30 Years

I lived in Boston for thirty years, nine months, twelve days, and about eight hours.  But who's counting?  It was longer than I had lived anywhere else, and although I was always (and proudly) the small town Iowa boy in the city, I loved it.  Boston was, and perhaps will always oddly be, my home.  

Now, as I sit on the north end of Whidbey Island, outside of Seattle, staring out the window at the Olympic Mountains to the west, I wonder how I got here, and where I was.  And to that, who was I?  Who am I now?  Who am I not?  Who might I be?  And what do I carry forward into the mist?

Maybe it is your tendency, as it is mine, to frame the past primarily in terms of regret.  Potential frittered away in perceived, or actual, lost opportunities.  A word unspoken, a walk not taken, a letter unwritten, a beer undrunken.  Most days left unseized, as the comfortable routines funneled into the road most traveled and averted more challenging trails.  I could kick myself.  So, here I am with my basket of regrets.  Poor, poor pitiful me.  And perhaps the contents seem so heavy mostly because, were I to have the chance, I know I would do it all again the same way.  This cheers me.

But, wonder of wonders, just as baskets have surface elements, they also harbor depths...    lower regions where lurks (dark) chocolate and assorted treasures.  So persevere...   toss off those water crackers and thin mints and have a go at it.  "Great Scott, man, you've got to dig a bit !"

And wouldn't you know, there they are at the bottom, better than gold bars:  Lessons learned.  Perspectives gained.  Wounds healed.  Fears assuaged.  Days cherished.  Forgiveness received.  Courage increased.  Torpedoes damned.  Friendships cast.  Opportunities abounding.