Sitting in the Dark

I am out on the front porch, the wind is blowing through the trees, and I am lightly dressed now at 11:12 p.m.. Out here in the country dark you can wear a tee shirt and boxers without concern of offending anyone. Too dark to see, just hear.

I think life is often like that – too dark to see, you can only hear.

I do a lot of hearing now. Before retiring, I did a lot of talking. That talking time has been turned into listening time now, and thinking time. Often blogging doesn’t seem right now as I feel the need to listen more and talk/write less.

What I enjoy most about this time of night, in this setting, is the rawness of it all. Your thoughts don’t need to be sanitized which I find make for more interesting thoughts, although perhaps better kept to oneself. Maybe that is the wise approach or maybe it is the coward’s path. Don’t really know.

The wind and the heat are hard on all the young trees we have planted, so I spend lots of time watering trees along with everything else we’ve planted in the garden. As i was watering a tree today, I thought about my father’s last conversation with me. He said, “I hope I have been a good father.” He didn’t seem sure. He died a few days later.

As I thought about those words, I cried while watering a willow tree. I can relate to his feelings. I hope I have been a good father too, but I am not sure. All I know is my father loved me with all his heart as I love my children the same. It ain’t easy being human.

Today, for Mother’s Day, we had a little family picnic at a park. Before we ate, we played 6 innings of softball with the players ranging from 10 years old to 67 years old. I am hoping the young ones will remember that the old ones played, even though running was more of a shuffle – but we still played the game with a sense of joy for life. Infinite games are so much better for the soul than finite games. So much of life, when you are young, is about winning and losing. When you get older, sometimes it is easier to just see the joy in playing.

Being Mother’s Day, I think of my mothers. I have not seen my birth mother in many years and it is a sad tale. I feel sadness about our relationship. I know time is short, but circumstances are working against us. Forgiveness is a wonderful act for all concerned. I have a hard time forgiving her husband who didn’t want my existence to be recognized. We try to kill what we fear, don’t we? I know I do. I have seen a lot of that killing through office gossip to flood control. I’ve seen it in religion. I’ve seen it with spiders and snakes. Unfortunately, I think it happens a lot with our relationships. Always loved Paul Simon’s song, Mother and Child Reunion.

How lucky I have been to still have my mother, who raised me as her very own, still in my life. I hate the word “step-mother.” It sounds so cold. Thank you Walt Disney. Is there any greater act of selflessness than raising another person’s child? Love is powerful.

The guy across the street has just started up his truck. Every night he goes to work at this time. He works at a dairy farm down the road. He is not a citizen of the USA and he must live in the shadows. I guess in a way he is in his underwear, typing in the dark, just like me. Time for bed. God bless.