The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Posts Tagged ‘love’

Relative Gratitude

A few hundred years ago, a small band of immigrants took the time to observe and record a moment of reflection. Their main theme? Thanksgiving, in the vernacular of their creed. Being grateful for what they had at the time was the first thing of importance to them that day.

And what, really, did they have? They had illness – not just a spate of common colds, but the kind of disease that kills – and in fact had already killed some of them. They had provisions, in part due to the hospitality of locals. They were not far removed from a dangerous and difficult sea voyage in an age when sea voyages were not guarantees of passage. They had a patch of raw land, which they had managed to eke out some rudimentary shelter. And winter was coming.

And yet, in their precarious condition, neophytes to a land of raw survival, a formal moment to give thanks for what they DID have occupied their thoughts. They took some time probably needed for winter preparation to speak of and to their God, from whom they drew courage and faith in a harsh environment.

This last couple months, our family has had much to fret about, hoping against common wisdom that Sean will pull through his recent health problems. Life always has something to worry about, but somehow the security of life itself seems to have a way of pushing to the forefront.

But when I think of the hardship under which the first Thanksgiving was born, modern problems seem minute, almost trivial. Their response – to create a Day of Gratitude – makes me ashamed almost of my anxieties.

Oh, and one more thing: it wasn’t something these settlers normally did. It WAS something the Wampanoag natives normally did after a successful hunt. It was they who taught the immigrants their ways of giving thanks to a higher power.

Our family is grateful, among other things, for the slow but encouraging recovery Sean is showing. We are grateful for each other’s love and support. We are grateful for each other’s presence together tomorrow.

I wish for all of you the love of another human. Be it a mate, a child or parent, be it a close friend or even as simple as a friendly neighbor – if there is but one thing we are given, it is Someone: somewhere, in some way. We are given Someone.

And if our Creator has done but this one thing for us, in whatever tradition you believe, we have these we love, and by whom we are loved. Celebrate the gift. Let yourself be celebrated.

And thank your God for them.

Kisses So Sweet

You stood in the door of the girls dorm 

Alone in the late summer’s heat

I sat on the steps on the concrete warm

And quietly offered a seat

Shy you were then, and I too was scared,

‘Twas a wonder we ever did meet

But there on those stairs in a moment we shared

I found that your kisses were ever so sweet 

 

You walked up the aisle and pulled alongside, 

Together we promised our lives

I promised forever to love and abide

Together as husband and wife 

Together our lips touched and made us complete

Like honey from heaven, your kiss was that sweet.

 

You laid on a bed in motherhood’s glow

A child asleep on your breast

I looked at the two of you proud just to know

A feeling too deep to express

A woman whose heart held enough love to meet

The needs of this child, and still kiss me sweet

 

You stood on the pier in a gray winter coat, 

stretching to catch a first view

I stood on the deck of the barnacled boat,

My memory filled up with you.

Returning from sea, I could feel our lips meet

Better than memory, your kiss was still sweet

 

Alone in the house, the kids all departed 

And finally space of our own

we boggled at silence, a feeling uncharted 

A quiet road laid in cobblestone

With nothing to interrupt, naught to compete

You filled up the space with kisses so sweet

 

You in the bed breathe a steady ballet 

of weariness piled in a heap

I came to bed late, and leaned in to say

“I Love you” – I knew you were still fast asleep

And deeper than passion, truer in sleep

Your dream found my lips, and kissed me so sweet 

Coffee Thief

 

I awakened this morning to coffeeCoffee thief

It was left from the day before

Normally stolen and leaving no sign

the thief must be missing, the coffee’s now mine.

 

It sits there in silence, abandoned and cold

I know how it feels, with no one to hold

a day has gone by, two more she’s away

Till my favorite thief, who causes such grief,

Will return to her pilfering ways

 

That person who steals my coffee

has also stolen my heart

a day with plenty of coffee

is a day wishing we weren’t apart

Winks and Sighs

Here in my middle ages, I look at the young men, as they court

and the young girls, as they are courted

they are so full of life, and so empty of wisdom

and yet, so full of life

I feel my life waning

I feel the life draining, out of the pond, and into the river

flowers bobbing, spilling, tumbling free

out into the broader, slower river, to spend another lifetime languishing towards the sea

But the old codger on the street-corner

craggy, dried man, drained and empty

He cheers the young men on

with a toothy grin and a wink he nods at the boys as they follow

that girl down the street with their eyes, and their hearts.

the old flower-seller lady urges the young man

and she watches the young girl, and sighs

remembering her own first rose, brought to her by a young man, perhaps just like this one

brought with a stumbling shyness, by a boy who knew she loved flowers

but didn’t know why

and didn’t care why

except, that something about that flower

might make her think of him, and feel happy when she did

because while he wanted her to think of him, he wanted her to be happy too

it would be another forty-seven years before he would understand that he really just

wanted her to be happy

and said so, with his last breath

She sighs, knowing this is how it is

and knows how to be happy watching another boy

making a fool of himself without knowing why

because he will know why, when it becomes important, and in the meantime

will do what he can without knowing why

And I, here in my middle ages, still worry about what I don’t know

I worry about what I can no longer do

I feel, here in my middle ages, stuck in the middle

neither wise, nor full of youthful vigor

but I watch the codger winking

and the flower-lady sighing her sighs

and watching them wink and sigh, I lose my fear

Time will pass me by, and in its passing

will teach me to wink, and sigh, and to not miss being young

and stupid

and so full of life that there was no room for knowing

why the happiness that sits by my side

sipping her coffee with me, watching me, watching them,

knowing that I watch, and think, happy with the show of things she cannot see

going on in my mind

knowing why her happiness is so important to me.

I hope I tell her in a breath sooner than my last that

I hope to tell her with a wink, that her happiness is more important than mine

I want to hear her sigh, before it means she misses me

I am one flower on the surface of the river

and I will rush to the sea, and become the sea

cheering both codgers and young men in my time, and selling flowers

glad that I am neither

happy that I am both

satisfied that today I am not yet part of the sea