Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blessings, Birthdays and the Blues

The fall is a season of such blessing in this part of the world, and  in my life as well.  The calendar has started to fill with hunts - and the dreams of what might come on those days, now simply a "tuesday: 6-10am" on an email calendar.   The fall crops, including a nice run of Red Deer Tongue lettuce, several other greens, and a new variety of spinach, are well underway.   The fish are still biting - and I managed to catch my first West Virginia smallmouth the other week.  But we had another something special to celebrate - Hank turned three.

To recap how ridiculously fast THAT's one year ago.

And two years ago.

And three years ago.

You can quip all the "aww shucks they grow up so fast" stuff that you want.  And I guess there's no other meaningful, concise, casual way to say it than all of those Hallmark quotes already do.  But if you sit and think about it, or talk about it with your very closest friends or family, the immensity of what is happening is absolutely overwhelming.  Overwhelming blessings and responsibilities and joy and beauty and stress and financial outlay and lack of time and sleep and bewilderment and wonderment and investment.

It's happening so fast.  I have so much to learn.  So much to teach. And the days are filled with all of those things, and work on the land, and hours on the river.  I've finally figured out that it will never stop swirling around.  Never slow down.   And to beware of that time when it does.


cofisher said...

Young Hank looks like he's turning into a fine young man! They do grow up fast...thank goodness!

Kirk Mantay said...

He's a wonderful boy, and has really changed the way I think about things, including God, mortality, and all of that stuff.

He has also really changed the way I live, because his mere existence is an expensive one.

T. Brook Smith said...

Deep thoughts and deeply felt.

I have 2 children. The elder is now in college and doing things that make it clear he will excel wherever he goes. I remember the "letting go" process. The teaching becomes so much harder as they get older. At that point they are finding their way and you're just a participant in their lives instead of their be all and end all.

The 2nd is much, much younger and still worships me. I divorced when she was very small and aside from regular phone calls, skype, and holidays I only have summer with her now. Being outside and showing her the wonders of nature is central to almost everything we do together. I find myself hoping I am not giving her a passion for something we will inevitably lose.

The God thing is important to me too. It has been for a long time. But it seems much easier to think about morality than the way religion is traditionally practiced. I don't want her to grow up thinking that her values and belief system depend on the scientific accuracy of a book that isn't scientifically accurate. Yet that approach is still vital to understanding how people care for each other and why we are the way we are. I hope she does not come to disrespect or trivialize the one because of the other.

But mostly, I want them both to be happy and safe and good. I want the world around them to be better than it is because of them and the choices they've made.

I think maybe we have that in common.

Kirk Mantay said...

Yup. It's complicated. I hear the quote too often, "Parents don't want you to be happy. Parents want to not worry about you."

I know many cases of kids who do different things than their parents do (or did) outdoors, and certainly think about the outdoors differently; but I don't know many people who grew up outdoors and now eschew it as adults.

It's complicated out there, and easy to make mistakes. A daily struggle for sure!

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