Traveling from Louisiana to Oregon last summer with my wife, Bobbie, we wound through the rolling hills and mountains of Utah. Once the home of buffalo, prairie grass and wild flowers, this land is now home to mega farms and ranches including thousands of giant wind turbines. Yet these awesome open spaces and distant landscapes remain so awesome and beautiful, even intimidating. Driving down that remote highway, visions of native Americans, pioneers, and wagon trains filled my thoughts…events from only two of my lifespans ago!
old man and wife clasp hands
pulling coats closer
the long road
much shorter now
The prompt for this tanka was the 1937 movie, Make Way for Tomorrow, about a married elderly couple, Bark (Pa) and Lucy, who are forced to separate when they lose their house. None of their five children will take both parents in and they have been married 50 years. Thankfully, my wife and I don’t face that situation but I can empathize.
Quote at beginning of movie: Life flies past us so swiftly that few of us pause to consider those who have lost the tempo of today. Their laughter and their tears we do not even understand for there is no magic that will draw together in perfect understanding the aged and the young. There is a canyon between us, and the painful gap is only bridged by the ancient words of a very wise man… HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER.
Rhoda Cooper: Why don’t you face facts, Grandma?
Lucy Cooper: Oh, Rhoda!
[Pats her hand]
Lucy Cooper: When you’re seventeen and the world’s beautiful, facing facts is just as slick fun as dancing or going to partis, but when you’re seventy… well, you don’t care about dancing, you don’t think about parties anymore, and about the only fun you have left is pretending that there ain’t any facts to face, so would you mind if I just went on pretending?
Lucy Cooper: A man and a maid stood hand in hand; bound by a tiny wedding band. Before them lay the uncertain years that promised joy and, maybe tears. “Is she afraid?” thought the man of the maid. “Darling,” he said in a tender voice, “Tell me. Do you regret your choice? ‘We know not where the road may wind, ‘or what strange byways we may find. ‘Are you afraid?” said the man to the maid. She raised her eyes and spoke at last. “My dear,” she said, “the die is cast. ‘The vows have been spoken. The rice has been thrown. ‘Into the future we’ll travel alone. ‘With you,” said the maid, “I’m not afraid.”
Fall evenings at Lake Martin in south Louisiana or Acadiana often present moments of peace and gorgeous sunsets…beautiful serendipitous moments…cypress trees in flaming liquid golds and reds…glassy, dark reflections at day’s end
Autumn evenings at Lake Martin in south Louisiana or Acadiana, as we call it down here, often present moments of peace and gorgeous sunsets. I love my walkabouts this time of the year. These walks not only provide quiet time for reflection and prayer, but also beautiful serendipitous moments for the perfect photo shot. Here, the sun’s waning rays illuminated the foliage of the bald cypress trees in flaming liquid golds and reds and the still swamp waters dressed themselves with glassy, dark reflections at day’s end. God’s creation is awesome!
As I get older (“more mature” is probably a better phrase), I tend to spend more time contemplating the deeper meaning of our journey through life and beyond. This evening was one of those times and this reflection seems to fit the moment.
Light at the End
“There can be no darkness without light. Do not be afraid of the darkness; there is light beyond it. If there is total darkness, then even a small light will shine out. But when the place is completely illuminated the small light appears completely insignificant, almost negligible. When you feel you are lost in darkness this creates fear. But do not be afraid; because there is a light shining beyond it. Have full faith in it, that there is light; and that will remove your fear completely.
Even if you possess only a little light, that is fully capable of taking you to reach your ultimate goal. Do not be afraid that your own power is so little, so negligible. Maybe it is little. Maybe it is not illuminating the whole of your path. But whenever you move forward, it will illuminate the path immediately in front of you and as you go ahead it will provide light further ahead. There is no need to lose heart.”
After lengthy and considered mulling over how to reactivate my personal blog, I have finally decided on moving from my old self-hosted blog to this WordPress hosted blog, primarily for simplicity’s sake. As many of my followers know, I now have two loves: nature photography and haiku poetry, so please bear with me as I make some mental and site modifications. This is where I’ll be from now on. Peace!