When I was a child my grandmother would sometimes respond to “good morning” with the question “what’s so good about it?” I think she was joking but maybe not completely. Maybe, she was just having a “Bush day.” Bush was her married name and my maiden name. A “Bush day” is what my cousins would call what now might today be coined a depressive episode. I have no formal education in psychology so this is just speculation. But the question “what’s so good about it?” seems important now. It is particularly difficult today. Last week my aunt died. Grandma’s oldest daughter and my Dad’s closest-in-age sister. They are all on the other side now. This is supposed to be a time of renewal and “happiness” but really it is a time for the dead. These holy nights between Soltice and Epiphany are thought to bring clarity. Maybe if I get quiet some ethereal awakening will happen? And I will have an answer to Grandma’s question “what’s so good about morning?” Right now, it feels like nothing is good about this morning. But that is not true. I am re-membering my family members on the other side. What’s so special about holy nights? Maybe, it is the same thing that made my visit to Grand Central Station last week special. It was a little secret our tour guide, Jason, showed us, the “whispering corner” I think it is called. A corridor where if you stand facing the old tiled walls and whisper someone on the corresponding corner can hear you. In my mind I am standing in a holy corner whispering names of my beloved family members and teachers. Today is also the anniversary of the death of a man I did not know in life but who shapes a big part of my heart and mind, John O’ Donohue; I whisper your name too. Dad, Aunt Marilyn, Grandma, my beloved Guru Adi Da Samraj and Mr. John O’Donohue.
John was born on New Year’s Day and died on January 4. This time of year, what’s so good about it? It’s personal, and it is too good not to share. I love you all.
P.S. If you go to NYC get in touch with Jason Schuman at Romancing Manhattan Tours. The best!