Hello old friend,
I can't tell you how good it was to see you again this morning. Has it been five months since the last leaves fell from the trees, the days became too short, and we last walked the ground together? Has it been that long? I've missed it; more so this year than any I can remember. It's been both a winter to remember and a winter to be forgotten, and I'm more tired than excited this time; which is not the way it should be. Looking back to October its a wonder that you even recognize me. I feel like I've grow old while I was away. I'm learning that its not the toils of life that take their toll, but rather the endurance of the transitions; effervescent high to desperate low to high again. Sometimes I think that I'd prefer a life of the mundane, if for no other reason than to spare my heart the grind of changing direction so suddenly.
I've had a son since our last time together, and he has brought a new definition of joy to my senses. The very thought of his smile can bring me to my knees in an instant. Its wonderful and frightening at the same time. To know that the whole of my existence lies in the breath of a 13-week old, and to know that I have only a fool's control over that breath's continuance, reminds me that I am truly helpless in all things. There are days where I only get to hold him for a fleeting moment; before work, before bedtime. And those days add up quickly. And in the blink of an eye a month has passed, and I have missed it entirely.
My family, somehow, self-destructed in front of my eyes this winter. And I could do nothing about it. Something happened, and then some people got mad, and then some people decided that it wasn't worth it, and then it was over. People who seemed to be at home in the core of my being, are now unfamiliar faces and occasional emails. Those of us who are left are holding on by a thread. We're hurting because some people decided, for this reason or another, that we weren't enough to keep the family together. That is a rejection that I've never felt before. And to make it worse, I don't think we ever crossed their minds. The issues and discontent were the only dynamics to be considered; the rest of the family and their feelings were overlooked. And now those left behind look at each other and wonder what the hell just happened.
Business was good while I was away. Remember how I'd go on and on about my dreams of being something big in the office? Remember how down I was at this time last year? Well, it all turned around. That big case went through, and a few other good things went my way and I made it! I actually made it! Brandy is so proud of me, and the company is so proud of me, and I am proud of me too. But I never thought that there would be a day when I leaned on my career accomplishments to get me through a day. There are some days that I've felt so alone that I would cling to my recent successes as though they were all I had. That, my friend, is a scary place to be. And so I feel a certain sort of resentment because I got exactly what I wanted, and it turned out not to be what I had hoped for.
Of course there are other things that have taken place, like my Dad almost dying in front of my eyes, that have added to my weariness. My faith in people is almost gone. My desire to passionately pursue anything is dwindling by the day. I don't know why. And just when I was settling nicely into my melancholy, you showed up again. Or, should I say I came back and you were still there. In all the insanity of things, I must be honest, I had forgotten about you. So, to run into you so unexpectedly this morning was a shock to the system. But it was good. I shouldn't be surprised, really. You've always shown up; each and every year about this time. And you're just the same as when I left you. You started with me in the manic days of my youth, when each day was a struggle for identity and validation. In those days you were my safe haven. You were my only true friend as we walked the ground. Later, I found you in all parts of the country, showing yourself in different forms and lessons, but always the same at the core: dependable, soothing, personal and grand. It has always been as though you were there for just me, as though you needed me, or as though I was needed to be part of something much bigger. I tried to make you something else for a while there, and I hope you know that my intentions were pure. I had taken so much refuge in our time together over the years that my idea of making you my nine-to-five seemed logical, but it didn't work out that way, did it? And I'm happy it didn't. The way our relationship works in relation to seasons and time is what makes it special, and I needed to try to make it something more than that to understand you better. And now, in my imitations of maturity and adulthood, we've come full circle. I found refuge in you again this morning, like I used to as a boy. But different. I've learned so much from you and you've been such a big part of my life that its almost as if we've come to our final resting place. We've seen it all together and you've proven that there will always be a place for you in my life.
So now we meet with something approaching transcendence. There's safety and familiarity and predictability there. It feels good. And I need it. I'm tired my old friend; really tired. I'm going to need your uplifting and calming ways more than ever this summer. I hope that you won't mind meeting every once and while to continue our conversation; a conversation that moves toward no end, but fits its purpose in its very existence. Is that OK? I'll see you next time, out in that fresh air. We'll walk the ground again together, just like old times.