Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, June 28, 2013

4-30-13 RMB Friends More Felt Than Seen

4-30-13 RMB Friends More Felt Than Seen
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
A few days have passed by since I wrote the last letter. I’ve thought about writing every day, yet nothing within those days moved me draw pictures of their moments in words. I realized today how many days have slipped by. That scares me for some reason.
I scare easily. I look for answers in everything, even when I don’t know the questions. The reason for these letters is not yet fully recognized and here I am scared of losing their essence, an undefined essence. Wuss.
It is 10:30pm…is this the hour rambling begins? I will be careful; try not to run too adrift.
Scare is too scary of a word, concern…that’s a better word. I am concerned. So to ease my concerns, I will convey something of those days. I know there were serious news worthy events, progress in the Boston bombing case, the gay basketball player Jason Collins coming out, tragedy in a garment factory in Bangladesh, wars, strife and unrest, in countries around the world. For now, I leave the news to those who know news. It is all too overwhelming for me at the moment.
Here is what touched me over the last few days. I walk at a park after work, when I arrive I see families, some toddlers with their parents and teens with their friends. As the evening progresses, families with young children leave first, then the teens, until only some closer to my age remain, walking or playing tennis. The courts stay lit quite late.
As the sun sets, many nights I am still walking when the last visitor leaves. I watch the sunset, feel the breeze wave it goodbye. The scent of the air changes, maybe it is the marine layer moving in or evening plants blooming. Some life settles down to rest while nocturnal critters come to life. A coolness surrounds me. By then I am hot and sweating from the walk and trotting up and down stairs. The cool air is welcome and makes my moist skin tingle, refreshing me. It resets my temperature, daring me to walk more.
When I look over at the parking lot and see my dark blue Honda Accord alone or nearly so, I find an odd comfort in that. It is like being left to spend time alone with a friend, the park itself. Sometimes I mentally reach out for whoever might be available to visit, friends, you, people past and present, even ones I don’t know. At times, as night falls, the park can seem more crowded with souls then it was when I first arrived.
I take one last lap, sometimes for a few more minutes of just the two of us, the park and me; sometimes to feel the wave of souls surrounding me and bid them well as they accompany me on the last lap. There is something precious in those moments with the sunset, the wind, the park and other friends, friends whose presence is more felt than seen.
There, now I feel better. Thank you for your part in the undefined essence of these letters.

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