Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Love

Precious Moment

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There wasn’t anything particularly special about my taking on the afternoon chores after work yesterday, other than it is usually Cyndie who fills that role on days I commute to the far side of the Twin Cities. She was on adventures of her own in the Cities yesterday, so I changed clothes when I got home and took Delilah out for a walk.

The rain shower I had driven through to get home had moved on but it had soaked things enough that the trees were subsequently dripping almost as fast as drops fall from a rain cloud.

Delilah veered off the trail in pursuit of some enticing scent. I had no intention of following her and stood my ground until she figured it out and retraced her steps back to me. She is so funny in the way her face communicates that she understands the drill and quickly resumes her position on the trail ahead of me, as if to demonstrate doing so was her plan all along.

When we came around to the barn, she marched inside to the spot we always hook her leash to and waited patiently while I tended to the horses.

They were all calm and quiet, and a little wet from the rain. After I dumped manure on the compost pile and came back to collect their empty feed pans, Swings approached me at the fence. I offered some scratches and a little loving attention.

She soaked it up and stayed engaged with me for an extended session.

The longer she lingered, the more I wanted to love her up with scratches and massage.

It became difficult to tell who was doing the loving and who was on the receiving end. The warmth was definitely flowing in both directions.

It was a truly precious equine moment.

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Written by johnwhays

October 8, 2021 at 6:00 am

Outliving Dad

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The reason I easily remember the last time I saw my father alive is that it was my wedding day on September 19, 1981. Forty years ago, October 2nd was a Friday. Just out of college with a degree in education, Cyndie had unexpectedly nabbed a job with the Edina Police Department and I had yet to find employment. That Friday, on our first week home after our honeymoon, she was on a ride-along with a patrol officer.

I was home alone for the first time since we’d been married and the guys at the station found it humorous at first when I needed to contact her in the middle of the shift.

“Is it an emergency?”

“Well, sort of.” I was in a state of shock over having received the news in a phone call from my younger brother. “My dad died.”

Cyndie came home early from that ride-along shift.

Myocardial Infarction. My dad was 62.

On October 2nd, 2021, I am 62, a fact that seems to mean more to my doctor than me when it comes to my ultimate longevity. But I can’t deny a certain level of awareness about reaching this milestone.

I’ve spent the last forty years navigating being married, working a technical career, and raising children without my dad available for advice or guidance. Now I will embark on the rest of my life journey without having had his example of being an old Hays man.

After Cyndie and I returned from honeymooning up in the woods on the North Shore of Lake Superior, with a stop in Hayward for a couple of nights on the way home, we were taking our very first steps navigating life together in an unfamiliar rented duplex on Cedar Avenue near Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.

A few days into our first week, it occurred to me that I should pay a visit to my parents before my dad took off for his weekend jaunt “to the lake.” The little fishing cottage on the north shore of Lake Mille Lacs was his version of heaven, I think, or simply a place he could go to be away from, well, the rest of what he found depressing at home.

It was Thursday afternoon and Mom said, “You just missed him.” He got a jump ahead of weekend traffic leaving on a Thursday. I would never see my dad again.

The story I was told is that it appeared as if he had pulled the bedcovers back, sat down on the edge of the bed, and fell back, dead.

This was six months after an initial heart attack that he described to me from his hospital bed as being “a pain I would never wish upon my worst enemy.”

That description helped inspire me beyond merely not wanting to be a depressed alcoholic like him, but not wanting to develop that classic beer belly and clog my arteries with an unhealthy diet. My doctor thinks that still might not be enough. He worries about my genes.

Other than having my older brother, Elliott for a sibling reference, I am now in uncharted territory.

I hope you are taking good care of your ticker, E.

Mine is just a little uneasy today over all the remembering. I expect its got plenty of mileage left, though. I work to keep my heart filled with plenty of love, both coming in and going out.

Thanks, Ralph, for everything you have taught me, in life and in your sudden death forty years ago today.

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Written by johnwhays

October 2, 2021 at 6:58 am

Thinking Contrarily

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The coronavirus variants are causing the pandemic to not go away as much as people wished it would. When not worried about a wildfire or flash floods ravaging homes, the threat of COVID continues to linger large in people’s minds. Some folks have decided to think contrarily about protecting themselves from the virus. Instead of accepting a free vaccine that is the prevailing solution for the pandemic, they decide to pay someone for a livestock dewormer.

Instead of thinking about how to protect their children from a threatening contagious illness by wearing a mask indoors, they choose to focus on how oppressive it is to be told to wear a mask and begin imagining that wearing a mask is actually harmful to their kids.

I get it. I have contrarian tendencies, myself. I choose to wear my belt so the buckle is on my side instead of front and center. Because, why not?

I’m wondering if the concept of virus variants prolonging the pandemic couldn’t contrarily be applied to variants of love that can improve the health and well-being of the human race.

What if oppressive regimes the world over were to become influenced by a new variation of love that morphed into one that overwhelmed their pillars of greed, power, and control?

What if a new mutation of common sense were to evolve and imbue the minds of people who have difficulty thinking for themselves or find it hard to recognize when a grifter is fleecing them?

What if domestic house cats overcame their urge to bother sleeping humans during the wee hours of darkness when sleep is so precious? Okay, that one is really a stretch, but there could be some variation of that tendency that is less crazy-making, couldn’t there? Please?

If thinking contrarily about controversial subjects can lead to some insane results, it seems only logical, being a contrarian, that thinking contrarily about non-controversial subjects could lead to some increasingly sensible and practical results.

A contrary decision to something good doesn’t have to be bad. It could contrarily be better than good!

Let’s put our contrarian tendencies to good use and find new ways to morph love into a continually more effective influence on the world at large.

Let love be the world religion. No dogma. No doctrine. Just L. O. V. E.

L.

O.

V.

E.

I want to hear about variants of love that are more contagious than any previous love we experienced before.

Let it command the lead story of newscasts and fill front-page headlines.

Unstoppable spread of unbelievably contagious love!

Contrary to the norm, let it be that people grow to respond with more fascination and interest to headlines like these than to the negative stories of old.

Can you say, “enlightenment?”

Oh, you contrarian, you.

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It Seems

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It seems to me today that I can’t add anything that you don’t already know. What would be the point of describing how oppressive the hatch of mosquitoes has been since the last long ago rainfall? Despite how fast the grass around here grew after that last dosage of water from the sky, I ended up deciding not to cut it, because the days have been nothing but hot and dry ever since. I didn’t want to stress the grass at a time it was again enduring another stretch of hot, dry weather.

Maybe we’ll get another batch of moisture on Friday, but I can only imagine what that will do for the mosquito population. I’m thinking about mowing this afternoon when I get home from work.

As I turned the last corner onto our street coming home from work yesterday, I was passed by a farm tractor coming from the opposite direction. Then another and another. Ten, then twenty, maybe thirty in a row. Every variety of manufacturers, some with a single passenger beside or behind the driver looking almost board, many with flags attached. A few had cute canvas canopies over the top for shade.

I guess that was something you didn’t know about. I certainly didn’t know anything about it. Some sort of parade out in the wide-open countryside on a Wednesday afternoon when few people might be around to notice. I didn’t see any signs to convey a message. Maybe they were headed somewhere to congregate and make a point. Protest at the steps of the county courthouse over the lack of rain?

My positive momentum is fatigued due to the constant waves of angst flowing from Afghanistan / Taliban / Wildfires / Earthquake / Tropical Storms / Delta Variant / Mask Mandates / Booster Shots / Political Blame / Shouting Matches / Criminal Trials / Sick Pets and every other challenge to peace and harmony that is vibrating so strong these days.

A certain feeling of guilt over the blissful beauty of our immediate surroundings needs to be processed before getting on with the beaming of healthy love out into the universe from the heart.

When I walked up to the paddock gate Tuesday evening to see the fallen snag first hand, Light responded to my presence instantly by purposely crossing the length of the small paddock toward me to make a brief connection. She inhaled my scent, paused, and looked around. I extended a hand to offer a scratch but she had stopped out of my reach. She breathed in again with her nose on my hand, then slowly moved on to join the rest of her herd near the overhang.

You probably didn’t know about that exchange, either.

Seems to me, the old adage about writing what I know tends to work out even when I don’t realize there is anything new about which to write.

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Written by johnwhays

August 19, 2021 at 6:00 am

Warm Reception

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For the past four days, Delilah has been up at the lake with Cyndie. Yesterday, after work, Cyndie’s mom, Marie, met me at our house and I drove her car up to Wildwood. Based on the affection I received from Delilah upon our arrival, our dog must have really missed me.

I was a little surprised by how much she wanted to be in my space. When I got on the floor with her, she tried to sit on my lap. I may have to take back some of those mean things I’ve said about her now that she is showing me some love.

A little later in the evening, she showed she hasn’t lost her penchant for barking at the world around us. I can never tell if it is something she hears or something she smells that suddenly startles her up from a cozy curl-up on the floor with a flourish of energized barking toward whatever the trigger was.

Maybe her dog-shouting will dissuade the geese from perching and pooping on the floating platform in the water at our beach. Cyndie reports her experiment of a plastic owl perched on the raft already seems to be helping.

Some extra barking can’t hurt.

The geese don’t receive near the warmth of a reception I was awarded when we got here.

Speaking of awards, we polished off the evening with a viewing of the NBC prime-time feature of Olympic competitions. The USA women’s beach volleyball pair won gold just as we were all beginning to run on fumes, very ready to head for bed.

Delilah had already found her way to her “den” in a crate draped with a light blanket cover.

I would say that all of our beds offered us warm receptions when we finally got around to falling on them.

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Written by johnwhays

August 6, 2021 at 6:00 am

Alive

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morning
at the lake
quiet
filtered sunlight
leaves
green
trees
woods
calm
energy
peace
tranquility
love
family
awaken
heartbeat
spark
breakfast
stories
eventually
opportunity
arrives
life
comes
alive

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Written by johnwhays

July 3, 2021 at 7:44 am

Goodbye Again

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I’m back in reach of my computer again, but I am not at home yet. After saying goodbye to precious friends riding the Tour of Minnesota this week, I am up at the lake with Cyndie and our kids, and almost all of Cyndie’s family, for a few days of saying goodbye again to Cyndie’s dad. Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of his death.

We are together telling stories, playing games, feasting on incredible meals, and swimming in the lake –all things Fred loved to do– to honor this incredible man, husband, father, patriarch.

As darkness descended on the day, we wrote messages for Fred on the paper petals of flower luminaries, lit candles, and floated the memorials out on the lake where he loved to swim laps.

It wasn’t the first time we’ve said our goodbyes and it won’t be the last, but on the day that marked the first anniversary of his passing, the family as a group lifted up several particularly significant salutations of parting.

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Written by johnwhays

June 25, 2021 at 6:00 am

Resonance

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I was trying to find an idea somewhere

looking under the stacks of accumulated papers

among the shoes on the floor in the closet

mixed among the randomly sorted silverware in the drawer

might as well look in the junk drawer, too, while I was at it

in the basement room I otherwise never visit

hidden in plain sight in the kitchen refrigerator upstairs

on the list of things we always intend to do someday

tucked in one of the many books I never get around to finishing

lost in the collection of well-used dog toys that no longer excite

buried in the saved emails from more than a decade back

deep in a lifetime of fading memories

or a line of some lyrics from every single song

from the shapes and colors of each different day’s clouds

in the sounds out the window of so many birds and frogs

Eeeee eeee Eee EEE eee eee eeep

but the last p is silent

just a closing of the lips without escaping any air

in the blades of green grass that invisibly grow so dang fast

in the absence of chickens and the happiness they once cast

I looked toward the horses finding too much there to grasp

on the overflowing shelves of junk in the shop and adjacent garage

along the trails through our woods and the paths around our fields

in the silence when I notice it and pause for a moment just to hear

an idea that feels a little different than the ones already formed

wrapped up in the whacky climate calamity continually playing out

publicly flaunted prejudices propagating like a raging contagion

pernicious social networks emanating a sickly stench

mindless rampant greed with its selfish intent

all battling the effervescent aromas spring hope brings once again

the voluntary charity bursting forth from entrepreneurial brilliant minds

the love most people are conveying from the goodness of their hearts

the science on display in helicopters flying around on Mars

an idea so much bigger than some guy’s stupid big lie

one that could actually make universal sense

except it’s obviously deeper than mere words can explain

communicating clearly and simply to each separate person’s mind

through fields of heart energy and the wisdom living in our guts

an idea that is more like a sound

one our instincts recognize

one we together can amplify

one that is love in resonance

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Written by johnwhays

May 4, 2021 at 6:00 am

Delicacy

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

March 3, 2021 at 7:00 am

Parts

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

February 18, 2021 at 7:00 am