Jesus, I say. Where did the time go?
There was a little sleepaway camp somewhere up in the mountains of a little upstate town with a lake and docks and a little beach area with screaming kids, running around and lo and behold, I was one of them.
There are pictures of this somewhere. There are pictures of me, little and small, innocent and pure.
I see him now, older of course, and gray-haired but not weak. No, I see him now as knowingly different and aged by experience but not robbed by this in any way. No, not at all.
I imagine him the way he might have looked if he were around today. I imagine the things he might have said if we were together or fishing from the side of an Upstate pond.
There is a song I listen to sometimes. I watch a video that comes with it, which is not the artist’s video but still, the video fits the feeling. This is not a music video at all. Instead, this is someone that put their home video to the song by Jerry Garcia, which is absolutely perfect.
I use this combination of music and video to detach for a while. I let the music set in so I can unwind. I watch the old video because it reminds me of a time, like when we were young and the world was more of a technicolor place to me. the 70’s were the times. The Old Man had sideburns and people wore shirts with wide collars. We were approaching the 80’s and me, I was this little hopeful kid, just trying to find my way.
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
Early morning, September 20 and the winds are becoming cool. The leaves have yet to change but the hints of an upcoming season are proof that autumn is in the mail.
There is no real sentiment about now or at least for the moment, as it or was or as it should be. I am awake (of course) and sifting through the million thoughts that keep me awake at night.
I remember a warm sunny morning at the birth of autumn. The leaves on the trees were beginning to change color. The world took on a different hue. The mountains around the farm were colorized with different shades of red and yellow. The day was golden to say the least and I was young. My life was ahead of me and at the time, my 11-month stay at a facility was behind me.
I am not sure what I thought would happen. I am not sure what I thought I would be or where I believed I would end up. I am certain that at the time, I never thought that I would ever look back and regard this moment as importantly as I do now.
The Old Man used to tell me there was something I needed. He told me this one thing is the exact thing you need to get through life. He called this stick-to-it-iveness. This means no matter what comes or what happens, no matter the pain or pleasure, no matter the passion or the problem, whatever you choose to do with your life, and I mean what you really choose; you have to stick to it no matter what comes your way. Otherwise, the consequences are severely unfortunate.
There was a quiet little stream that ran down through the rocks on the side of a mountain. I remember that everything was so crisp and green. The leaves on the trees and the earth was deep and rich with color.
I had never walked in the mountains before. I never went on a hike or went anywhere other than my normal running grounds, which were less than beautiful and far from this colorful.
It was the end of summer, 1989. I was still feeling achy but the aches were improving. I was only in a few days, and by this point, I was unsure when I would ever be back home again.
I know it has been a while since my last letter to you. So much has happened and I’m not sure if I know exactly where to begin.
I’m not even sure if you would believe me if I told you, but anyway, here it goes, Mom.
Are you ready?
I’m not sure if you get the news where you live but life has been interesting down here to say the least.
There is a deck that runs around the upper level at the back of my home. The view faces the Cobus, Horse Stable, and the Catamount, and Panther Mountains. It’s a nice view. I think you would like it.