HUMAN LIFE: SUPERLATIVE IN EVERY WAY
I’ve been home for almost 24 hours now, back from my photo-scouting trip, and wondering why on earth I still feel so tired.
Not really physically, I realized, although we did our best to wear ourselves out each day. I’m mentally and emotionally worn out. Mostly because of this:
Inside a truck just like that was a very brave little boy, trying almost successfully not to cry; breaking my heart because we had to say good-bye. We had been together almost non-stop for two whole days, enjoying a “secret world” that only a grandma and a grandson can create. We saw the world together; were amazed at the same things together; had the same shared feelings. Bonded.
And then it was time to part and Daddy would be driving that truck . . . away. When you’re five years old, you know it has to happen, but you feel sad about it. When you’re many-decades + five years old, you know it has to happen, but you’re sad about it too.
Daddy and Cooper had to continue westward along that red line. Grandma had to re-trace the blue line. (There will be a southern swing to the otherwise straight shot across the country due to April snows along I-70 and I-80: 13-16 inches over mountain roads! In a truck full of precious family cargo.
In that green spot in the middle there is where I got LOST in the woodlands of Indiana for an hour or so. On foot. Halfway through that little adventure, every time I opened up my cell phone, it gave a pathetic little “meeep” and indicated it need a battery charger. Which made me a little uneasy, being so far away from my car.
But the three of us had many interesting adventures in Terre Haute, Indiana, where we had met for a couple days. Good stories and photos coming up here in the Spruce Tunnel, but I wanted to begin with that little “human” type experience of saying good-bye to your loved ones.
Because what I was doing out in the woodlands in the middle of Indiana, on foot, is looking for Indian mounds, from people who lived there about 2,100 years ago. People just like us in almost every way. Families. Family love. Family needs. Family relationships.
Take a mental trip down the timeline of human history. Make a mental stop every 2,000 years or so. Technology changes. What our clothes are made of changes. What our buildings and homes are made of changes. How information gets passed around changes. How we obtain our food changes. How we travel changes.
What doesn’t change is that we live in small family units within a larger tribe or clan, or more artificially: within a larger nation. Again: Families. Family love. Family needs. Family relationships.
Put me in a shelter along a shore of a northern sea. Put me in a cave in southern France. Put me in a longhouse in the north American forest. Put me in a fine stone castle. Put me in a little suburban home.
But part me from my grandson and I will have the same feelings in any Time. Part us from our loved ones: a grown child marries; a parent dies; a spouse dies; a friend moves far away. We will feel love and loss.
No matter what Time is your present Time – it’s the people in your family, your close kin, and your close friends that matter to you; and how you treat them and love them that defines you as a person.
After I waved good-bye to Cooper and his Daddy, I went backup to my hotel room and immediately began beating myself on the head – “I forgot to show him this!” “I forgot to tell him that!” “I should have done this with Cooper.” “I could have said more of this!”
I could have – I should have – I wish I did . . .
Silly, I know. But it’s because it matters.
(Fun stuff coming up in the next post.)