Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tenses Past and Present

A lot of water has been run under and around the hull of my ferry since then. 
And while life is undoubtedly meant to be lived forward, 
occasionally it is nice to take a moment to peer backwards through the glass
 at a moment that meant something to you then 
and to discover that it still means quite a lot to you presently.

Something that neither time nor memory can fade away...

Something that the son (f/k/a "the Boy Child") shared online earlier this week jogged my memory back to this time of year, six Novembers ago.  Rob, who has far more steel in his spine than Yours truly shall ever possess, completed the rather arduous four-plus months of training that he needed to successfully complete simply so that he could have the opportunity to take his first substantive steps on the path that he had chosen for his Life and then, what seemed to be nothing more than a moment or two later, he was off in pursuit of that next great adventure.  

In a span of less than two weeks, and at the ripe old age of 22, he trekked north from Georgia to New Jersey and then west from the State of Concrete Gardens to Wyoming.  I shared the first leg of that journey with him.  We spent approximately three days traveling "home" from Georgia and allowed Washington DC to envelop roughly half of our travel time.  It was cold this week six years ago - almost as cold as it has felt in these parts the past several days - but under gunmetal gray skies DC was bustling and preparing for history.   Preparations were already well underway for President Obama's Inauguration.  We walked all over and used the Metro to hopscotch our way around town.  

As I recall it, we did not really have a plan per se.  We simply found a place to park the car and then started our self-navigated tour.  At some point we arrived home in New Jersey.  A few short days later, we said our goodbyes as he and Margaret headed west to Wyoming - and to the rest of his life.  

If I had better vision, then perhaps I could have seen then the man he would become in just six short years.  The beautiful young woman who became his bride in June was not then known to him.  If he thought for one moment six years ago that all he was living through then was the most significant changes he would ever live through, Life has graced him with the ability to laugh at his own naivete.  It also graced him with the ability to be ready for the really big stuff, such as Jess and marriage and two people living one life together, by giving him those less tall, but no less important initial hurdles to clear. 

LIfe is indeed a forward-looking experience.  But every now and again, a look back is just what the doctor ordered.  A reminder that even in a time as perpetually bleak as the latter half of November when the world appears to be dying, great things are indeed happening all around us.  


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