"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Day of Love

Walt, Mark, Frank, Geoff

I trudge up the marshy fairway in the cool of an overcast June morning. Two men are ahead of me, walking side by side pushing golf carts: my middle brother, Mark, and my husband, Walt, compare data from their new golf toys. Glancing back I see two men behind me, walking side by side pulling golf carts: my oldest brother, Frank, and my youngest brother, Geoff, heads bent toward each other in conversation. I carry cameras.

There's so much amazing about this ordinary moment in time I can hardly absorb it all. But I bring every part of my being to right now so I don't lose any of it. Even coming here without expectation, what's unfolding is far beyond anything I imagined might be possible.

I'm on a golf course, alone, with the four most important men in my life. They're golfing. I'm taking pictures and visiting. Not being big sister or wife. Just being a woman who loves these men, enjoying their company and recording the day for us all. Marveling at this view of male society - the giving of shit, the congratulatory knuckle-bumping, the long stretches of easy silence as they travel from ball to ball.

Two of these men, the oldest and youngest brothers, have not been together voluntarily for almost a decade. Anger, hurt feelings, misunderstandings. Stubbornness, a shared family trait, that two-edged sword of survival and isolation. Both men were right about the facts they held in the light, and for a very long time, neither were willing to be anything other than right.

Today, they're here. Together. With our middle brother, who tilled the ground for the seeds of reconciliation to sprout. And with their sister and her husband. There is no acknowledgment of the chasm crossed, but neither is there a sense of anything avoided. Questions are asked. Information is shared. Laughter and our aging bodies are the common language.

We've arrived at the green. The four men discuss the best approach to the pin and spread out in a wordless and comfortable choreography. As each takes his shot, they analyze what worked and didn't work so the next one up has better chance of getting the ball in. They are equals, contemporaries, friends. They share this day, a lot of gray hair, and love for the woman watching them with amusement and wonder.

 I stand just at the edge of the felted grass of the green, more interested in the men, the thrumming bass accompaniment of the bullfrogs in the pond behind us, and the fact that there are two kinds of swallows barnstorming around us, than in whether the ball goes where it's meant to.

While the rutted muck and clumps of fermenting grass on the fairway pull me to earth, the bluing sky revealing the majesty of Mt. Rainier and the magic of clean and clear male energy set me free in a way I have never before experienced. This is what love feels like. This is what healing feels like. This is what miracles feel like.


Janna Qualman said...

"There's so much amazing about this ordinary moment..."

That's what it's all about for me. And I think for you, too.

I love coming here, Deb. The feeling each time I open a window to your world and life is a warm and precious one.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

"Both men were right about the facts they held in the light, and for a very long time, neither were willing to be anything other than right." I love this.

Gorgeous post!

And this, wow: "This is what love feels like. This is what healing feels like. This is what miracles feel like."

Janna Qualman said...

And honest. Honesty has an importance presence there, too.

Wanda said...

I don't even know them and you have made me feel truly happy for them and you, Deb!


Terri Tiffany said...

This was so lovely. You made me think about the stress and strife in my husband's family--the hurting differences and the wondering of how to put it all back together. How wonderful they got the chance:)


What a beautiful moment, day. IT changed so many lives in the best possible way. With love and healing.

You described so many families - we're all in different phases of healing over our differences. How righteous we feel at times.

Hopefully before the end of all our lives we each can heal and forgive. I know I have.


Piecefulafternoon said...

A touching and glorious day. Thank you for sharing.

Pam said...

This was wonderful Deb. Now in our fifties and older, my husband's family is finally at this stage.The siblings are all easier with each other, no longer competing,judging,nursing slights.When you ride the rapids, you deserve to rest the paddles and give a high five on recognition of your journey, and theirs, the tumultous years,knowing that in later years, no-one has the energy anymore for those bumby knuckle-white rides. Face to the sun.Warm days ahead. I am so happy for you.xxx

Midlife Jobhunter said...

How good that they've learned to overcome the troubles. And taken it to the golf course. I have to ask - do they make stupid bets while playing? Like Closest to the hole, other stuff?

Seriously, I remember the posts leading up to their coming together. Much time and patience involved in that effort. I'm happy it has brought you so much joy.

Wanda said...

Oh, so that's what you were doing on the golf course! Love.

Tabitha Bird said...

Deb, you know I love this. I saw myself on the golf course. I would have been you. Observing. Breathing and recording. Life is so beautiful when it is simply lived. Thanks for this.

patricia said...

Something in you must feel a little more complete, a little more settled and at peace. These men are your family. Whatever their difference, they all love you, and have you in common. I am thinking this is the first of many family reunions. Yay.

Anonymous said...

They look happy, together.

kario said...

Reaping what you have sown, my friend. After the years of being with and around men who took you for granted, took advantage of you, and treated you like crap, your quiet, peaceful persistence has paid off. These four men are easy together and in your presence and I'm willing to bet they all thank their lucky stars for you.

I love that this has come full circle for you. Love it!

patti said...

Ohhhh, Deb, HOW WONDERFUL!!!
1. The pictures'
2. Your writing
3. The miracle
4. That you are smiling at all of them

(In no order of importance!!!)

You go, girl. This is quite a blog.

Amber said...

I am so happy for you. For all of you. Wonderful!

:) :)

Jerri said...

The glow on your face is simply gorgeous. So happy for you and the men you love.

Linda Myers said...

Fabulous post. Thanks for sharing your day.

colbymarshall said...

sounds like you had a great time! :-)

M said...

I loved the way you told this story. It was indeed a magical day...one that I will never forget. Thank you for your support and encouragement to make sure it happened. And for trudging across rainsoaked fairways for five hours to share in it with us.

I love you

Carol............. said...

Deb, this was so beautifully written and how wonderful that peace has been made.....can really connect with this post, too.

Katie Gates said...

This is an over-the-top beautiful piece about family reuniting. And for me, the stand-out line (only because I related to it, of course!) was: "Stubbornness, a shared family trait, that two-edged sword of survival and isolation."
You write from the heart, and your heart seems to know no bounds. Good for you! Write on, girl!

Tabitha Bird said...

DEb, you ROCK!

Your comment on my blog was just what I needed to hear. BIRTH! Of course! How did I miss that? Being in the middle often means something is birthing. You are so right. Now there is another blog post right there. The Birthing of Words!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

What a lovely post!
Thanks so much for stopping by to visit me over at Life of a Southern Belle. I look forward to getting to know more about your blog when I have some good quality reading time this weekend. Hope you'll stop back by to see me again soon.

Kathryn Grace said...

Your story of love and reconciliation brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it. We need more such stories, of love and persistent belief in love, winning over hurt and anger held too long.