A friend from a very long time ago, who now lives 3,000 miles away, took the time to write me an email the other day. It’s quite possible I would now walk past this former lover and not recognize him; the years have been that many.
In this email, he wrote about recreating his house during a tough time of his life. The best damn wood floors you’ve ever seen…. Later, he remarried, sold that house and bought a different one, fathered a daughter, and joined into happier days.
That house he poured his body and soul into, and yet he realized it was not loss; it was one long step of a journey as his life moved on. As my teenage daughter becomes her own young woman, I’m wistful at times for those innocent summers when a kiddie pool brought such pleasure. How good it was to cradle the sweet-smelling heft of a sleeping child in my arms. At yet… how could I not revel in this girl and her friends, bright-eyed and eagerly taking the reins of their lives?
This summer, I’ll heed my friend’s advice well and swim in the cold lakes more with the kids, cook outside over the fire while listening to frogs, worry less about money, and don’t mind so many weeds in the garden.
People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
– Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth