman’s many illustrated books are full of wonderful reminders of the small blessings that make up ‘the good life’.
Still, we are surprised daily.