racing the light

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It was pushing midnight on that particular evening more than half way through the dog days of summer. It didn’t feel like the dog days that night, it felt more like heaven on earth.

There was a cool breeze easing off the coast. The temperature hovered around 67 degrees with the beginnings of scattered showers. As we drove down the interstate that parallels the Pacific Ocean, racing the light, I was surprised to find my wife still awake. She usually doesn’t see what I see, I often think she’s blessed not to ponder things the way I do.

My girl stared straight ahead almost in a trance, more asleep than awake. For as long as I’ve known her I’ve kept the beat of a song, or the measures of a piano in rhythm with a song on her legs or arm as we drive along.

I tap ever so slightly as the song playing simultaneously in my mind, reaching through my members, delicately lands in rhythm on her body.

This was different… We rarely drive that late at night and rarely in view of the vast ocean. As we droned on south through the dew filled summer night, I glanced at the lights on the far side of the lagoon.

The soft yellow, white, and orange lights stretched toward us in symmetrical lines over the shimmering reflections of the lagoon. The haloed lights using any form of matter or reflection seemed to strain toward us as we listened to an old song from our past.

I felt young again… vibrant… without need of sleep. I’d heard the song before, I’d seen lights track me across shimmering water while I sat dead still as a kid while fishing. I’d also watched those light lines track me across the midnight water as I moved as fast as a flat-bottom V-drive boat with a big block V-8 could power a fool’s prerogative.

As much as I tried, I could never outrun those peaceful lights centering in my eyes and in my heart… I’m not trying to out run anything or anybody these days, especially not light or sound.

As the lights tracked us across the lagoon while I tapped rhythm on my wife’s legs a couple things struck me. My poor wife is tired and I was using her left leg as a drum. She’s never one time complained… In hindsight, I’m not sure how she hasn’t?

As it was finally dawning on a slower than average animal, I felt her reach over and grab my arm. My wife grabbed my arm high enough on the upper forearm area with a slight squeeze and a couple of quarter pats on it, so as not to impinge the beat being kept to the music with my hand.

The pat wasn’t for her as if she enjoyed being the eternal in motion radio drum, but for me, as if to say, “It’s OK”… “It’s who you are.” – “And for all you lack, I understand what it means coming from you”…

It was one of the sweetest things my wife has never said to me…

In my temporary moment, I also realized something else. At this age, regardless of how immature I might be, I knew we would never be in that exact position again in our lives.

I knew I’d never drive down a freeway tapping rhythm on my gift from God, listening to that particular song while watching the lights track us across the misty Pacific lagoons… That was the last opportunity to take in and grasp whatever it was to me and us for that moment…

As I grasped the moment which is rare for me, I gave my gift from God a squeeze on her leg. She gave me that grin that said, “I love you.” – “Despite the lack of normalcy within you”…

As we got back to the house late and my wife finished brushing her teeth, I hugged her and told her I loved her. She expressed her love back in complete exhaustion. Then I expressed my need for the moment, “I gotta write!” … She answered, “I know.” – “Don’t stay up too late…”

As I reflected on that day and the daily little things, I wondered, “What have I missed, not paying close enough attention to the little things that are ultimately the only things that really matter?”

I suspect more than I might really want to know…

I’m thankful to God I didn’t miss this one…