My wife wanted me to write about the spider who’s taken up residence by a window where plants vie for solar nourishment. Or maybe about the mealy bugs who’d infested a plant we bought from a local nursery. I can see those topics for a children’s book.
The kids are getting ready for school as is the usual for our mornings and I’ve got Bob Marley blasting from my laptop as I write. Everything’s going to be alright.
My kids really have no idea of my life, I mean, how could they? They only know an old guy who happens to know how to sail and is married to their mom. They see him no longer headed out the door to work on boats but now he sits at the dinning room table with his laptop churning out these little vignettes. In a moment I’ve got to throw on some shoes and sunglasses and ride them to school, a hug and a kiss with the all important affirmation of love and support and they’re off with half tied shoes and hair draped over stuffed backpacks replete with dangley bits swinging from side to side. Every day new, every day more discovery.
And that’s what’s making me happy right now. Each new possibility still is there but when one gets older the belief that there is nothing new under the sun creeps in. I know, I know becomes a cliched part of not only our vocabulary but our psyche too! And in that we continue on, thinking we know-it-all maybe with the occasional lit bulb effect just to spice things up.
Present space means a constant opening, like that of my girls each day they go to school but my older daughter, Caroline, has already begun to show signs of a know it all so I’m pretty sure Lizzy isn’t far behind. How can I help make them aware? Words will only work when specially timed, actions will only work if I live discovery daily. Just the very act of parenting gets in the way however as just the other day Caroline asked how I know so much about so many differing topics. Flattered, I gave a throwaway reply that I read a lot. I do read a lot but that’s a total BS answer. Anyone can read a lot but that doesn’t reveal an open mind. Anyone can have an open mind but that only helps if one reads a lot.
I’m sure I just oversimplified the process of learning in that last sentence.
How to maintain that childlike mode of discovery? Does one have to mimic the mannerisms of children to achieve open mode or can one grow and mature while maintaining open mode? I’ve seen both.
Anyway, after dropping Lizzy off at school with the top down as I usually do, the morning was so nice and calm I decided to drive around for a bit and eventually found myself sitting on a stone wall overlooking the Golden Gate with a view of Mile Rock to Mount Tam. There was a light flood running so the gate was fairly smooth but for our constant Northwesterly swells. I could hear over a dozen different birds in the trees around me and even spotted a humming bird flitting about, looking for a suitable place to alight. I watched a fishing boat drift in the water off of Baker Beach and Seagulls fly by in the distance and remembered the brightly colored Starfish we used to see along the tidelines 30 years ago. They’ve been gone for awhile now, victims of some sort of blight, probably man made. A French couple walked up, talked a bit, snapped a photo or two and scurried back to their rental car. My butt started to hurt and I was getting a bit stiff so I unwound myself and walked back to the convertible and dialed up Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and slowly made my way home. Some guy in a black Lexus SUV decided to tailgate me along the road where the championship bicyclist was killed a couple of weeks ago. I was already traveling slowly behind a gargantuan white tourist bus so I pulled over to let him tailgate the bus. With brake lights soon a-glare, he quickly obliged.
When I got home, my neighbor was out front of her house smoking a cigarette so I stopped to say hi. As usual she complained about how SF was changing for the worse and that she’s probably going to have to move when the state outlaws internal combustion engines. She’s old SF, been here all of her life, watches FOX news, but if I keep the conversation light and non combative we get along well enough. The last thing I need is a fight with a neighbor.