Winter claws the dust of its disappearing act. He does not exit graciously. Ferocious winds rains engage in the annual dance that is the harbinger of spring. We await a green glimpse of life, happy to say adieu to a frozen season that spilled mountains of frozen, white, moist powder into our hearts. We are fortunate, those of us who still breathe with a modicum of comfort in the center of a painful season. We throb from lack of employment, lack of currency. We sometimes grieve. Yet we find ourselves happy to find the sun which we believe has been ill. His warmth, his light grows, gently planting seeds in our soul. We are still here.
And the Congress has disappeared. I wonder if each member of the House and Senate is aware of the same light, the same star that rises in the east and sets in the west each day. Are they aware of the sea of misery that has risen around their white granite buildings? As winter resists his exit, Congress defies life. They talk, they walk, but yet something is missing. It is the lack of response to a growing cacophony of confusion, fear, misery and need. The need to stay in power is the only directive that seems to manifest in the verbiage filling the increasingly feverish tone of Washington, D.C. You may say that this is an old story and perhaps it is. However, what I believe is new is the overwhelming darkness that has resulted from this need. It is difficult to believe that the men and women inside these granite Capitol buildings are aware of the change of seasons. If they cannot notice the warming sun, the change from winter to spring, how in the world can we expect them to detect the change in history's flow?
They talk about socialism, government takeover of health insurance when the very opposite is happening. These are the words meant to terrify us. Yet, before Congress is a bill that promotes private enterprise, that brings to the insurance industry a never before seen windfall of customers without raising premiums. This bill will also give insurance to more people than ever before -- 30 million more -- and despite this good news, our politicians prefer confusion to clarity. They have become the granite walls that encase their hot air. Unlike a balloon, this structure is going nowhere, deflating deeper into shadow.
People come out onto the Capitol lawn and yell, "Kill the bill!" They have a cartoon of our President alongside these murderous syllables. At a moment when the crocuses are peeking through the cold, firm soil of D.C., large groups of people willfully ignore signs of life, preferring to focus on death. "Kill the bill!" They transform end of life consultations into death panels. I do not doubt their sincerity. I do not fault their misunderstandings. How can anyone see through the smoke, mirrors and dark curtain that Congress has become. It is difficult, indeed. Eyes wide shut. At the risk of sounding trite, there is but one ingredient that can cut through the fog of fear. That is love. Simply love.
I am one of those lucky, insured people. I am one of those unlucky, insured people who recently had to consider very seriously my own mortality. My spring is tinged by winter. My summer will be painted with similar colors. I cannot imagine what this time would be like without insurance. I am fortunate in one other respect; my wife's love has become my breath.
What I need to say to those in the white, granite walls, to those who ignore the change of seasons, to those who wish to kill the beginning of hope is please open your hearts. Your eyes will follow. We need to care for each other. We need access to medical care when it becomes necessary. If you have difficulty doing this, if when your eyes open all you see still is a thick, cold fog of hatred, then merely look at the person next to you. Or, if you prefer, look at a person you hate and imagine him or her as an infant. Take your time. Look at that baby's skin, eyes, tiny feet and hands. Hear the sound that floats above his or her body. You will find yourself in that picture. Your soul will speak to you - eyes wide open.
Spring is coming, no matter if we live or die or if we kill the bill or love the bill. We are delivered each year into a profound pool of grace. Let us honor the season by honoring each other. If we do this one simple act, the fog will dissipate, waters will recede and those granite walls will become chambers of music.