Hello, My Friend …
I have always thought of myself as someone who can handle change. My house never looks exactly the same from season to season, I (mostly) took the end of “Downton Abbey” in stride, and I have learned to let people go when they want to go. I ordered myself a 4-pack of reading glasses when I turned 45 and wear them without complaint. It’s all part of life, I know.
My son is as tall as I am … okay. My grandma and grandpa’s lovely old house was torn down and replaced … I can accept that. Grandma Betty is gone and I may never be able to accurately recreate her beautiful kolachkes … sigh … but I’ll allow it.
Change is familiar enough, and usually manageable; the problem lately is its volume and speed. Have you ever played Tetris? It’s a video game I used to be obsessed with. Different-shaped blocks fall from the top of your screen and you have to fit them together to form solid rows. When you make a row, it disappears. If you let the pieces pile up to the top, you lose and the longer you play, the faster the pieces fall. The faster they fall, the harder it gets to fit them together.
Do you ever feel like that? Like the older you get, the harder it is to fit all the pieces of your life together quickly enough that they don’t pile up on you? I feel like that. Also, the falling pieces are odd shapes these days: my dad’s old Christmas tree with the bubble lights and the wooden Christopher Robin ornament; the upright piano my mom used to play while she sang to me; my grandpa’s red Ford F150, which he would drive three blocks to church just to show off; the dining table where my mom hosted decades of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. None of those pieces fit together and I don’t want them to disappear, but they have, and fast.
I sound maudlin …I don’t mean to. Read this:
We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.
And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.
That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.
O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.
“Not out of sorrow, but in wonder.”
Yes, that’s it.
I am going to take a couple of weeks off for Christmas and the New Year, but I’ll be thinking of you as always. Be well, my friend. I wish for the moving pieces in your life to slow down a bit in the coming days. I wish you meaningful celebrations with the people who fill you up the most.
It doesn’t matter to me what you celebrate … whatever it is, I hope it’s delicious.