33: The Near End

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“On my island off the coast of Maine, I lived with the sea.  The whole ocean in its vastness I do not know.  I never sailed the tropic ocean where the Orinoco and the Amazon pour out their floods; I never watched the Artic and Antarctic seas wash their ice packs.  Wide areas of the oceans are to me unknown, but I still know the ocean.  It has a near end. Its waters surround my island.  I can sit beside it, bathe in it, sail over it, watch its storms, and be sung to rest by the music of it.”  Harry Emerson Fosdick Continue reading

32: Grounded and Ready to Receive

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They had their ideas (a blanket fort, cupcakes, McDonalds) but I had my own.  I desired the simple profound things of life to celebrate this 32nd year of mine – time to be a parent without rushing, breakfast for lunch, hugs whenever I wanted them, hands to hold and be held, random “I love yous,” a movie in the theater, and a baseball game complete with sticky hands, short bursts of conversation, and wonder-eyed boys.

But more than even all those things, I spent my day seeking to live the day grounded and able to receive. Continue reading

31: Standing in the Sweet Spot

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I couldn’t help but keep looking down at him as we walked along. His hand gripped mine and his thoughts poured out of his mouth. Four and a half and he is growing into this little boy full of curiosity, feelings, and imagination. Is it possible to grow in awe of Life every year that passes? Can my heart expand to hold it all? I squeezed his hand every few minutes as I felt the waves of time lapping into me.

As another year goes round and I add a number to my age, I can’t help but find myself lost in the vastness of it all. What is this life that I lead? With what, to whom, am I to live it?

Continue reading

30: BLINK. 30 years, 3 days, and Counting

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BLINK
Words from my dad on the occasion of my 30th birthday… presented over lunch with two squirming boys on a Sunday afternoon at a quiet spot (that is, until we arrived)

Blink.
That’s it.
Open shut them open shut them
cry then eat then sleep then cry.

Finding your voice
finding your feet
losing your fat
in come your teeth.

Long summer days
dolls in your arms
but then its your friends
and school-day alarms.

Homework and games
leaves orange brown
thick golden hair
laughs all around.

Stepping then running
then sprinting and bursting.
A long-legged blur
for the future you’re thirsting

The fresh life you sought
brings you close to new friends
who love and live with you
and form a new lens.

Through which to cast
an eye towards another
and see your reflection
embraced completely.

That embrace once returned
leads to love’s relation.
and vows and new houses
and two new creations.

Eat then work then love then sleep
open shut them open shut them.
That’s it.
Blink.

I blink and time has passed. Thirty years, three days, and counting. Days have passed and I have endured them. Some have sped too fast to catch my breath. Some have crept along too slow in between breaths.

The significance of these 10,953 days is not in the accumulation of meager wealth, success, or power. It is found in the ones who have walked these days with me. Continue reading