Some random thoughts and actions seem to have some lessons for me, but I haven’t put it all together in my mind yet. Maybe you can help.
Context: For a few months I have been thinking about what I want to do when I retire from my current job. They call it an encore career. I still like very much what I do, but as I have stated before, I know there will be a time to move on. So being a man who doesn’t like surprises, I have been in contemplation of my future. I figure I have about 2 – 3 years to think about it.
Random Thought #1: One thing I concluded is that I need to make sure whatever I do, shall we say – as a mature gentleman – it needs to be aligned with my heart-soul. In other words, it doesn’t have to be for the money. So far, so good, nice and self-aware I am.
Random Event #1: The recent trip to Sedona, Arizona had a quiet impact on me as I came to accept the possibility that there are certain areas where life energy may be more easily sensed, even if a bit unconsciously. I know, I know, a bit New Age sounding. Yet, Native Americans have historically been open to this possibility too. As a registrant on the 1968 California Indian Roll, I am going to play the race card on this one and say, “Yes, the land may speak to us and you can’t call me crazy.” It also would explain the miracles of Jesus for us skeptical believers of bible stories in that if one was highly in tune with God’s creation and energy, one could possibly use that energy in miraculous ways. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God…”
Random Thought #2: Once returning from Arizona, I had the strong urge to finally complete Richard Rohr’s profound set of teachings in his book, “Falling Upward.” I ordered it in audio form and listened every morning as I drove the 30 minutes to work.
Random Event #2: If you follow my Soundcloud music, you know that my father is struggling with parkinson’s disease (refuse to capitalize the p). So yesterday I decided to drive down to where my parents live and take my father for a little drive so that my mother might get some time to herself and my father might see some scenery. He spends much of his day sitting indoors. I thought the two hour drive from my house to his house might give me time to complete Rohr’s audio book. Which it did about 30 minutes after I left my house.
Random Event #3: The very moment the last word was spoken in the audio book, which is all about learning how to live spiritually in the 2nd half of life, a bird flew directly in front of my car. The sickening thud disturbed me greatly. I don’t like to kill things. I felt guilty and I thought about that bird for the next 15 minutes or so. I thought how odd it was that I killed that bird the very moment I had finished a book that seemed to be calling to me for several years now. What an exclamation mark.
Random Event #4: As previously stated, being a man who likes to be prepared (except when taking long road trips), I brought 2 folding chairs so that I might be able to sit my father somewhere and he could enjoy the view. We headed up the west slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains where I found a little restaurant where nice people prepared us a great lunch to-go. We continued up to the summit and we ate lunch looking down upon Donner Lake.
Random Thought #3: While helping my father eat his hamburger, which he thoroughly enjoyed, I kept telling myself to relax, accept his condition and enjoy the moment while realizing how lucky I am to still have my father’s presence in my life. It wasn’t easy for me, but I kept thinking of some of the lessons from Rohr’s book and that sense of harmony I felt in Sedona. Here is a photo of that moment.
Random Event #5: I helped my father back into the car for our return trip home with a feeling…well, let’s call it pride, although I hate to admit that. I got us back on the freeway and within 60 seconds of being back on the busy Interstate 80 and still thinking how well I did with just staying in the moment, I saw what I thought was a young, dead deer on my side of the road, really right next to me. I was wrong, it was not dead, but had just been hit by a car and her legs were broken. It was a very terrible thing to see. The poor deer kept lifting her long neck and chest up off the pavement, but couldn’t move the rest of her as she kept collapsing. She seemed to be trying to get up out of raw fear. Besides feeling incredibly bad for the deer, I also felt very bad for my father and I thought, “Maybe that is how he feels at times? Where is my God now?”
So there you have it. Random events and random thoughts all creating some type of chain where beauty and understanding might exist on the other side. Hey, maybe that title picture does make some sense after all.