Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today's Word: halcyon

I am back for a time from the frenzied world of concert prep, parenting, copy editing, money management, parenting, spam, eggs, parenting, baked beans, parenting, parenting, and parenting. The end of the school year is always a busy time, with performances (both mine and the boys'), ceremonies, celebrations, and preparations competing for my diminishing free time. But my most time-consuming responsibilities have past, so it's back to the blogging board.

halcyon: A legendary bird (identified with the kingfisher) that was said to have a calming effect on the sea during the winter solstice. Here's a kingfisher from the Gallery of Birds:
These days, halcyon means "tranquil or idyllic," especially in reference to the happiness of earlier times. My halcyon days were certainly those I spent surrounded by friends, no worries of money or love to weigh me down.

I believe that many of the conservative talking heads who talk of returning to "our American roots" or "the moral America of teh past" — espousing, of course, only their own morality and tastes — are remembering their younger, happier, halcyon days. Unfortunately, those days were so tranquil and idyllic precisely because they were children, dealing with a child's worries but overall protected from important decision-making and the cruel world by their parents.

It's one thing to want to feel that joy again; it's quite another to try to legislate it.