Saturday, May 23, 2009

Present is past

Talking to friends on the Vineyard and listening to James Taylor makes me think about years past; growing up in Maine where family was always around.

Growing up in Maine, I had a very large, extended family. My mother was one of 6 and each of her siblings had children and even some of their children were having children.

I must have had 20 or more cousins (at least it seemed that way) and I was the youngest or one of the youngest of the gang so I learned a lot from them that maybe I wouldn't have learned about until later in life if they weren't around; things about family gossip, sex, smoking, dirty language and all the other things that move us from the clutches of innocence to the realm of reality.

Innocence may be nothing more than ignorance but I do think of my childhood fondly. I was so fortunate to be brought up in the bosom of love and care. I felt it with every smile, every wrinkling of the nose from my mom, every warm hug from Nana, every laugh from a cousin, every night I went to bed, knowing when I got up in the morning there was a family, oh so eccentric, unbelievably funny, all too often annoying, just a little bit crazy, and more loving than anyone could ever imagine; there to say to me, with the warmest of hearts, "good morning".

More to come.

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We glide along the night darkened country roads warmed from the hot summer day. We are returning from a day of swimming at the lake and being with family and friends. The caressing breeze cools my face and neck and I hear, in the distance as we ride by, frogs and crickets and see the familiar and welcoming flickers of the fire-flies in the fields passing by. I look up into the pitch-black night sky and I can millions of far-a-way stars and planets flickering, like the fire-flies in the fields below.

There are no street or porch lights to shine our way, just the limited focus of the car's headlights, which are no match for the darkness of these impenetrable ancient woods. No words are spoken, no music is heard other than that from the night creatures of rural Maine.

This is a familiar scene for me, growing up in rural Maine. Summers are about being with family and friends, swimming in sun-warmed lakes, sand in our feet, bug bites on our arms and legs and no worries in our souls. Just thoughts of what we would be doing tomorrow during another long summer day and night.

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Crickets creek, frogs shreek, fire-flies blink and I am looking up at the warm summer night sky wondering who, so far away, is looking back.

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