Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. –Maori Proverb
Today is the day that it all takes a turn for the better. Yesterday was the March equinox, the day that light and dark are equal, but from here until the solstice, every day gets longer and brighter. Ahhhhhhhh. Lightness.
We had rain a few days ago and I swear I looked out the window today and the greening switch had been flipped in the backyard. I can hear it buzzing. Our front yard is ringing with the daffodils we tucked away in October. As we were pulling into the garage, Vivi delighted at the sight of the neighbor’s apple tree in full bloom as if she had never seen it before. Two days ago it was bare and now it is a cloud of hooray. Soon, the Yoshino cherry trees will bloom. Their light pink froth makes the soft movement of the air visible again. I remember that every space around me and inside me is filled with boisterous molecules. I feel like I can breathe again…even if it ends up in sneezing.
I’ve been humming “Here Comes the Sun” for weeks now. I love that “the quiet Beatle” wrote that lovely, simple song. Last week while we were waiting on an over-priced chicken finger lunch, Vivi pointed out the picture of the Beatles from the Abbey Road cover from the mural in a TGIFridays. She asked what those men were doing and that led to a discussion of who they were and what they were each famous for. Then she asked if they were still alive and I had to break the news about John and George. George lived a long and peaceful life but his body stopped working. What about the one in front? Well that’s John. He died when a bad man shot him with a gun. Why did the man do that? I don’t know.
I hated to leave it on that note because we had been having such a good talk. I said, “Hey, do you remember that tree in Washington DC that we tied wishes to?” She did. “John’s wife came up with that idea.” I scrolled through the pictures on my phone and showed Vivi the wish she had drawn onto a white paper tag then tied to the bare branch of that tree at the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. She had drawn a cat. That was her wish–a cat.
On my wish, I wrote my favorite quote about gratitude: “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.” I think “yes” is my favorite word, and that word brings us back to what John loved about Yoko–her yes.
In a 1971 Rolling Stone interview with Jann Wenner, John told the story this way:
LENNON: I’m sure I’ve told you this many times. How did I meet Yoko? John Dunbar, who was married to Marianne Faithful, had an art gallery in London called Indica and I’d been going around to galleries a bit on my off days in between records. I got the word that this amazing woman was putting on a show next week and there was going to be something about people in bags, in black bags, and it was going to be a bit of a happening and all that. So I went down to a preview of the show. I got there the night before it opened. I went in – she didn’t know who I was or anything – I was wandering around, there was a couple of artsy type students that had been helping lying around there in the gallery, and I was looking at it and I was astounded. There was a piece which really decided me for-or-against the artist, a ladder which led to a painting which was hung on the ceiling. It looked like a blank canvas with a chain with a spy glass hanging on the end of it. This was near the door when you went in. I climbed the ladder, you look through the spyglass and in tiny little letters it says “yes”.
So it was positive. I felt relieved. It’s a great relief when you get up the ladder and you look through the spyglass and it doesn’t say “no” or “fuck you” or something, it said “yes.”
I peeked at some of the other wishes around ours and the one that will stay with me for many years was from a little boy. It said, “If David asks Mom to marry him, please let her say yes.”
Vivi and I visited the wish tree in the dead of winter, when the pavement around it was slippery with ice and the wind tossed the white wishes until their strings were tangled and knotted. Tying a paper wish to a tree is a kind of offering, returning the paper to its source. Despite the darkness of winter, each simple white wish sprouted from the bare limbs like a bloom.
Wishes are hope. Wishes allow us to believe in yes.
I think NOW is the time of year for resolutions. This is the time of newness and growing and coming back to life. The Zoroastrians are celebrating Nowruz with fire and green grass. The Christians mark Easter. The pagans thank Ostara, the Germanic goddess of the dawn for bringing light into the darkness.
Turn your face to the sun today. Hum a few bars of George’s song. Say yes.