March 26, 2011

Before We Were

I hope he's not like me. I hope he understands. That he can take this life And hold it by the hand. And he can greet the world with arms wide open..." -- Lyrics for Arms Wide Open by Creed

Arms Wide Open

By Creed
Listen Here
Before we were the occupants of today, of this moment, who were we? Where did we come from? How were we brought into today? If there is principally the day, to-day in our lives, if this moment and each and every moment is what truly comprises our lives, then what does that day contain? May we, 'greet the world with arms wide open...?'
Always, so very often we rush about, scurrying here and there in the course of the day. As the days mount and as we meet each new day, the sun arises lighting the way; other days it is darkness, cold or gloom. Technology increasingly diverts us from our moorings, giving us an altered sense of time. Computing and communicating with others literally a world away, as though they have not traveled beyond a common realm; they have, and we can forget, or not reckon with the day that is without them in it because of the falseness of technology and its skewing of our senses.

Eons of existence, days upon days of living have made humankind the social, communicating animals that we are and continue to be. But it is ultimately the reckoning with time that we cannot escape. While others are sleeping, still others are awake and engaged in the active part of their day. Each day, as we grow older, is replete with experiences over-worn with other experiences. Experiences of all types and stripes; each imparting a message, some consciously retained, others less so. They are all lessons of one type or another.

This week I heeded an urge to 'play hooky' from my usual daily routine; it proved to be a tour of memory, a review of selected past, connecting me today. With the emergence of some very fine spring weather, I drove my usual East-West direction but by a different route. Spending some time by myself, it took most all afternoon. Despite my recollections of experiences past, some 20 or more years ago, I traveled parallel to the Interstate and saw so much new, adding to my previous memory. The old route in the days before the Interstate was the route.

There are towns, villages and farms along the way as there have been during my lifetime. The bigger towns, especially, may not have altered their boundaries, but their content continues to evolve with new buildings, new zoning, new populations, new attitudes reflected by their community environment. The country parts of the routes were perhaps the most geographically or visually stable, the farmsteads nearly consistent, a new barn or shed here or there. But the most surprising were those places no longer farming, their buildings in disrepair; their owners engaged in new functions, no longer attending them. The homes built upon former farm fields; the little country subdivisions sprung here and there. There are new windmills, buildings burnt and businesses closed.
Memories revised with new information.

But the most, for me, personally was to retrace the route of my 25th year and the paths it took me into a new family and a new life, a community life. The days, it seem, have traveled into a wink; they have been in the thousands but save for gray hairs on my head, I would not have known. It seems my beliefs and my feelings have withstood many of the other outward changes life has imposed upon me. My hopes, my future dreams, my energies placed at that moment towards the services of that 25th year, now in review, are wistful. Moments of choices taken and others rejected.

It was, on that breezy day, golden sun, an arrival. Not just a review but a clear view of where I sit now. Today. I arrive at my destination today with a fuller and greater sense of just this moment, and all the moments I have lived and survived to get here. Age does improve many things and many things grow into focus while others dim, their importance perhaps misplaced or even lost on a spring day.

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