Written on Super Bowl Sunday
I sit in our small living room, looking through glass doors, past our little balcony, across the rooftops of the retirement village where we have chosen to live out our days.
Many balconies look down into the familiar courtyard below where water of our artificial stream lies frozen in the February cold. Snow lies white in patches, bare ground signaling the possibility of spring ahead. Our skyline is of peaked roofs above stacks of balconied apartments like our own, where other seniors are napping, or reading, or watching the prelude to the evening's Super Bowl. The sky, filled with sun when I arrived home from church, seems softer now, with clouds, as afternoon comes on. Molly, having fed me eggs and bacon, toast and coffee, rests, to rise vigorous later.
I think of the town and life I've left behind, after all these years. Precious people seem far away. And Sunday afternoon is like my remembered childhood, wistful, a little sad, lonely perhaps.
I just miss people today: my dear brother, and two sisters, long gone.. but I, still alive, filled with wonder at that fact, knowing for sure it means there is yet more I am meant to do - or rather be - in these years, so different from the last 25, and the 40 before those, and the schoolboy years of study, and rowing on New England rivers, against MIT, and BU, and Princeton and Pennsylvania, and Cornell and the Navy. A long boyhood of growing up.
Other friends are out there. I treasure the times we talk, and write, and I remember parts of the great journey I had with them - the journey with Jesus - that took us so many places: canoeing in the Boundary Waters, riding west for a few hours of prayer with Sioux friends at Cheyenne River, or the "woods Indians" up north, or long ago a pilgrimage to New England or Old England. Or study times around early morning restaurant tables, with Bibles open and prayers round the room.
They were adventures of the heart - and still are, for us. So many of these faces I saw today, at church. The very church we built together, also long ago. They have wrinkles, as I do, but they smile at me. Some, walking by me from receiving communion up front, touch my shoulder or grab my hand, just to say, "I'm with you, Arthur. I still love you." What riches in that, that fulfill my life.
These are what I want to remember when a Sunday takes me back and "the lonely comes down." The adventures that were. The Great Adventure it all was. And is still. And will be tomorrow, when Monday comes.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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