Today New England is focused on numbers.
2 days ago it was spring because the number was 60.
Yesterday it was snow because it was 33.
This morning it is ice because it is 14.
Next Wednesday if it’s over 32 it is rain, below 32 it is blizzard.
We adapt to these numbers because we have no choice. Architects simulate choice when we create buildings that disavow their location – I can also walk around naked at 14F for awhile, but disease and the police would soon put an end to it, and those buildings adapt to their architect’s bad choices by falling apart bit by bit.
We have a very odd human as the Leader of our country and the focus of everywhere else: those who he angers or makes afraid see no adaptation: they see only termination: an ending, not a changing. That might work, but not for a good long while: – even a day is too long for those who reject “normalization”. Not adapting means being lost in anger and fear until things change (and they always do, one way or another).
Our children never meet preconceptions – because they are not us. We can oath that the awful boy/girlfriend is fine, the C in Chemistry is OK, or even bad behavior “is just part of growing up” – but the script parents write is never recited back to us. We can adapt to our kids realities or we can live in a place of frustration and disappointment.
And we can pretend we are just fine. The frustrations of circumstance or the failures of capacity, the preventable errors of judgment can be presented as “all good”. But we know better. It’s either adapt of die in a sense that fate wrecked us, or worse, we wrecked ourselves.
I cannot make it 60 degrees today, but I can scrape the driveway at 33 to prevent ice at 14. I can fail, as I do every day, and I can wallow in it, or try to understand and adapt.
The choice is to curse the numbers or understand the math. In Lent I am trying to learn simple arithmetic. Wish me luck.