Amidst all of the turmoil, I found something beautiful. I always do. Buried deep in a back corner of my jewelry box that houses a handful of one-off items, I found an old watch. More specifically, I found the 20 year old watch that my MeeMaw gave me for my high school graduation. It has a beautiful face. Years ago, I slapped a beautiful deep brown alligator strap on it. It’s just…beautiful. But some 5+ years ago, it ceased working. The hands haven’t moved in years. For this watch, time has literally stood still. Kind of like my last year. Kind of like most everyone’s last few weeks.
Over the past year plus, my definition of beauty profoundly changed. Being busy is no longer beautiful to me. Neither is chasing money. Ditto to perfection.
Instead, I salivate over a crisply hit 3 iron. I yearn for a rich mix of flavors at dinner each night. I embrace the sunlight. I itch to share these words each week, hoping deep down that they may help someone.
I ripped up the roadmap and started making my own. I veered off the interstate and took the gravel roads. The skyscrapers turned into ocean waves. Life’s complexities became, well, less complex.
Last Thursday, Christy took the training wheels off of Banks’ bicycle. I was at the golf course doing some work, but he apparently picked it right up. I received a FaceTime call and two videos that basically said, Get yo’ a$$ over here, Dad. Shortly after, I got to see it with my own two eyes. He was as happy as a clam. I was tickled pink. I think mama was crying. (Or maybe that was me.) Our little boy was getting big.
But of course, I knew that. I’ve watched it up close and personal, hour after hour, almost every single day for the better part of a year. Everybody said these were the best years, so I made a decision to trade most everything for that time. Old beauty for new beauty.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen beauty from our nurses, doctors, and grocery workers, to name a few. We’ve seen incredible human spirit and grit as we all desperately try to support those businesses and causes that are meaningful to us. Personally, I’ve recaptured a wonderful, old memory of my MeeMaw and made a brand new one of my son riding his bike proudly, though still a little scared, which is beautiful in its own way.
There’s meaning hidden amidst the chaos, should we choose to see it. Meaning that can provide a reset and an opportunity to truly consider, strengthen, and own our life stories.
Hell, after the madness subsides, I may even get this watch fixed.
Have a great week, and stay safe.-Benj
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One thought on “Meaning in the Midst of Madness”
Very good one, Benj. This is life and what it’s all about.Your experiences have changed as has your writing. To me personally, this is “meaning”. I can’t wait to see what you’re writing a year from now. You’re like a good book you don’t want to put down. Stay well and safe & the same for Christy and Banks, your beautiful family. jan
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