Sunday, May 10, 2020

When darkness falls on the island

“It can’t always be sunny, even in Texas!” I remember hearing momma shouting out to me, many times. She would know, having been born a few years before the 1918 Pandemic, and living the early years of her childhood, in Texas, in an orphanage, because her father had abandoned her mother and five children, one a baby boy.

Nonetheless, my mom was extremely resilient all through her almost 102 years on this earth. I often wonder how she’d deal with this “where we’re at right now” moment. It would be her very own take on things, and no doubt, she’d survive.

Many of us have time to think about things. Clean stuff up. A spring cleaning of sorts, for our things, our connections, our “friendships.”

One of the interesting things about times like this is how people deal with critical and urgent issues, how they respond and forge their ongoing relationships, especially in the virtual world. I think I’ve just about done all the Zoom master classes I’m going to do. There is something about a screen experience that, right now, just isn’t making the connection for me. I’d rather go outside and look into the sky, check on the sparrow hawk family, or the tomatoes. Muse upon when the two other artichokes will be ready to pick, to join the one I picked the other night before the storm.

That night, when I plucked that purple artichoke from life in the darkness, it gave me pause. What are we doing in our lives these days that mirror what a grower does all the time with the plants? Give them the requisite water, give them air and make sure they get light. Listen, really listen, to the growing things around you. And, of course weed and thin the crops out, so the healthy ones can grow and thrive.

I’ve noticed friends around the globe doing that with people. Many are weeding out their friends, real and virtual, making sure the ones they keep are given plenty of air and light. I am as well. There are people who used to be in my life that aren’t anymore. They’re just gone. Our paths diverged, taking different peregrinations. It is really hard to pull a tomato plant out of the ground, when you know it wants to make fruit. But the other ones nearby need the space and the water. So, it is a natural thing.

“Don’t take it personally.” I heard recently in an older Italian film.

For those who are still in the thick of life, younger and career-driven, I get it. You can’t look back. Your future is the thing. And older people, in our society, don’t have the future in front of them that they once had. We don’t implore our elders to remind us of how we should proceed. Telling stories around the campfire belonged to another time and another culture. It is irrelevant for many now. And so, the sun sets, and the island darkens.

I promise you; I won’t be like this forever. In fact, writing this is my 20 seconds to wash my hands and be done with it. I saw and heard too many older people trying to “learn” me with their stories about the past. A past they lived in more than the present. Some of them were good storytellers, but most of them were just citing memories, sometimes over and over. Where were the lessons? Maybe I just wasn’t a good enough listener.

But those elders who got through to me, several of them, were always looking forward. They’d had amazing, fascinating past lives. But they were living in the present, but had no desire to stop living that life to spend it in the past. And while I take the time to reflect, I agree with them.

So, if some of you have fallen off, addio to you, wherever you are going and whatever it is you are looking to make sense of your life. I hope you find what you’re looking for...

...and sunnier days to come

Happy Mother's Day, momma

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

No comments:

Real Time Analytics