(The bouncing baby boy)
We took the boy to the beach today. Well, we took him to the shore. It was the lighthouse at Pt. Reyes, not exactly a place to frolic in the hypothermic surf.
I was being sentimental as the day wore on, as the wine worked on me at home, thinking of little boy Rhys. Stop reading now if that sort of thing bothers you. You've been warned....
Some of us use our time hoping to create anything of beauty - whether in writing or in whatever else we might do - music, art, dance, anything. We often spend so much of our lives mired in self doubt, or held under the tedium of work, that there is little time left for beauty. Allure is much easier to acknowledge than to produce. Each of us reacts to feelings of uncertainty and insecurity in our own strained ways - wishing to cast off, extinguish, or explain away the various monsters of self-doubt. We search for love to assuage those feelings, often to find that the reaction of romantic love only serves to make matters worse, amplifying the weaknesses - sometimes exacerbating them beyond control, beyond reason.
Then one day along comes a little adorable child that is as beautiful as anything we've ever imagined. It's still hard to believe that we created the little boy, the two of us. The mind wants to doubt even in the face of simple proof, such is uncertainty carried so long, so well. Self-skepticism most of all wants to live on. But in his easy beauty and newness to life there is a simple thing, redeeming and pure, unhidden for us. Effortless to understand, impossible to explain.
I feel less uncertain - more confident that I am by some means not a lost, hopeless or corrupted soul - but one capable of generating this little beauty, in spite of myself. It is all there in his smiling wondrous face.
I say all of this not to be maudlin, but as a frank admission. I'm sure there are some, rolling over in their memoirs, at such an unadorned admission of love and change.
Such is life.
So be it.
To the sea, and on the way back, the brightly colored blossoms of the California Poppy were everywhere roadside visible. It's easy to take note of the parallels, almost biblical in their plainness. Out of winter soil comes a flower so bursting with life and the announcement of future promise that it makes one re-examine what they know about the earth, of life. Any number of parables would serve to further elucidate here. I'll leave those to the others.
I'm not drunk with emotion, or overly sentimental. I mean each of these words, truly. I know that one day the boy might grow up to resent me, and my love. He might denounce me in his heart as a fool, an out-of-touch ogre, incapable of understanding a tender unique soul such as his. I will ask him to mow the yard, or to help his mother get the groceries out of the car, and all the triumph of love will crumble at his bitter response and self-anointed indignation. His world will be his alone. I might have the memory of today, he won't. It is all a normal part of the process. I know. I was once there too. I also returned from there.
But tonight those days are far off, and he is quite close, gurgling and cooing in his sleep, dreaming of sucking titties and mommy's voice and being held by us both. I'm certain of it.
Just a few thoughts before I go to bed.
Each morning becomes more precious, once I stop to consider what such a thing as another day gained actually means. How short the days, how fast on their way.