I think the world is changing.
I see it this week—
this week of unexpected
challenges.
When wet snow and wind
took down power lines,
Kay Rural Electric Cooperative
responded generously—
with detailed information,
on the telephone,
and website updates
several times a day
about their progress
restoring service.
There was unexpected
kindness.

Making the transition
into Medicare
(I know; I don’t seem 65!)
four people
walked me through
the maze of information
toward decisions,
with patience, understanding
and unexpected kindness.

During a visit with loved ones,
we witnessed hospital staff
extend compassionate care,
kindness
beyond imagining.

Headlines not withstanding,
there is quiet evidence
that we are moving
towards life-sustaining community.
Witness too,
this,
from Mary Oliver,
in Thirst:

In the Storm

Some black ducks
were shrugged up
on the shore.
It was snowing

hard, from the east,
and the sea
was in disorder.
Then some sanderlings,

five inches long
with beaks like wire,
flew in,
snowflakes on their backs,

and settled
in a row
behind the ducks—
whose backs were also

covered with snow—
so close
they were all but touching,
they were all but under

the roof of the ducks’ tails,
so the wind, pretty much,
blew over them.
They stayed that way, motionless

for maybe an hour,
then the sanderlings,
each a handful of feathers,
shifted, and were blown away

out over the water
which was still raging.
But, somehow,
they came back

and again the ducks,
like a feathered hedge,
let them
crouch there, and live.

If someone you didn’t know
told you this,
as I am telling you this,
would you believe it?

 Belief isn’t always easy.
But this much I have learned—
if not enough else—
to live with my eyes open.

I know what everyone wants
is a miracle.
This wasn’t a miracle.
Unless, of course, kindness—

as now and again
some rare person has suggested—
is a miracle.
As surely it is.