Wednesday, January 30

Good News

News is not always news.

It took a while searching on the internet to find an important story only hinted at on the running ticker-tape at the bottom of the t.v. screen; an American aide worker and her Afghan driver were kidnapped in Kandahar last week. While no one has claimed responsibility, 500 Afghan women have taken to the streets (many with permission from their husbands) to protest the act, claiming it is both an assault on the true tenants of Islam and the dignity of women. What remarkable news!

Today is was much easier to find news about a Spears pregnancy, suppositions on Gwen Stefanie’s 2nd gestation, and 150 animal rights activists who stripped naked to lay themselves on freezing Barcelona cathedral steps splattered with red paint to protest the wearing of fur. Ew.

I saw videos of a tearful Glenn Beck offer a touching tribute to Gordon B. Hinckley and some clip about a giant 22,000 lb. pencil that can be seen from space. Each of these news items have managed to emerge from around the "only" news: the ever-present and nauseatingly non-stop coverage of the Florida primary and the resultant jockeying for position towards the next endorsement as candidates begin aborting ship.

Here's news: a brown hen in a Mexican village is laying green eggs. She and her feathered fellows eat the same cracked corn and tortillas, yet she is the only one producing eggs of a different color. The last word on the piece was an acknowledgment that the chickens were obtained from a government self-sufficiency program. (Now that really is good news.)

I know something about chickens. Rabanita may be of mixed pedigree. South American Araucana chickens do lay blue eggs. However, the North American standard requires the tail-less, ear-tufted version currently identified as markers of the breed. We may have more of an Ameraucana in the pecking-order. (Ameraucana hen next to White Leghorn) Another blue egg-bearer has the most appropriate name, Easter-Egger. Their standard is non-existent, or in other words, “variable”. Each of the breeds mentioned are on the small side, they are hardy, resistant to disease and enthusiastic layers – all excellent reasons why their DNA is probably related to Polynesian stock considered the historical “parent” stock of most of the small breed abundantly egg-laying chickens.

The magical reception this news is receiving in a humble place like Cuautitlan is the real news. The family is considered "blessed". The specific nature of their divine recognition is not really qualified, but they are basking in it nonetheless. It seems a general aura of good fortune is upon this household, and their neighbors feel genuinely happy for them. Rabanita will undoubtedly live a Queenly existence for her share in this curious omen.

Most of our day to day living is not big news. Even world-wide events do very little to actually change what happens to us in our day with grocery lists, utility bills and kid's school schedules. Rhetoric and current media frenzy aside, it really won't matter all that much who lands in the White House - no matter the cooperation from Congress, a change at the helm is not likely to influence our ordinary day in a significant fashion. Childbirth may or may not change celebrity girls and women. Theatrical nudity probably won't derail the fashion industry, and ginormous good for nothing satellite attracting pencils simply will not make a difference in life. It shouldn't be news.

How we see life does make a difference. Perhaps we make our own news. I love to spot the lone hummingbird almost the instant he calls out in his little squeaking voice. My eye knows to look for the highest leaf-bereft branch in a low profile tree - and there he is. I may not see a hummingbird every single day, but when I do, I count myself very fortunate. When I have been with other people and try to point out the hummer - they cannot see him readily. Finally when they do, it is not that big a deal. Maybe something else in their day is that little thing that reminds them of their blessings.

A full moon is always a personal message to me, deep and full of a quiet, glowing reassurance. The crescent moon is likewise a sign, but for a different reason. All of my children can recite a little Langston Hughes poem with me whenever we see a crescent moon:

Winter Moon
How thin and sharp is the moon tonight,
how thin and sharp and ghostly white is the slim,
curved, crook of the moon tonight.

Rachel recently discovered the oh so beautiful good news of Debussy's "Clair De Lune". She got a piano classics CD and plays it over and over. It means something different to her 13 year old self than it does to me. That's great. And it's another blessing; I want my children to feel life. They laugh at my puny observations that I usually identify with larger things. I guess that's OK, too. I have always been this way, and am glad for it.

Maybe real news is the simple fact that God speaks to us every day.

If poor villagers see His hand in a hen's colored eggs, if a softly intoned "thank you" escapes from Asia's lips for something I did for her, if music speaks to my heart quickly and profoundly no matter what distractions have robbed me of my peace, if towering Arizona clouds are edged with fiery sunlight and if we are lucky enough to see 2 hawks spiraling over the tangle of downtown Phoenix ~

If we can remember to be kind to one another because we know we really want to be, and pause in our day to pray for a kidnapped woman who left modern comforts only to serve others, if David smiles at me ~ if my little Jack will one day really call me "Mimi" as his mother intends ~ all these things are beautiful news, good news, real news . . . to me.

1 comment:

Yaj said...

You are right on! We miss the small stuff, or sweat it, as we are bombarded by vapid, worldly pap. Most of the pap is uselessly mean, looking to tear down or tear up, break apart, confuse the ignorant or unfeelingly ruin a reputation. The "news" is mostly a pap smear... and what the world misses mostly gifts from papa celestial. I love reading spiritual thoughts well expressed - they can be felt you know...