Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sometimes Life laughs at you, sometimes it laughs with you

We took Ivan the Terrier to the old Mill dam today, a true family outing where the kids laughed and splashed in the river and Ivan the Terrier got to play with the other dogs.  It was a family outing that I had given up on having, only a few years ago.  It was summer as you'd wish it: gentle temperatures, shade with a breeze, the river rushing past, nearly drowning out the laughter of your kids.
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
- Henry James
The Roswell Mill dam is a beautiful location, and many young couples have their photos taken there in the days leading up to their wedding.  There was one couple there who for some reason seemed to distil the hope for the future that the moment demands.

To love another person is to see the face of God.
- Victor Hugo

Couples that are lucky find that hope renewing itself.  This little fellow saw a snake which scared him.  Mom and Dad took him on a downstream adventure to safety.  He liked petting Ivan the Terrier, who liked it as much as he.

For a wonderful physical tie binds the parents to the children; and - by some sad, strange irony - it does not bind us children to our parents. For if it did, if we could answer their love not with gratitude but with equal love, life would lose much of its pathos and much of its squalor, and we might be wonderfully happy.
- E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear To Tread
Life is strange in how it changes over time.  That hope for the future gets tested, the candle flickers and sometimes looks to go out.  While we would capture a perfect moment as in amber, time waits for no man.
When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.
- John Steinbeck, East Of Eden
I can attest to this truth.  But if you're lucky, that child grows to a Man or Woman who can still look at you with eyes that see you as you would like to be, not as you are.  Today was one of those days for me, one that I had once almost given up hope of seeing again.  A day when you hear the laughter of Life itself, and join in it.
If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.
- Robert Frost

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