Weatherwise, this has been a beautiful weekend. We got out and got plenty of sunshine. Yesterday we set up the the firepit and burned part of our old arbor. The wood was so old Leif pushed it down and stomped on it, and then we fed it to the fire. I love watching a fire. Ever changing, and yet constant.
The sun was shining and the fire was going and we ended up talking about all sorts of things. Earlier in the morning I had taken a walk and hadn’t come back before Rowan woke up, so when she did wake up she had a fit because I wasn’t there. When I got back, she cheered right back up but Leif stayed grumpy. Sometimes I have to shake my head ruefully, I picked a man with moods as bad as mine.
I was thinking of the stories we tell ourselves, how we came to be the people we are. Our brains can only designate so many memories as important, and I’ve been caught in situations with old friends where we remember the same events completely differently. I also wonder how my parents interpret my childhood, and how much it probably differs from mine.
It seems like the great American pastime is to badmouth our parents, and I feel a bit guilty about that. Yet I am also only human and I still get frustrated with them, and frustrated with censoring half my life so that I don’t have to discuss it with them. Then there is my husband, who gets along great with his mom, but his father caused him a lot a grief. But his father is no longer alive.
Leif was saying that he wonders at the man he could have been if it had not been for the bad situation with his father. Sometimes he feels like he is damaged. And yet the past is past, it cannot be relived.
I know for me, I went through a period in my early 20s when I felt like the depression in my teens was just a lot of angst, that I had made it worse than it really was. But situations that happened later in life (one of which being the birth of my daughter) made me realize, that no, it was real. I explain it as I have a predisposition to depression. Like diabetes, it can be controlled. But I have to know that it can come back, and left untreated, it can have pretty serious consequences. That’s okay, I just work around it.
I don’t really spend much time thinking about my past childhood years, I kind of figure that it laid the basis for who I would become. It’s over, and I’m glad. And my father never had the kind of alcohol problem my husband’s father did, for which I am grateful. In fact, I feel a little sorry for my father that he got me as one of his kids, maybe there’s some karma being worked out there, who knows. I don’t know how Ken thought of himself when we was Leif’s dad. Was he like the 90% of drivers who think they’re above average?
It is strange to be outside with the wind and the trees and sunshine and to think of how much suffering this earth has seen. The sun keeps on shining, the wind continues to blow, the trees continue to grow. The earth is just there, and here we are creating drama and conflict and bitterness in our heads. In fact, I was stunned the other day to look up suicide statistics, and to find our there are more suicides every year than homicides and war causalities combined. Globally, it’s the 10th leading cause of death. That’s pretty crazy. If you’re afraid of being killed, statistically, you are the person most likely to do it–to yourself. Only human beings do this sort of thing. (For more info, you can see the WHO webpage)
Why am I bringing this up under a post entitled “Beautiful Day?” Because it can be beautiful out, and there are many people who won’t see. Even my cats know to just lay in the sun and warm their fur. Even the insects take one last pass. But humans can totally miss it, and before you know it, the sun had gone down, and night has fallen, and that day will never come again. Well, I’m glad I took a walk out in it.