This is one of those perfect days: clear blue skies, bright sun, light-jacket temperatures, still air. Admittedly, there are a lot of such days throughout the year, but there’s something even more perfect about such a day appearing between two glacial fronts. You delight in the warmth when coming out of a cold spell, and you make a special effort to enjoy the day when more cold weather is on the way. (Tomorrow will another warm day, but desperate winds will be blowing in a new storm that will drop the temperature more than 60 degrees tomorrow night.)
In memory of the cold weather we just had and in preparation for the cold to come, I am making chili, which also adds to the perfection of the day. I like to cook but I don’t often feel like making big batches of anything, so there will be enough to last a while. Also, this is Jeff’s chili recipe. It took me almost a year after he died before I could make it (even the thought of the meals we shared made me sick to my stomach). It’s been two years since the last I made his chili, though I don’t really know why except that I haven’t been cooking much of anything that takes an effort.
I have also the windows open to air out the place. It never smells musty, which is interesting for such an old house, but the air coming in makes the house smell sweet and clean.
Considering the perfection of the day, it’s odd that my two-card tarot today was all about strife. The first card, the five of wands is about violent strife and contest, boldness, and rashness. The second card, which is supposed to temper the first card, is The Emperor, which in this deck is about war, strife, war, conquest, and ambition.
Admittedly, my question “what do I need to know today” is so vague the response is not necessarily about me, so although I am planning on taking care of myself and keeping calm so there’s no strife in my life today, I can’t do anything about what is going on in the rest of the world — strife, strife, and more strife. I’m not sure why I need to know this, but I do know it anyway. Even if I didn’t want to know (which I don’t) it’s hard not to learn of such things.
I suppose it’s possible the tarot is telling me to enjoy my strifeless time as I do the interval between two winter storms, because like it or not, there will always be strife.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.