When cold and dark is actually bright and warm
If I were talented enough a writer, I’d prattle on about the metaphorical nature of a walk through the nature center on a cold, dimly lit morning. About how there are times when everything seems to go poorly, how nothing works out the way it’s supposed to, and how even the most important things in life – relationships with loved ones, say – seem fraught with wrong turns down spooky paths surrounded by crazy sharp brambles, and the cold, dark moments trying to find a way off those lonely paths and back onto the bright trails with sparkly reflections on either side.
Well, I’m not.
I did take the walk through the nature center, yes, and while walking I did spend the time thinking about just those facets of life that on occasion all seem to go horribly wrong. And how when that happens, life can be very cold and dark. I did. But this post is about the sights of my walk, not the accompanying thought processes.
And, besides, even before the sun reached higher altitudes and began to light the tree branches and pond ripples and frost crystals, my thoughts drifted toward the brighter. I re-realized that the cold and lonely paths aren’t lengthy, and that they always lead to bright and sparkly trails.
I was reminded that even when I frustrate the snot out of The Wife, she still loves me, welcomes me home, and wants to hang around with me. The significance and utter surprise of that is, like it was aaaalmost 14 years ago, staggering.
I was convinced anew that, no matter how many times I screw up in parenting, my brilliant and longing to be understood older daughter will, despite my seeming best efforts to derail her uniqueness and quirky awesomeness, succeed in this world. On her own terms.
It was again clear to me that my oh so kind and compassionate younger daughter will, maybe even because of my frequent struggles to be a good and great Dad, make a real difference in the world by becoming a good and great woman herself.
I marveled at how, from an almost completely unexpected place, a groovy acquaintance blossomed into a dear friend – a friend who I’ve no doubt cares deeply and is in my corner for the long haul. And is a real hoot besides.
Really, what are the dark and lonely paths but bright and sparkly trails the sun just hasn’t yet reached?
Sometimes, the bright and warm radiation from that neighborhood star is all that’s needed to perk up a place. Or a mood. That, and reminders from loved and loving family and friends.
Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to wax prosaic about my stroll this morning, but with this next image I just couldn’t help but make this connection:
This pot has been next to a tree on one of the center’s trails for I daresay years. In the warmer months, I’m not surprised to see cut flowers or branches arranged artfully in it. In January, though? Yes. In freezing cold January. These flowers are withering and dying, but that’s not the point. My guess is they were placed there carefully and thoughtfully, and with seventeen kinds of loving intentions. Much like, oh, I don’t know, my attempts at parenting and
husbandry husbanding? So much of what I do as a father and husband dies a cold, dark, lonely failure – the hope, though, is that the love behind the attempts is known and felt and ultimately does in fact give the desired effect.
So there’s my post about my stroll round the nature center, which does not include any accompanying philosophical musings about relationships. Um, yeah. By the way, click on any image below to get a fabulous and large version of it; from there you can plow through a slide-show type operation.
Thanks for visiting!