A Chance for Everyone With You

Little River, Mentone, Alabama, 1/20/2020. Photograph by Stacy Sweeney

There were snow flurries in the forecast that MLK holiday, hiking and writing in Mentone, Alabama. My current troubles were echoing what the singer-songwriter, Joe Henry, remarks from the January 11th, 2020, On Being conversation, “Welcoming Flies at the Picnic.

A Chance for Everyone With You
You search the weather for a way to
dress in the world,
assessing what the forecast demands and what it holds.
It is January and the temperature is falling toward zero.
Suddenly the very essence of what being comfortable means
has been taken from you.
Your capacity to forage for shelter and warmth plunges by half,
meaning that you could face the risk of frostbite or exposure to toxic mold.
What you really have is one ultimate destination
through that grand atmosphere with her weird performances
that you hope to re-capture with pastel on paper.
An eye witness from this one tiny window,
you greet the morning sun and wish a “good night” to the stars.
Then you notice the winter trees are all shivering,
stripped of their superficial marks and features,
and you feel somehow that you belong,
complete in the forest and forecast unleashed,
no longer looking for a change in weather,
no longer working out a clear preference of what you want to happen,
but an invitation to walk with your whole self.
You are different now than you can ponder or realize.

You say one day is ours for the day’s need,
indeed, every day you surprise
with the very way you exercise
the sun.
You try to win everyone on your side,
even those astrologers we despise,
who disguise the good in you,
and thank you, because of that
there is a chance for everyone with You.
~ §tacy §weeney