The other day I heard an interview with Laurie David, an environmentalist who is also Larry ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") David's ex-wife. "Because I'm an environmentalist, I'm an optimist," she said.
That puzzled me. If you're an environmentalist, I thought, you must be devastated by the awful state of the earth. But this morning I was looking at my narcissuses and marveling that in just a couple of weeks they have sprouted more than a foot (and produced stinky blossoms!) from dried-up, dead-looking bulbs stuck in a layer of pebbles and doused with water—when I remember. They have thrived so well on so little. And thinking about that has made me feel like an optimist too!