It's been an interesting end of the week for me. Just when I think I've got my emotions in check and under control, all hell breaks loose and I'm all over the map. There's something about this post 50 experience that is difficult to get my arms around. It's like I'm seeing things through the lens of someone else and while it's a weird, wonderful thing, I'm not sure what to make of it. It's like I need to go hit the heavy bag or shoot a deer or jump out of a plane or something to remind me that I'm a man, not a mush bag.
Thursday night it snowed about 4 inches. Now, normally I look at this kind of thing as a nuisance, one that is to be endured and moved beyond. Blow the snow, dig out the vehicles, and count the days until spring. Then I go walking to work or driving around and I am positively awestruck by the beauty of the snow-covered trees. Every time I turn a corner, my breath gets taken away. Suddenly, for a short time, I don't mind the cold, or the itchy dry skin, or the heavy clothes. I am just immersed in the beauty of winter, two words I have never used together.
I am a warm weather person, happiest in my shorts and a t-shirt. I see the beauty of spring flowers, summer rain and fall leaves. Winter has always been harder to bear. Lately I've been known to say things like "I don't care if it ever snows again". Crotchety, cantankerous and crabby.
And so when I suddenly saw beyond the cold and bleakness, I was a caught off guard. It's not to say I want it to stay forever, but dang, it sure was pretty today. I imagine it's a bit of what heaven looks like, but without the need for mittens and a hat. Throw into that a song by Third Day on my iPod, and some memories of Rob, and well, I was a mess.
The other incident happened when I went to a play at Waukesha West High School last night. The performance of Beauty and the Beast is playing and the son of some friends of ours is playing the part of the Beast. I've heard he has a great singing voice, but had never had the opportunity to hear it. Well, he starts into his first major solo and by the end, I'm a teary mess, AGAIN. Of course I try to cover it up so the kids don't see, but at the same time, I'm wondering:
What the hell's going on with me?
I think I need to watch Die Hard or a Fistfull of Dollars, or something. Criminy sakes.
Some people might call these occurrences normal, healthy, emotional outbursts. Others might criticize it as sensitive-male Alan Alda-itis. All I know is that it ambushes me and there's nothing I can do to stop it.
It is kind of summed up in a poem that I wrote a while back that I had forgotten about until I stumbled across it the other day. So, I'll leave you with the poem, while I go eat a steak, listen to Bruce Springsteen, clean my tackle boxes, and lift my weights. Because THAT's who I am, not this other guy.
What’s Happening? by Jim Landwehr
The passion of people
The color of fall
The love of a dog
The artist in the art
The smell of the rain
The hug of a child
The majesty of a sunset
The joy in the music
The smile of a wife
The death of a brother
The brevity of life
The power of God
This is my mid-life