Spring has sprung in Virginia. And with spring comes new life, baseball, and hope that springs eternal. The grape hyacinths on my sidewalk have emerged to challenge the wild violets for purple supremacy, soon to be rivaled by the lilac and redbud. But for now, the air fills again with adventures to be had.
I remember my Mom telling me at the age of 70 something, that she would look in the mirror and say "What the hell!?!?" (more or less). She still felt like a youthful 17-year old inside. And I knew all too well what she meant.
For there I was, playing the part of the responsible father, husband and provider on the outside, but just below the surface was the irreverent, irresponsible and largely selfish person of my youth. Tink was the first to figure it out, but she has always been amazingly quick on the uptake of important things. Given the chance, all I really wanted was a holiday from life. And once given the chance, there were a lot of data points indicating I didn't want to come back.
Tink remains quite possibly the best thing that I've come across in this life. She stuck with me in these times at her own peril and I am forever indebted. Because I burned from the inside with a seeminlgly unquenchable fire. I lived with an intensity that burned hot. I kept pushing the envelope, but I valued my marriage and the family we were building, and I relied on her to help keep me in check. Now I realize how uncool that was.
I never wanted to reach a core meltdown mind you, but for some reason I was certainly interested to see how many rods could be safely exposed. Work hard and play hard was my motto. Unfortunately the play hard part included a lot of destructive behaviors. When I reflected on this one day a long time ago with my friend Tony he quipped "Yes, she helped keep you under control, like putting a lid on a burning trash can." I recognized this to be a basic truism, complete with a poignant quality assessment that I never really knew how to address.
For I was stubborn and unwilling and I never wanted to admit there were things I couldn't do. Perhaps, I was afraid of losing my intensity. More probably, I was afraid of losing touch with my youth - after all, you can't fly once that happens, right?