I used to wish that I lived in Atlanta, Nashville, New York, Chicago, or LA...some place close to the action.
Some place where I could feel the pulse of the nation pounding through my chest like rock drummer on speed.
One of my good friends in the Army went to Woodstock for what has been described as the best music festival of all time. In August of 1969, he walked to the highway near his home, stuck out his thumb, and hitch-hiked to upstate New York. He spent several days wandering around Max Yasgur's 600 acre farm in a drug stupor. He said he kept asking people, "Where's the music?" They would point toward the setting sun and say it's over there and it's so beautiful. He never found the stage, but when he told me the story, he still smiled.
I've often wondered what I would have done had I gone to Woodstock. I'd like to think that I would not have been so messed up that I couldn't find the music. But who knows? Young people do some goofy things.
Something happens when you get older. Time and experience begins to shape your notion of what's important.
That's not to say that you should not view life through the eyes of a child at every opportunity, but if you're lucky, you find your pace. You begin to understand that happiness is not "out there" but "in here".
Tonight, Jilda and I went to our great nephew Stone's birthday party in Adamsville, which is about twenty miles away. He was seven today and he had a crew of kids at his party. Our other great nephew Jordan, who lives next door and spends every Tuesday and Thursday with us, went to the party too, but he felt out of place.
When he saw me, he came over and reached up for me to pick him up. The night was chilly and he snuggled up close to me. When I asked if he was OK, he whispered, "I don't know anybody. I want to go home."
We left a while later, and Jordan wanted to come with us. He had come with his Nanna, but if we'd had a car seat, he would have left with us.
Even at the tender age of two, he intuitively understands that the world is a big place and things move fast, but there is no place like home.