For the twenty-five years during which I had my own law practice, I found myself drawn to flip the scene from time to time. I sat in the client chairs to face my own normal position. I went out into the waiting room and paced, alert for sounds of the inner office door. I called into the front desk and asked to speak with myself. The change in perspective reminded me of my purpose, of the people whom I served.
As I drove to work in the bright morning air yesterday, I chanced to raise my eyes to the western sky. The moon shimmered in the rays of the eastern light. From the side of the levee road, on the edge of an open field, my cell phone’s camera captured the lunar presence. I had no idea what I might see in the images. I did not expect to be reminded of my mission here.
The moon never protests her place in the sky. She reflects what shines on her. Yet she has her own presence. Her surface contours speak of her character. We castigate her potential for sustaining life, yet she draws the waters of our planet to and fro. Our beaches bear gifts from her tidal pull, shells which our delighted children clutch in their small hands and shards of wood that we turn into benches. We take her for granted, but she gives balance. She casts her glow on our meadows and the cheeks of our lovers. She kisses the dew as she abandons her subtle light to the brash blaze of her bolder sister.
After I had taken a few shots, I resumed my journey into work. I turned onto 12 with the same caution. I glanced at Mt. Diablo as I passed, the way I do every morning. But when I got to the suite of someone else’s firm in the back office of which I work after decades of being the empress of the universe, I felt a difference in the spring of my step. What did that poem say, the one which I memorized in kindergarten? “Be the best of whatever you are.” And oh, by the way — no moaning. Just rise and shine.
It’s the twelfth day of the one-hundred and sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
(1) Remind me to tell you the story some time.