Now and Then
By Edwin Young
Fall is not showing her colors yet here. A bit shy, I guess.
I love to feel the wind in early fall storms with their rumbling thunder that herald in the beauty of fall’s aging leaves. Funny thing, I love the face-numbing winds and rain, and even the slippery ice, of winter. I love the blustery winds and warm rains of spring and the way the warming spring urges new life into leaping joyfully up from its winter burial ground. I love the down pouring rains, the steam rising from a teaming, erotic earth, and the dry, skin-stinging sun of summer.
The seasons are so familiar now and yet each new one still holds delightful surprises. The trailing off of each season has its own fading trail of regret. It is strange, also, and may seem a little anti-social, but there is also something profoundly existential about the other side of a terminated relationship as well.
The sad and the joyful circle each other interminably. Exit and entry, entry and exit, each with its signature memento. It is sort of like the feeling of entering still silence when leaving a life of noisy hubbub. Although, at first, it is as if there is nothing ‘there’, those are moments that hold a strangeness like that of an appearance for which I was wholly unprepared. There it is; with its openness, possibility, absolute freedom to be. The next, the uncertain, the unknown, carries a unique excitement all of its own. For me, these are precious moments to be savored with deep gratitude. That sudden absence and aloneness makes me acutely aware of being alive and of the marvelous privilege of having existed on this incredible planet. The being ‘with’ makes me feel alive. The being ‘without’ makes me feel alive. The ultimate leaving behind has its moment too, a moment of awe.
It is interesting that in returning to my origins, from the earliest to each new adventure on the various crossroads of my life, they tend to give me an enveloping sense of acquiescent comfort. The old, the familiar, the revisited is nice and unique for the pining reminiscences they provoke. The uncharted, the about to be, and the new are exhilarating and unique for the joyful flooding of awareness of possibility and surprise.
Life is a paradox, simultaneously holding two distinctly different modes of being. To the truly modern human life is no mystery, objectively speaking, while looking down the corridors of the past. Yet, life nearing the edge of the horizon is pregnant with anticipatory, imminent, subjective mystery.
Just being alive now is an enchanting love affair.