Humans are united by common bonds. We might be tempted or maybe better put inclined to focus on differences, but we are all united in the human condition and we share more common experiences than we might realize (or even want to admit).
How are you? What's up? What's new? How about this crazy hot (cold, rainy, dry) weather we've been having? Have a great day! Small talk. We've all participated in the chatter, often not even thinking about what we're saying. It's rote communication. Blah, blah, blah. But what do people mean — really — when they engage in this routine conversation? And what do they expect as a response?
It was dead, or nearly so. A massive maple tree that had marked the seasons and passing of time for twice as long as most humans grace the earth. Each spring his buds reminded us of life anew. He'd sheltered us from the intense summer sun and gave a brilliant colorful display each autumn. He stood strong and steady during the frigid winter months.
My husband and I recently indulged in a couple of days away as a couple to celebrate our anniversary. When we partake on such expeditions, which isn't often, we both understand the significance of the outcome. That is, the outcome upon returning home to a house inhabited by our three sons — some official adults, some nearly so.
It's one of the first things new parents do after counting to make sure there are 10 fingers and 10 toes: They name the baby. Names are chosen carefully and with great attention to detail. What sort of mean nicknames could kids in the schoolyard find to taunt little Dicky with? Will a weird spelling haunt a kid for life? Does the name of choice rhyme with any swear words? Do initials spell out anything with negative connotations? Will the name make a smooth transition from childhood to adult life? So much to contemplate.
Look around — they're everywhere. Not smartphones, but they frequently work in partnership, like Fred and Wilma but in a less caveperson style. People wear them on the wrist like people used to wear watches, which they are, but that's just the tip of the flintstone, dear friend.
Mr. Rogers made the most of his neighborhood. I try to do the same — by walking the different streets in the name of “exercise.” As a bonus, along the way, I make interesting and not-so-interesting observations. You can learn a lot by walking the neighborhood, which is completely different from casing the neighborhood. Which I do not condone or recommend. In any circumstance.
We've all heard of the Seven Wonders of the World. Most of us couldn't name them all. I couldn't, so I Googled and discovered I hadn't even heard of some. Embarrassing, I know. Unfortunately, I'm more familiar with embarrassment than the Seven Wonders of the World. Actually, it's more complicated than one list of seven wonders. The original list was compiled eons ago, in years B.C. Most of those wonders don't exist anymore. Since then, various entities have compiled various lists of various seven wonders, so there isn't one definitive list anymore.
I worry. We all do. We all have things to fret about and fixate on — real and legitimate things that could and may go wrong that will mess other things up big time. And lately — oh, lately — doesn't it seem there are more major, huge and catastrophic issues to occupy our brain space? It seems that way because it is that way and that, in and of itself, is cause for worry.
They'd be the first to admit they are more adept at handing off a football versus a tiny human being, but during the last week, they've certainly given the latter their best efforts. At exactly two minutes before midnight on a recent Sunday, soon-to-be Monday, my three sons became instant uncles. Their excitement and curiosity regarding the whole process has been interesting (to say the least).