it’s gone in waves, days or hours here and there, and the occasional solid week. and it’s about everything under the sun, no particular pattern. (the entire month of rain was especially helpful. 8p)
for example, hitchiking. not that i ever did any, other than catching a ride home from school with someone i recognized (we lived in a really small town, where everyone knew you, or someone you knew – think Two Degrees of Separation). but we were talking about it at dinner the other night, Chef and hubby and me. and i thought again about picking up old ladies on the side of the road.
it’s not as bad as it sounds, honest. sometimes, i’ll be driving along, and an older woman, 70 or 80ish, will be standing at a bus stop, or sitting on a bench, looking rather bedraggled by the day, with a few bags of groceries. and i’ll want to stop and offer her a ride, because it looks like the bags weigh more than she does. but i never do. because while i am white, and female, and fairly nonthreatening, i’m still a stranger. and i never know if i’ll be seen as helpful or threatening. so i keep driving, and wondering. how is it that strangers can hold the door for you, or offer to carry your bag to the car for you, and it’s fine, but if we’re in a car, the stakes ramp up? how is it that, in my small town 20 years ago, getting a ride from a near stranger wasn’t bad, but now i think twice or three times about stopping to help an older woman?
and that train of thought led me to thinking about driving, and learning in general. (apropos of nothing, how is it that raspberry slush is blue?) i’ve been doing a lot of driving lately, and really liking it. i’ve always liked driving my car, or at least that’s the way it feels now. there was a time when it scared the crap out of me. but generally, i like driving. i like driving more than being the passenger, and i especially like driving on long, curving roads on sunny days, where i can roll down the windows and turn up the radio and sing at the top of my lungs, passengers or not. if you had asked me 10 years ago if this were possibly, i would likely have laughed. some of you may remember the stories: at 30, i bought a car i could not drive, because i’d never learned how to manage a manual transmission. and i learned to drive a stick in the city – Boston, no less, which is not especially forgiving of your driving shortcomings.
(segue: how is it that bumper sticker fell out of favor? i often feel like i’m the only one who uses them. the up side to that is this: i love seeing the driver behind me squinting, reading, and laughing.)
the ability of the human mind to stretch, and grow, and continue to learn is amazing. and the ways in which we learn at different ages is fascinating to me. watching Little Small be a human sponge and see what makes sense to him (or doesn’t – those are sometimes much funnier) is an education in itself. and i think, man, being at a point where everything is an opportunity to learn – how overwhelming must the world seem some days? and then i think about the information overload that we have as adults, and the conscious choice to *not* learn some things in order to leave room, or energy, or attention, for other things – i have willfully ignored the home theatre system in our living room.
the human machine, in general, is a pretty amazing thing. i was watching a show on Discover Health called I Am My Own Twin. as much as we think we know about the human body, there’s so very much more we don’t know. to wit:
In this riveting documentary, cameras follow the stories of individuals who were born with an extraordinarily rare condition. Sometimes in early pregnancy, two embryos fuse together creating one fetus in the womb resulting in a baby with two distinct sets of DNA. These babies are called Chimeras, after the Greek mythological being who is a hybrid of three different life forms.
absolutely wild. two of the women weren’t diagnosed until they needed some medical work done; there was no visible sign that, on a cellular level, they were ‘twins’. for one of them, depending on which hair you plucked from her head, you’d get one of two sets of DNA. even wilder was the mixed race person whose torso was, quite literally, a checkerboard. sometimes, Nature trumps fiction.
speaking of Nature, it’s something for which i’ve been very grateful lately – the profusion of trees greening up, and blossoms emerging everywhere. one day a few weeks back, a splatter of red tulips along the side of Storrow Drive made me ridiculously happy – seeing all that color in an unexpected and otherwise barren stretch of dirt. there’s also a kind of tree around here whose rich, pink blossoms are spread up and down the branches as if they’d been spread there with a roller. i don’t even know what kind of trees they are, a sign of how disconnected i am, i guess. i can’t even remember the last time i walked around the neighborhood, or went walking for no reason, or plopped down under a tree to observe, or listen, or read, or nap.
there’s a whole lot more about changes, and my outlook on life (as in, the lense thru which i look), that i’ve been pondering, perhaps for another post. Little Small has been an education and an experience, all rolled into a challenge, topped with some enlightenment. and thinking about owning a place? talk about looking at the walls in which you live under a different light. i’ve never owned a place, only rented. and man, oh man…
but sometimes, it’s something as simple as sharing my chocolate bar. i had several Mounds bars the other night, altho hubby only saw the one in my hand. he asked if i’d share, and he ended up with his very own candy bar. when i said i’d always share with him, he noted that ‘there was a time when you wouldn’t share your chocolate’. and i suppose it’s true, but the change has been so gradual i hadn’t noticed it. i trust that he’ll be there for me, so i’m there for him. and it’s not even a conscious choice to *share*. it’s just… what’s mine is his. and vice versa.
which makes the whole home owning thing easier, and fun, and a great prospect.
more than that? i’m thrilled to be married to my hubby. i talked to my mom the other day, and she and my dad celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary today. love and hugs, guys. we should be so lucky, to have that much time and love. 🙂
and i’m about ready to collapse, having played soccer on the porch with LS, and chased the ball over the rail and down the hill several times at a sprint, then carried him (and the ball) back up the hill …because he was tired. i swear, it rocks to be a kid. 😉 truly, i wish i could explain to him how great it is to be him right now, rather than waiting 25 years for the feedback. ‘yeah, i’d like a piggyback ride, too!’ efh. 🙂
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