Not Fair!

Winter 2011 #2

Proper snow began falling in the mountains well before we reached home. Within hours of our departure the paltry dozen snowflakes we saw fall must have become twelve million, and then twelve billion; and most of this week’s evening news bulletins have closed with tantalizing footage of great snowdrifts banked up against the very buildings we stayed in, and snowmen, and snowballs, and children bundled tightly in scarves, gloves and hats. While those children frolicked, my inner child sulked in a protracted fit of surly ingratitude. A silent seethe of implacable immaturity!

It just wasn’t fair.
Not fair at all! The snow forecast had been promising, the anticipation prolonged, the possibility unique: the last weekend before the ‘official’ snow season; a final opportunity before the price of accommodation above the snow-line matches its altitude. I want to rant against the heavens for their thoughtless timing, my grievance contaminated by unnecessary fears of the future. “Don’t you know”, I might shout to heaven and its owner, “that we might not come this way again?” (…although I know we will!).

But what really bugs me is the patent fact that my infantile bout of the ‘not-fairs’ is so trifling! We had, let it be said, the most wonderful weekend together, finding at least twelve million settled snowflakes in shallow drifts and dustings across the high-country. It was great fun, a sheer delight, true re-creation. So what, I hear you ask, is all the fuss about? I agree, my pout is indefensible.

Just a few weeks back I wrote of the “the Master of Infinity dabbling in the instant”. I tried to describe the strange conundrum in which the likelihood of a miracle seems inversely proportional to the size of the crisis. Perhaps it is a corollary that the more trivial the injustice the louder we protest. I would have thought, for example, that I had one or two more pressing issues about which to bleat “Not fair!”

Unfairness, climactic or otherwise, is found in our world almost anywhere you look. In recent times the weather bereaved hundreds of thousands of homeless Pakistani families in a deluge that flooded their homeland. A bizarre temperature spike swept Russia with daily temperatures of 49 and 50 degrees adding 500 per day to the normal rate of mortality. Ferocious cyclones have pummeled the United States; a tsunami trashed the coast of Japan. And that’s just the weather.

I saw a poignant, complex picture of unfairness in a tiny, middle-aged woman who labored exhaustedly past me with a built up shoe and elbow crutches. She eyed my power chair with a wistful longing, looked up into my eyes briefly and said with a wry smile, “If only!”

Of course life’s not fair.
Almost nothing really is. If fairness is reckoned as the deserving being rewarded and the rogue deprived; then I’ve scarcely seen it. I know that I was born, like every child, with a pure sense of fairness. Well, perhaps ‘pure’ is the wrong word! A finely tuned sense of fairness, especially when it concerned my slice of cake! Sadly enough, it’s imperative that we leave behind that innocent worldview. But I hope I never, ever, loose the innocence of hope – and not just “I hope it snows next time”. There is hope for every sorrow and every broken bone. There is hope that wrongs will be made right. There is hope for this world, and especially for the next. There is hope that springs from unexpected places, and there is hope for tomorrow!


One thought on “Not Fair!

  1. norma chalmers

    love your work have a gift with words..looking forward to the next piece..blessings…norma

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