Back in Action
Three years ago we made this incredible journey from the far reaches of the planet--what some people even dubbed "the center of the universe" (Fremont) to a place that few people will ever set foot on. We moved from meticulously designed concrete buildings to fields of unkept weeds and wild flowers. We swapped public school for homeschool and big paychecks for evenings on the front-porch with our kids. In short, we were looking for the retro-life; we wanted to live in the olden days.
Oh, we never said those words. I'm not sure we had those thoughts so clearly formulated in our minds. But looking back, it is clear what we were after: chasing after a story--a narrative so compelling that it has drawn humanity through the ages to its pages. We found ourselves lost in that novel. Living out a drama that is more myth than reality, but somehow loving every word.
As the sun set, the warm even air filled the cab and my 10-year old boy and I bantered on about the invention of airbags, seatbelts, blinkers and bucket seats. I began to understand his accute grasp of a reality that sets me on a sharp learning curve every day. What to me is forever changing and frustratingly "new," is his whole world.
Feeling comfortable at 55 and not a mile faster, the cars behind me held my attention as their headlights grew bigger and then swerved around me. I realized that sometimes the past does not fit very easily into the future. And, for perhaps the first time in my life as I considered my elders, I felt real compassion--not the philosophical kind--the kind that's filled with empathy, because I was finding myself in their shoes. I realized how quickly a person could become obsolete.
Would there be an antique marker to let the world know that I needed special consideration?
Our social system is easily impressed. Pulling up to the gas station, F100 was the talk of all passersby. How old? How found? How cool. All the markers of age here garnered the highest respect: even the vintage paint. I began to wonder why the same esteem is not held for the human equivalent. Taking an inventory of the people who might be considered "antiques" in my sphere of relationships, I realized that unfortunately several hadn't really allowed beauty to take root in their lives. In fact, my mind quickly formulated images of bitterness on display. It seemed like maybe some of the elderly around me had guided themselves a bit out of sync.
Others, a very beloved few, perhaps not even so physically well-preserved, still doggedly persevered in finding a new role and every turn and therein, they seemed to be held in the highest of esteem and welcomed to inhabit all places of honor.
This "other" tourquoise truck no longer knows the feel of pavement or the swish of the air against the dash, but it sits at the entrance of the farm, welcoming each passer-by and what's more: it is the crown glory of many a wedding picture with its bed full of posies. No one would dare whisper a negative word. In fact, terms of endearement are far more likely heard. May I have the guts to embrace a foreign role so gracefully and yes, beautifully, one day.
August 5, 2014 | Share: