A story with a lesson

July 26, 2022 Comments Off on A story with a lesson

Now that I have begun writing regularly again, a few people have written to say hello.

Two years ago I was camped somewhere in Washington, I think it was not too far from Seattle. Kristie and I had gotten settled in and were excitedly talking about the most amazing thing we had ever seen at a campground, a junk hauler whose occupants had the foresight to carry the most indispensable item that any camper will ever need, a table saw. They had set it up and although it was idle, they were ready for any major construction projects that might need attending to such as building a house or a bridge or simply cutting up a stack of 2×4’s.

It was darkening. I don’t recall whether we’d eaten, but suddenly a man and his son appeared at the edge of our campsite. “Seth?” he tentatively asked.

“Yes?” I tentatively answered.

“Brent. I read your blog. Here’s something for you.” He handed us a jar of jam made from hand-picked berries. We spoke for a few minutes and then they left. It was one of many unforgettable moments, but especially sweet because of the jam and because he had brought his son, a handsome young man of twelve or maybe thirteen years.

This morning Brent sent me some photos of him and his son. They had been hiking in Washington and the backdrop was summer ice and craggy peaks. The beauty didn’t look real, it was possessed of such depth and breadth.

But the most beautiful thing in the photos wasn’t the glory of external nature, it was the beauty of internal nature, of a dad and his son hiking together in what’s left of our wild world.

There is nothing more profound than a father passing on lore, knowledge, and time with his son, and by father I mean mother, and by son I mean daughter. This is how our human race evolved, parent to child and then, all grown up, child to the child of its own.

When you are me, the ship has sailed, the window closed, the brief moment passed forever. They were young once and once only. Each day, each hour, each moment was precious, and you either buried yourself in it or you lightly skipped over it with “later,” “I’m too busy,” or “not now.”

The lesson? Now never returns.


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