“Was it boring on the weekends without the Internet?” my daughter asks.
“Sure was,” I say, thinking of how one could safely wander outside into the countryside.
“How could you get information without iPads?” she asks as I remember how I knew the names of all the plants and trees passed down from generations immemorial.
“And no TV after midnight!” she says as I recall staring out of my bedroom window in wonder at the stars, still visible before air pollution had veiled them.
“It’s a small world she inhabits,” I think, looking pityingly at my daughter clutching her smartphone.
Growing up, there were deep woods near his house. He would ride his bike there. He would find a sturdy branch to use as a walking stick, plunge into the woods and explore for hours, balancing himself on fallen trees, listening to birds, wading through creeks. He felt so comfortable there, so grateful to be alive.
This morning, he drove to a park near his house. Using his cane, he walked slowly to a trail at the edge of some woods and gingerly made his way into the trees. He felt so comfortable there, so very grateful to be alive.
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Oooooo. I watched a hornet dismember a wounded dragonfly with speed and grace and discipline. Within seconds, not a fleck of evidence remained of that dragonfly’s existence, anywhere. I missed it so … until I didn’t because the air and earth had raised their arms in hallelujah and celebration and I was captivated there.
How quick. How resourceful. How respectful. And, genius remains in motion.
And, as I testify to this mindful way of honoring a life, I am instantly freed of false belief that animals prey upon each other. In fact, they re-source each other. It’s in their D.N.A.
Wrinkles don my face as I wait for the inevitable. My mind time-travels into the past … I eagerly wait for stepping into high school, next my convocation … As I step into manhood, I wait for my first job, a perfect girl, climbing the ladders of success. Finally, I wait for my retirement.
But … I never waited for the inevitable! I earn the Ph.D of life with prefix of ‘Late’ before my name. I smile from heaven as I see my ‘Cycle of Waiting’ reverberate through a millions lives on the blue planet, waiting … to earn Ph.D of their lives.
The blood-red sun was alluring, appearing the same size as the full moon, only without its silvery hue.
Thin grey clouds drifted over like ghosts.
Then I saw my lover with another man. It was like a parallel universe with the sun and my lover caressing someone else.
The scene was surreal. Shock had not yet poisoned my system and I wandered home as if in a dream.
Before I entered the house I glanced up again at the sky. The sun had returned to its traditional yellow but my world would never be the same. I’d remember the blood-red sun.
Bitch!—he shouted as he shot and she fell to the floor. Bastard!—she shouted as she shot and he fell to the floor. Razed!—they shouted as they shot and they fell to the floor … DEAD!
He pulled open the door of the Elbo Room and peeked inside. The afternoon sunlight through the doorway made the bottles behind the bar sparkle like rock candy.
It made him think of the penny candy in a long row of square glass jars just inside the front door of Seeger’s, the corner store in the neighborhood where they grew up. They were childhood sweethearts. They would walk there, holding hands, on Saturday mornings. He happily covered her root beer barrels and lemon drops with his allowance.
Now he would give everything to see the sparkle in her eyes again.
The sound of glass shattering startled her. ‘That damned cat!’ Laura thought as she started sweeping. She had detested that vase for as long as she could remember. In fact, one of her earliest memories was that damned raffle where instead of the beautiful ‘celestial blue’ dress, she won this ugly pot. She was five and that was a tragedy. Forty something years had passed and there it still was, disappointing as ever, incessantly mocking her … until today!
As she dumped the last of the glass into the bin, Laura grinned with satisfaction like she was five all over again.
The man twitched his tie and straightened his jacket as he looked sternly at the guy in jeans and a tee-shirt.
“What precisely are your intentions towards her?” he asked.
The guy grinned and took his hands out of his pockets. “Totally dishonourable.”
“Tch!” He turned to the woman. “You?”
She shrugged with calculated indifference. “Pretty much the same, I guess.”
She smiled and pulled a hair off the man’s suit. “Son, I don’t want another husband. If I want to have a lover, I shall. As you were fond of saying, ‘get over it’.”
“Sweetie, what’s wrong? Why are you upset?”
“Gillian said today that I’d never be a good swimmer.”
“What? That’s nonsense. You’re just a bit younger than she is; your feet still need to grow. I bet, by this time next year, you’ll swim faster than she does.”
“You really think so?”
“Of course, sweetheart. Don’t worry. Now let’s go get some lunch. How about tuna?”
“Tuna sounds great!”
Bubbles sucked clean salty water into her gills and grinned, revealing four rows of teeth. By next year, the webbing on her feet will be complete, and she will swim as fast as Mom!