Friday, July 24, 2009

Brookgreen Allee

Allee is a French word that means, 'a walk lined with trees.' Three cheers for the French who've given us wine & cheese, amazing pastries and cool words! I was just in Myrtle Beach, SC, and at Brookgreen Gardens. If you get to MB - take the time to go to Brookgreen, and take some time when you're there. Wander through the sculptures and the gardens and reflect at the pools. Flirt with the green/brown bronzed naked ladies! Catch a tadpole. Experience the wonder and beauty of it...and then have lunch. When you're done, save the live oak allee for last...

I was debriefing a meeting with a recently found friend and she asked, "how was your trip." I veered away from business... "I was a Brookgreen... it's beautiful... and the best part is this path flanked with ancient live oak trees. It's just such an amazing place to stand, reflect and find yourself - or whatever it is that you're looking for." Her reply caught me off guard, though it shouldn't have, "So, what did you find?" My answer was lame, "I found an hour with no responsibility." We both laughed, and went on with our business - but my mind, or perhaps my heart, never left.

What did I find this time in my beloved allee? Peace and wonderful aloneness that some probobally call solitude. Communion with God that most would call nature. And a wonderful sense of my mortality...that knowlege that life is so much bigger than I am, and somehow that thought brings me peace. The knowlege that everything is going to be OK. That I love and am loved. That I matter, and there are those who matter to me. That life matters and that my contributions make a difference even if to only one at a time. Those trees, if they had souls, could tell me of the hundreds of men and women who have stood there before me, pouring out their hearts silently into the wind. Perhaps that's what give life to these ancient live oaks? Life is hard sometimes, it's supposed to be, but if she were to ask me again what I found, my answer would be a little more precise, "me." I hope you all have this experience in that place that's called yours, wherever it may be. And I hope you find that in it all, you matter.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What would the Lorax do? (...or Hitler's tree)

This tree was planted by Nazi's during WWII with great pomp and circumstance to honor Hitler on his birthday. Hitler sent the seedling from his hometown to be planted here, and likely many other locations. Bands played, a ceremony was held and the tree took root. Two years later the Nazi's were forced out of the town that the left in ruin. The tree however, survives...and it's in the way. In the way of progress - a traffic circle. And in the way of putting autrocities behind. Some say it's not the trees fault (as if it has a soul). Some say burn it to the ground and spit on the ashes. My burning question is this... "What would the Lorax do?"

Follow the link for the story

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Small world

Who knows where little events take us? I sent a travel bug out there. A set of my airborne wings from 20 years ago clipped to a modern army dogtag logo. I great friend dropped it in Tacoma Washington - it's mission was to go to Ft. Lewis, and then return home. If things go well, this bug is about to be Afghanistan! A soldiers mom picked it up - soldiers mom's are the best! She left a note that it would be fun to send, but safer to just move it to NY as planned. I wrote back..."send it overseas." So if the extraction mission goes as planned, the wings will be recalled to duty; HOOAH! I'm excited by this. I'm moved emotionally by it. And I'm humbled by these little connections my silly hobby sometimes makes.
More later I'm sure.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What the?

Call me old school...I just can't get myself to type the last letter of the modern WT* so freqently used in todays e-world. And if you don't know what the last letter is, your really old dirt old, like my father-in-law old. It must be a generational thing; gosh, I hope not. But it did make me think. I spent a lot of time with the Army. SNAFU was a household word. Did you ever stop to think what that really means? No one does. You hear it all over. Do me a favor, don't!

It's a struggle. I've got one of those senses of humor that enjoys a crazy photo with a thought provoking note that invites you to use you immagination, ponder absurdity, throw your hands up in hysterical confusion. I even tried a few on for size... WOE (what on earth), OMG (oh my gosh), etc. None of them really work. So let me leave you with this as I ponder what the civil engineer was thinking when he/she designed this thing somewhere over Baltimore, on the approach to BWI...



Prayer. Perhaps that's the answer to what fathers do best. Or at least that's what they should do. No, that's not his daughter - it's mine. He prays for her almost every day...and he prays for me the same. It's not her father - it's mine. She's comfortable on his lap, hands folded. And he's delighted to be with her. I think in this moment, there's no place either of them would rather be. Think of it from my perspective. My daughter, with my father, praying to our Father. For men of faith, there is no greater joy than this. If you don't share our faith, you may not get it all, but you surely must understand great love.

This is Father's Day, 2009. On the tomorrow of this day, they'll be leaving for Myrtle Beach. Rough life for a kid, don't you think. Today's an especially special Father's Day...can I share why with you?