Love is alone sufficient by itself; it pleases by itself, and for its own sake. It is itself a merit, and itself its own recompense. It seeks neither cause, nor consequences, beyond itself. It is its own fruit, its own object and usefulness. I love, because I love; I love, that I may love.
~ Bernard of Clairvaux
What we love we shall grow to resemble.
~ Bernard of Clairvaux
On Saturday morning I received the above photograph (which I’ve altered considerably for the sake of anonymity) via text message on my phone. It came with a message that I am going to paraphrase (because I’m pretty sure the sender was 1) in a hurry, and 2) using voice to text which does some odd things. Basically the message was: It’s over. I’ve become my Dad, making pancakes for children on Saturdays while listening to dad rock. I laughed. The message was from M the Younger. I responded: It happens to the best of us.
When I went out for a walk in the woods a little while later, I got to thinking about age and aging again. (Previous post on the subject is here, if you’re wondering why I used the word “again.”) This time around, I thought about the various stages we go through in life, about how there are times when we try so desperately to fit in and then, a few years later, we’re sure we are different from everyone else (and nobody understands us); about the years of learning to be an adult and then, if you’re in this category, a parent. The kids grow up and you learn how to be an individual within a couple (if you’re still a couple or part of a couple), learn to be someone other than a parent, and maybe, eventually, you reach a stage where you see all of this as part of one Big Picture and start to realize how much alike we all are even though we may be in different stages or never pass through some of the stages at all. In the normal course of events, we evolve. (Or most of us do. There are some, even high up in government life, that still act like toddlers.)
Aside from all of that, it was great to see a Saturday morning tradition being passed on to the next generation.
A lot of things have come up for us since my father-in-law’s death. One of the things that stands out for me is something M said. “We’re the old people now,” he stated in response to a comment I made. I hadn’t thought about it before, but he’s right. Or almost right in my case since my father is still with us. On M’s side of the family, the grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles have all died. M’s generation is the oldest now. It was a mind-blowing and mind-expanding statement for me. It was another step up the ladder of my own evolution, and it gave me another glimpse of the bigger picture of life.
In other news: My participation in InCoWriMo has been going well so far, but it’s early days. Five pieces of mail have gone out. I’m doing this off-the-cuff, so to speak, without a list or a schedule. Hopefully I will have enough addresses to get through the month. If not, I can find some at the InCoWriMo website. Or, if you’d like a card, letter, or postcard from me, let me know. I’ll email you for your address and send something out to you.
One thing I learned right off the bat is that I’ve forgotten how to write a letter. It’s been awkward, to say the least. That’s especially true when writing to people I don’t know. I’m never sure where to start. I am hoping that by the end of the month words will flow from my pen a little easier. It makes me half wish I was a poet or an artist, someone who could paint a picture with few words or a few strokes of a pencil or pen.
A lot of us in the U.S. were busy watching the Super Bowl last night (American football). I was thrilled to watch the Philadelphia Eagles win. I’m from the Philly area and honestly, I can’t stand the New England Patriots so it was equally as good to watch them lose. Is that terrible? Perhaps so. I’ll work on that. Someday. In the meantime, it’s about time the Eagles had their big win. I’m sure lots of my family and friends are still celebrating today.
I don’t really have too much more to ramble about. It’s been quiet here on the ranch. Well, mostly quiet. The wind has had a lot to say lately. I don’t remember it being this windy, this often, during our first year or two here. I’m not sure if that’s faulty memory or if the weather really has been different this past year. Whatever the case, the wind is huffing and puffing again today and we’re going through another cold spell. It looks like the next ten days or so will bring a pattern of cold and sunny followed by a warm-up with rain after which it will be cold and sunny again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
In addition to weather-watching, I’ve been reading. I’m currently reading The Ghost Bride. I am about halfway through the book and enjoying it so far. It was given to me as a gift at Christmas, and it was a good choice (thank you to my oldest son and his wife, but probably mostly his wife as I think she probably picked it out from my extensive reading list). The story includes Chinese folklore (I love folklore of all kinds, from any culture), a bit of romance, and a mystery or two to be solved. The writing is beautiful and I’m finding the story enchanting.
Have you read any good books lately? I am thinking about joining in with the NPR-New York Times book club called Now Read This. I may not actively participate, but would like to read the first two books they’ve picked out.
I reckon that’s about it from me on this cold, windy, sunny Monday. Thank you for meandering along with me. I’m thinking of going out to the dock for sunset this evening. If you’d like to join me, sunset is scheduled for 5:31 PM. We’ll need to get there about twenty minutes prior to that to watch the sun go down behind the trees. It’s going to be cold and windy so be sure to bundle up.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 546) The many colors of sunrise and sunset. 547) Relearning how to write a letter or a postcard. 548) Exploring the trails behind the pond. 549) How quickly the laundry dries on the line during these windy days! 550) Loving, because I love. Do we really need any other reason? I don’t think so.