It’s Friday morning. I’m sitting in the park, posting on my Nexus Tablet. It is pouring, something we need here in Socal since we are enduring record drought conditions. This being Southern California, the local TV weathermen are practically orgasmic about the storm, alternating between jubilation for a break in the drought and dire warnings of flashfloods and mudslides to come, all with a TV smile, of course. I’m not alone here in the park, though. There are two fishermen working the lake in front of me and two dog-walkers that went by in the midst of the heaviest downpour. And, of course there are hundreds of ducks pecking around in the puddles looking for breakfast and a flock of Buffleheads in the lake. Don’t tell the Mallards or the Wood Ducks, but Buffleheads are my favorites. They are shy little fellows and only come to the park at times like this when the weather keeps away the park peeps.
I love to be in the park in the rain, to watch the ducks forage and see the raindrops roll down my windshield. And completely for free I get the relaxing music of falling rain. Last weekend, when we were in Vegas, there was a party going down the hall in our hotel and, being a man who is easily annoyed by inconsiderate people, I downloaded a new app to my smartphone. White Noise Lite provides a variety of relaxing sounds to mask annoyances, even rude twenty-somethings, and I happily fell asleep with my headphones on listening to a digital rainstorm. But there’s nothing like the real thing.
I’m here, too, to digest the week that was, a week full of good news and bad, joy and sorrow. It is all change and any psychologist worth her $120 an hour will tell you, all change is stressful. Writing is magic for me, whether it’s posting on Older Eyes or writing in my journal … and a bit of meditation won’t hurt either. I am here, too, to choose a spot for a Memorial Celebration for my friend Stan, who passed away Monday. That may be a sad task but it was uplifting to see how many guys from my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting were interested in attending. As is our way, we will grieve Stan’s passing but we will also celebrate his life with stories of the time we’ve known him. Stan could be a very funny guy and we’ll laugh a lot. He deserves that.
Have a good weekend.