Friday, September 10, 2010

the great wheel of life turns relentlessly on; the weather has a touch of change, even if it isn't really much cooler. a little rain came through, and that's actually rare for this time of year, though it happened that year katrina pounded new orleans and is probably in some way related to those hurricanes that keep pounding the coasts, hundreds of miles away. a touch of change in the air - some leaves dry out and drop early, because, what the heck, it's all pretty much over anyway, why wait to the bitter end. but the pin oaks leaves, wide and brown, hang on, and will probably still be there even in late november.

so news comes from seattle that the baby actually has two teeth in front, and also is beginning to scoot, albeit backward. scooting backward, my wife says, is god's way of making sure they don't go straight into the fire. guess that assumes they're always facing the fire, if there is one, that is. but either way, it's the beginning of mobility, beginning of a long haul into adulthood where they will get a car and struggle to keep it running. we have milestones at all the developmental stages; another has just lost his two front teeth, and is walking around with a gap-tooth smile on a wide face that is trying to adjust to kindergarten. comes with the territory, i remember a kindergarten teacher saying, when a kid walked up to her with a slightly bloody mouth and an odd-shaped tooth in his hand. other kids are learning to pay bills that definitely put a crimp in their style and make them face some of the realities of adulthood. but the wheel, marching forward, pushes them into the next stage, ready or not.

a friend at work tells of teens using substances in a park at four in the morning, scattering to the winds when the police come, getting caught by their own license plates, and eventually having to own up to what they were doing. does it ever end, she says? hoping only that that age, maybe fifteen, would stop lasting five years per day. in drama, and anguish, and spirit wrung out of you like a dishrag, it might last more like twenty per day. but you have to keep it in perspective. she is obviously there to tell me that story, to help keep my story in perspective. but it's a scary world they're growing up in, one in which they can not count on the kind of stability we had, in national government, weather, ability to make it day to day without war or massive weather-caused disaster. i was telling a friend about iowa, its beautiful hills and river valleys, the corn fields on the hills this time of year, with fog on the grassy lawns and husks to mark the season, but iowa has had four or five hundred-year floods, just in the last ten years; it seems, every time the east coast gets a bit of hot air, the westerlies get stuck out above iowa and just dump all their rain. what's up with that? what used to be very fertile farmland, turning into areas where there's so much rain, it has no where to go.

ok, so things change, i understand that; i've even come to live with it, unwillingly, but i recognize it and even embrace it in my better moments as inevitable at worst...i remember katrina, and the old days, and times when i myself learned hard lessons, the hard way. it's the earth turning, and some things, come loose, come round to hit you in the head, or wherever, and change your path so as to make you more alert. that earth will keep on turning, and tilt over to where it runs up against some weather, so as to cleanse itself or whatever; maybe it's just all churned up about world events, or family events, like we are, and doesn't have much reason for violent upheavals like hurricanes, tornadoes or the rest of it. it just happens, because it's turned. and we're not jumping off, yet, so we might as well find a balance, and hang on for the long haul.

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