Tuesday, September 15, 2009


There is a myth that we parents are the protectors of our children. It is an illusionary belief that we can hold at arm’s length against the realities of the world. When our children are young, we ourselves are indoctrinated into this belief. Shielders in the battle. Guardians at the gate, holding the evils of the world within our power. But as time and the seasons change, we and our children come face to face with the reality that life is cruel, and more importantly beyond our control. The illusion of having the answers and the formulae for keeping the boogie man at bay is revealed as a falsehood.

Life chooses to come at you slowly. Or so it seems as the flow of years ticks by in a seemingly endless stream of seconds. A cold in the middle of the night. A virus that disrupts the calm of the day to day. Rocking away tears until the heave of deep sleep signals that the battle has been won. Each of those seconds seemed an eternity at the time, but the cosmic joke of perception turns in on itself to reveal that those endless days and decades have been wisps in the fabric of the continuum. We stand at the doorway to the past and see that the journey has been brief. I long for those moments to return.

I have had the good fortune to have been the father of two wonderful daughters. It’s hard to explain the place they have in my heart. They are entrenched in the very fibers of the muscles of that meaty pump, pulsing as it beats its cadence in my chest. Their names spelled in the minutia of the vesicles, hidden among the arteries.

On September 22nd at 5:18 pm EDT, the autumnal equinox will occur as the earth shifts on its axis and the northern hemisphere moves toward the sun. The irony is that as the northern half of the planet reaches toward the sun, the planet as a whole shifts further away from the sun. Winter ensues and the balance of the seasons remains intact.

I can’t help but dwell on this-the balance of change. The shock of the new in the cycle of the familiar. To embrace change is to embrace chaos. Grasping at familiar straws thrown in a new pattern. You long for the old patterns, not realizing that the new patterns will yield new unexpected joys and unforeseen sorrows.

I look to my daughters, helpless as life envelopes them. The torrents they are navigating and I stand helpless on the shore. The battle is no longer mine. They have stepped full force into the life stream. Heartaches are at moments counterbalanced with joys they never knew existed. And, while these moments seem an eternity, it is my desire that they recognize each moment for the fleeting treasure that it is-good or bad. Because one day they will also see the sum of those seconds yields one lifetime. If they do, it will be a life well lived.

No comments:

Post a Comment