I am sitting on the lanai. The sound of the ocean pleasantly drowning out all other noise, to include the ones in my head. If I look up from my computer, I can see the crystalline water, frothing itself to exhaustion on the beach that is literally a few feet away from me. I could wake up to this view every day and never tire of it. I mean every single day.
Time feels as though it has stopped, even though it marches forward, which is all time can really ever do. Unlike me, who travels to the distant and not so distant past and then launches into the future, both near and far. Time can only go forward. There is no back in time’s life. Only a fonward motion, lest we get complacent and stall out.
But here on this lanai, time and I are not at our usual odds. I have nothing to do. Literally. Nothing. There are no meals to be made, no bedding to wash, no shopping to attend to, no laundry or other household chore. No work to be accomplished. Nothing to be done except, to enjoy the feeling that time really wants me to do what I can to enjoy the feeling that time has stopped moving for a minute, and instead of doing, relish in all the nothingness that currently surrounds me. It is a lot of beautiful nothingness to be certain.
I am not sure how I ended up here. In this life. It feels more surreal and mine with each passing hour. I need nothing. I have more than most. And I wake each day with an appreciation that this life, this one that I am living right now is the best possible life I could ever hope for...
That being said, my life is far from perfect. I am still not speaking to my son, and a not so silent war rages on with him. I talk to him in my head and on the screen even though he is not present for these communications. Somewhat unfair I know. But in these private, unshared conversations, I can be and do that which I cannot in real conversations. I can communicate the love I feel for him. And I can do a better job of holding back the frustration and fear that I have whenever he comes to mind.
I am relinquishing control. I am allowing for his life to march on with time’s mad parade, and I am barely a spectator anymore. I know the break was needed, and that our relations damaging and dysfunctional, but I didn’t realize that my absence would be greeted with such ire, hostility and rage. Coupled with a complete lack of regard for the depth of the love that I have been able to communicate more effectively in times’ past.
When I review my life in moments like this, I am struck by how perfectly imperfect it all is and how could it be any other such thing...I mean, life is just a seemingly endless trail of moments sublime and tragic until we are granted no more.
It is indeed humbling to sit in such a fantastic place, cool breeze blowing on my skin. All my needs and wants attended to and carefully in check. And still find something to be unhappy about. But again, that is just the way life is.
I am realizing more and more that life will never be resolved. And if you think it is, look out, some shit is about to go down. We are always getting our shit together, only to have that very same shit, hit the fan often quite spectacularly and unforeseen. Life is this precarious coming together and falling apart and the older I get I am never sure which one is which.
And this appreciation I have for the here and now allows my grief and anguish over the status of my relationship with my son to grant me pardon and clemency in the present moment. For now, I have done all that I can. I have prayed, I have consulted, I send love and well wishes to him every single time I think of him, which is literally all the time. This is all I can do. We have arrived here not by accident, not by fault, but by living our lives, often in conflict and less often in peril. And everything that has happened thus far has resulted in me sitting here on this lanai, writing down the contents of my heart and head. Take away one grievance, one angry word, one missed step and I would be somewhere else...
And I think, just maybe, this is the part of living that I do not appreciate enough. That all the moments contain it all: the love, the sadness, the grief, the heartbreaking wonder. Every single moment contains them all. And it is true folly to have ever thought otherwise. And yet, folly I do.
There is a lot to be said for doing ones best to cease seeking happiness and avoiding suffering at all cost. I guess it is moments like right now that are there own reward, where I sit on an island in the middle of a vast ocean, watching the waves move in and out, back and forth, while time moves me onward to whatever comes for me next...
And in all this active stillness, I am here living this one life that is my own. Grateful. Content. Happy. Awestruck by how simple and wonderful sitting at the ocean’s edge, on a lanai can truly be. I do not cling to this moment because I am at peace with whatever comes next, be it calamity or miracle. Each have their gifts and each bring their own hardships. Time will move me forward with new opportunities that I both fear, loathe, relish and revile. Because time only moves in one direction, dragging me along with it, like a wave across a shallow reef. I can float easily across the sharpness below or I can hover oh so slightly and enjoy the view or being dragged and ripped to shreds is always a constant option. Whatever comes next will not be mitigated or ameliorated by my refusal to appreciate the right now.
So I appreciate it. I hold it gently in a warm embrace then I let it go, all while I remain right here.