I almost feel new to this place. It has been so long since I have written, there is moss on the north side of my comfy chair. The birds are warbling hesitantly outside my window as one winter storm passes, and a new one forms over the Rockies. They sing just a little, on the branches of my crab-apple tree, then cock their heads as if listening for the ominous snowflakes that herald another foot-and-a-half-er.
I listen, too.
Then back to my iPad and on to the thought that has built up in me. Why haven’t I written, I ask me. Well, says me, I haven’t had time. I have been so busy. I have…. and the list builds up. The real answer is, however, just because I haven’t. Who cares, really? The writing is for me, and now here I am. The sun comes out, and I think that this time deserves my laptop time so I can really type fast. I realize I have things to say today. And out comes the laptop from its hiding place. I wipe off the dust, and boot it up, knowing I have neglected it, and issue a quick apology for it.
I haven’t written for a while because I have not felt like it, if the truth be known. I have reminders set on my phone every day that let me know it is time to write for 15 minutes a day. I have ignored them for at least 2 months now. I have felt I don’t have anything to say. Which is silly because there is a lot to say.
Like The Thing. The sad thing. Someone close to me has Cancer. I’ve been in shock for a few days, as this is the first I have heard of the C word, but I have known something was wrong for about 2 months. They live far away, and I feel very far away now. You know how sometimes you can just pick up a phone and chat with someone and it is just like you are right there with them? Well, this is not that time. I feel sad, and I yearn to do …. something… to fix it, and I know I can’t.
I still call them, don’t get me wrong, and the conversation is good. A long, sincere talk. But I simply cannot take his hand and hold it now. I can’t see him smile when he talks about the good part of life. And I cannot see his face when he doesn’t hold it together for my sake. And I don’t think he should have to hold it together because he is on the phone with me.
In fact everything about the distance between us ticks me off. I have to use a phone or Skype to see him, well, it just blows. Mostly because I can’t touch his shoulder or hug him spontaneously. I hate that I get my news through a 3rd party, even well-meaning, because he is too tired to keep me up to date daily. I hate that I cannot just go pick up his mail, or vacuum his floor, or dust, or … any of a million chores that he is having a hard time with now. And my excuse is simply that I am far away.
I know that others do it for him, and that makes me sad, too. Even though I have leaky eyes when I write this, it is a relief to put it out there on the screen. It is a relief to say it out loud.
There is good news, as well, though. Like…
My son Hayden wants to be a marine just as soon as he gets out of high school. And no matter how I have ignored, patted him on the head, or tried to redirect him away from this decision, he has stayed true on this course. Nothing has made him waver.
So I started supporting him.
My son Hayden is now in Young Marines, and has turned into a recruit to be proud of. In spite of being in Boot Camp, with all the mud-crawling, miles-running, and yessir-ing he does, he holds his head high when he speaks. (His high and tight head, I might add. That is a mighty short hair cut, the military standards have…) Although he comes home from these trainings covered in mud and dirt, sweaty and exhausted, Hayden is happy, coming to the car with a smile on his face. He keeps his word in school and at home. He has a great attitude and is driven by the goals that the Young Marines have sparked in him. And he has bloomed. His teen-age grumpiness seems to have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. He smiles. He laughs. He looks adults in the eye when they talk with him. I am proud of him. So that is something to write about.
(A squirrel moves past my window at eye level. He looks right into my eyes as he nibbles on a branch. I instinctively to the shoo-ing motion at it, then stop as I see that he doesn’t care one whit. I just turn back to my computer…)
Lastly, I have the Boston Marathon Bombing to write about. I have feelings of heartache right along feelings of pride for both the citizens of Boston and police officers that put themselves in harm’s way to aid those that couldn’t help themselves. I also am exhausted from staying up late night after night, watching the news and hoping for some resolution. I could have read or heard about it in the next morning’s news episode, but to me, it would feel a bit of a betrayal to go to sleep in my bed, all comfy and stress-free, when so many others could not do so.
Again, I feel far away, with no ability to help. I hate that feeling.
The feeling of elation that happened last night, when the police were tipped off that the last suspect was hiding out in a boat in someones yard, all wounded and desperate…well, that finally seemed to burst a bubble in me, and I could let things go from there. The police apprehended the boy without me. The anchor man on TV reported it all just fine without me. The citizens in the town cheered and waved and loved the police… all without my help. I was able to turn off the TV, and the iPad, and let it go last night.
So now I finish my thoughts at noon, all snuggled down in my favorite spot for writing, and look out the window at my yard. It gives me mixed signals, based on the mixed signals of the weather. There is snow, drifted in all the corners of my yard, on the patio, and covering all my plants. We just finished a large storm that kept us inside for 30 hours. But today, the sun gives us better news. The grass is green and free of snow. The sun is out, and it is about 50 degrees, reaching its sunny hands into all the places that shadow doesn’t hold. Water is pouring off the roof and down the gutters, and it is a gurgling, happy sound.
I guess I have my mixed signals as well. While I am saddened about some things that go on around and in my life, I have happiness to go with it, and I am grateful. While I haven’t written and expressed my feelings and thoughts on here for a while, I have the ability and drive to do so today. Again, I am grateful. Being back in the saddle is a good feeling. I have no idea how long it will last, but it is a good day.