For now, the streets are wet. Everything is quiet this morning, as if there is something going on or as if something bigger than all of us is taking place. This is all happening, right here and right now. And I know what this is.
I know this is life, or at least this is a version of it. I know there are questions I have and things I’d like to know about.
And that’s fine.
For now the leaves are starting to change. Some have already fallen, which I can see from the window in my loft. The town recently repaved my road, which makes the wet blacktop glisten in front of my house. The yellow lines that split the road in half and the orange leaves that press flat on the ground are perfect in contrast against the blackness of the street. The colors of the trees are somehow comforting beneath the grayish morning in my small town. My road is country-like and peaceful, which this too is also fitting for now
I don’t mind the rain. Especially on days like this. I think there is something to the quietness. I think this is the way of the world. Sometimes it rains and sometimes it doesn’t. Some people mind the rain but I don’t. I don’t mind the rain or the quiet or the silent reminder that sometimes we have to remember where we came from. I see the rain as an interruption. On days like today, I see the rain as a way to hush our little secrets so we can remember where we came from.
I wrote a poem about days like this:
Rain falls to settle the dust from our everyday life
I see this as a natural way of cleansing the Earth
I see this as Mother Nature’s way of nurturing us
and hushing us with a quiet little lullaby
Like now, for example
Gray clouds cover my town
. . . . like a soft blanket
The street is quiet
The mood is right to think
or reflect, or regain a sense of self
or to find a semblance of self
or regain our composure
to stand up with a better posture.
And Mother Earth, I swear
she knows us best.
A Mother always knows;
she knows when to tell us to stay in
or to, “Break it up” so to speak
and do something meaningful
together . . .
Like say, for example
order some Chinese food,
and watch an old black and white movie.
Like maybe something with Spencer Tracy
like Captain Courageous or Boys Town
just to name a few . . .
There is so much happening at once. Life has a way of moving so quickly and yet, at the same time, life has a way of seeming as if nothing is happening. But we know there is. We know something is happening. There’s always something happening. Even when it seems like nothing.
I don’t know Mom.
I must have blinked. I must have looked the other way for too long because somehow, decades have piled up. Years have come between the now and then and here we are. I am where I am and you are where you are.
I was explaining how time changes in relation to our age and size. And this is true if we think about it. If we think about the way we were when we were young; the idea of a year was something that seemed more like forever. On the other hand, the older we grow, the faster time slips by.
Like now, for example. We have been a weird state of quasi-hibernation for almost seven months. Of course this has been for our own protection but still, how much longer will this go on?
Nobody thought the virus would go this long. Nobody expected we would lose an entire year of our life, worrying and wearing surgical masks because of a virus that spread around the world.
There is a strange sense of urgency now. At least there is for me. I’m not saying that I’m at the end of my rope or anything like that. I suppose what I mean is I can see how time moves quicker than we realize.
I know Socrates once said, “Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.”
I get that now.
I think this is the lesson it has taken me the longest to learn. I think there were times when you said things to me, like “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and I know you were right. I suppose my problems were only relative. The idea of big stuff and small stuff were something that was based on my perception of big or small. But that’s just it. You see?
Same as our relation to time will change as we get older, our relation to size will change too. Life has a way of falling into perspective. And perspective is also relative. Our perspective is relative to age, awareness, growth, and above all else, maturity. And I can’t say that I’m mature yet. I can only say that I’m growing as best as I can.
Today is what we call a day of remembrance. I grew up with this day in my culture but I’ve moved away from the religious part of my heritage — not because I dislike my background or anything like that. No, I suppose my choice to move away from organized religion is because wars are fought over religion. Religion and politics gets us every time. And to be honest, I don’t want to fight anymore. I’ve had enough war to last me a lifetime.
I’ve spent enough time, “Sweating the small stuff” or arguing with the fool, in which case, I’m faced with the one true argument; who is the fool? Is it the fool, or the fool who argues with him?
I’ve spent enough time trying to get in the last word. I’ve spent enough time worrying. I’ve wasted enough time on things that are beyond my control and I’ve seen what I’ve missed. I’ve seen what happens when my attention is distracted by nonsense. And I know what happens. I know what happens during the moment of realization. I look around and see how another year has passed. Another day has gone by. And another moment is wasted on the debates of things I have no control over.
I suppose what I’m trying to say here is I miss you. It’s been a while Mom. And I know what you were trying to tell me. I know you wished I could see things differently.
All I can say is time was different then. I was different then too and relatively speaking, I was too small to understand the bigger concept of time. Fortunately, I’ve grown. I’ve improved. And so has my perspective.
I just wanted you to know that.
I lit a candle for you. I only had one left. (Sorry about that.) I lit this for you and Pop and everyone else that’s over there on your side of the afterlife.
And Mom, send me a sign, if you can.
It would mean a lot to me.