Yesterday on my walk up Hill Road, a snow squall pelted me with winter’s last desperate act (hopefully). I marveled as the clouds glided across open water. I suspect the squalls resulted from lake effect snow. A strong wind from the northwest carried just enough moisture just high enough for it to refreeze. Borne just far enough over the peninsula, it fell, scattershot, back to earth.
The haphazardness impressed me. Pockets of roving clouds pushed from the UP. The conditions for this needed to be just right—too much wind, too little moisture, one degree warmer or colder changes everything. In a period defined by haphardry (not a word, but it should be), watching it without being in it felt good.
Upon further consideration, it is the enoughness (also not a word, but it should be) that strikes me more than the randomness of the situation. It required just enough but not too much moisture, just enough wind, but not too much.
I am the designated shopper for the family. These days call for someone to go out and provide for the family, someone to take the risk. I approach a trip to Sturgeon Bay with some imagination. I am a caveman hunting and gathering for the clan. Stealthily hunting the mighty mastodon, while I fend off my competitors. [Don’t ruin the magic. I know I am a middle-aged father, driving an Equinox, trying to make my way through the grocery store AND stay 6 feet away from everyone and come home with the essential foods: carbs, sugars, candy, bacon, and butter.]
I have never experienced a global pandemic, but I have experienced 9/11. I have experienced deep grief and tragedy—both my own personal losses and the losses of those with whom I live and work and play. The pensive moments of crisis invite us to consider what we have and what we don’t have, to take inventory of the essentials.
When Kay was dying, I stole away from the house and went to her office in the church. The opportunity comforted me. I sat at her desk. I ran my hands over her books. I looked at the pictures, the smiling faces, the dazzling memories. I inventoried her life, reduced it to the essentials, found it beyond worthy, found it to be enough.
Enough is a strange concept. Scarcity and abundance rule our lives. The two forces compete for us. I don’t think we know when we are truly empty or truly sated.
Enough lies not in the balance between the two extremes, but beyond them. When scarcity or abundance are no longer the boundary markers for who we are, then we have enough. Enough wind, enough moisture, enough food, enough personality, enough resources, enough friends, enough enemies, enough to get through one more day.