As we are approaching the close of another year, I can genuinely say that I am utterly filled with gratitude.
This is in large part due to the love and friendship shared with my 17-year old son, Yahn. He is towering in both physicality and spirit. I got super lucky in the kid department and I enjoy watching how he positively touches people everywhere he goes.
Knowing that this would be his last year at home, I did my best to keep up with his whirlwind life. Here are snapshots of some key moments.
– I just had to go to Paris to hear his choir sing at Notre Dame and Eglise de la Madeleine as part of its European tour (which included Brugges, as in Bruggeman, Belgium!)
– And attend every other choir performance, including caroling in our own neighborhood. Thanks to his height, his was the only face not obscured!
– I got my hands pretty dirty for his Eagle Scout project to refurbish the landscaping at a housing project for homeless mothers and children. Many trips to Armstrong’s, many pounds of soil.
– I went to my first football game in decades when he was nominated “Homecoming King”. He was not ultimately crowned. No tears shed over that.
– I watched every episode of the reality web series, SUMMER BREAK, even though the show is geared toward tweener girls. In his own words, he is now a C-list celebrity.
-Sometimes, the most fun was just watching him hang at home with the homies.
– I didn’t hover too much as he filled out his college applications. So no picture of that! This process was not nearly as stressful as I’d imagined, primarily because he said he would be so happy to go any of the schools that he is applying to. Bless him.
My life, besides keeping up with him, involved the usual bevy of trips to China and many other high points – most notably the Tassajara Zen Center retreat.
Somehow amidst the insanity in the world around us, I have found it increasingly easy, and essential, to appreciate the very small things in life – a piece of music can send me, my long walks on the beach bring me incredible solace. And most of all, friends and loved ones continually deepen my appreciation for the human condition. Everywhere I see giant pockets of goodness — both goodwill and good deeds – that give me tremendous hope for the future of humankind.
I wish all of you a most blessed, peaceful and uplifting holiday season and New Year.