A Promise to Return (for Meaghan and David)

Been going, in my mind, to a different, easier time, to the end of summer days and the breeze coming off the pond, to slightly changing leaves and coming shorter days,

(the slight breeze of a late summer morning and the tired moments of reflection and with the adolescent certainty that everything and anything I had lost would one day be regained.)

I looked forward to the coming days through the ever present lens of time and then of age, now, here, thirty five years past that late summer morning and the breeze off the pond.

(aware of the coming end of summer and the arriving sense of fall and winter.)

I made my way out to the ocean early on Saturday morning,

purposefully watching the rolling and rhythmic waves and the way the birds dove down and themn continued to rise and fly.

(I stayed until the sun was overhead and I promised myself I woulda return before the winter sets in.)

To mourn and to reflect.

To make sense of new realities.

To remember blessings and to discern curses.

To unload my burdens to God, the author of creation, the time keeper and my ultimate destination.

When the night falls I will stand under the moon and read my diary out loud and despite the way the waves crashing drown out my words, at least I will get them off my chest.

Then I will trace and diagram the constellations and imagine how close the heavens are to them, then I would mentally touch them, memorizing their lines and elements of the cosmic hand that placed them there.

(All this struggle and she still ignores me.)

The barn cats were lounging near the door catching the rays of sun and the breeze that came through the open door, there would be plenty of time to chase and to climb later on.

These late afternoons are for lounging and for now the only thing to catch was the breeze.

(the mice can wait.)

The horses were reluctant to get into the trailer and they pushed and pulled with all their might, they were run in circles, eventually complying as the evening put its arms around the barn.

Then came the drive to Ocala, straight west on 40, through the forest, towards the setting sun and her weekend with the horses.

The building blocks of revelation come in moments disreagarded by some.

(I rememebr him from all those summers spent together, he was not destinmed to live forever.)

I thought even more so, when I saw, the stars hanging in the sky and how they blazed so far away.

Then there was the silence between me and Meaghan and how she refused to speak to me, all along those miles of country roads, she spent the time working on her saddle as the day began to fade and the road seemed to go on forever and ever.

(I remembered David and how we once spent long summer days and long hot evenings, fishing and dreaming about adventures and what was to come.)

Meaghan never looked up from her saddle and never asked any quesitons as I began to feel the calming presence of an opportunity to let it be, remaining in the space that I was in, thinking and remembering.

(mourning never really ends, not after the death of an old freind or the rejection of someone you love so much.)

I began to think and my mind settled, I remembered how much I had to believe in right here and now and how even after all these hard times, I still believe that better times will come.

How there is no honor or title,

no gem filled crown,

no office,

no amount of money,

no kingly robe or throne upon which a king sits,

no alchamaic formula turning lead to gold,

nothing in this world or under the sea,

that means more to me than her.

Sometimes loving a personm means you have to love them from some distant horizon, where space brings peace and an end to arguing, leaving space to grow.

I never forgot my promsie to return, I have never given up on remebering you and all those nights we sat up talking, listening and remebering.

(I still remember now.)

I still remember her when she was young and her smiling face was unburdened by the weight of her past.

(unkown and unbothered)

Stars in the sky, so far and sometimes near enough to touch celestial bodies and constant reminders of the glory of God and how he blessed me with a great freind and a beautiful daughter.

I realize the best I can do is buy time and that eventually it will run out, sooner than later for some, I realize that I have pushed the ways of this world onto her and demanded things the wrong way, the same way the world stole him from me.

I rode home alone, with only my thoughts, my constant and unrelenting mental companions, along with a constant and ongoing need to pray and to connect and to become closer and to hear and to understand.

When I got home the house was dark and only the dog greeted me, happy to see me and in the quioet of the ongoing night I prayed saying… “forgive me Lord, I am just a stupid man.”

T. S. Deary

7/31/22 – 8/31/22

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