100 Million Miles

The whole world it seems has been impacted by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic which has left many of us with a good bit less to do; we’re either working from home, laid off or furloughed from our jobs. And Lord knows we have all watched a great deal more television than normal; at least I know Emily and I have. Maybe the world will get lucky and we’ll all become a tad bit better informed as a result.

I guess though, that really would depend on whether we’re spending our television time watching shows like 90 Day Fiancé or the more informative stuff like Discovery Channel. As far as I know, there has been no official announcements or directives from Dr. Fauci as to which programs we’re supposed to be watching…at least not yet anyway. Me being the chameleon I am, I generally watch all sorts of unrelated stuff, but always devouring lots of information TV along the way.

One thing that has been quite noticeable about my life from a safe-distance is that I haven’t written as much lately. You’d think a fella like me who gets off on writing silly stories about nothing would write more often when given the opportunity. I guess, like a lot of people who enjoy writing, I began to wonder why I do it and who really gives a damn. I just wasn’t really all that motivated to just dig in and create.

What I’ve decided, at least for myself, is at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter who gives a damn as long as I do. And its not even like that really; writing is not necessarily something I feel called to do nor do I have an important story I’m itching to tell. There are just times when I get an idea stuck in my head and it amuses me to tinker around with the idea at the expense of your time and available brain cells.

Writing for me is that exploration of thought. It is a silent journey I take alone then later translate into something entertaining or thought provoking for others to share along with me. When people respond or “like” what I’ve decided to share, it somehow makes me feel more centered with the universe. I instinctively know that other people out in the world are thinking about the same things or are at least get what I am saying.

Last week I was watching one of my favorite shows and I heard, yet again, that our sun is almost 94 million miles away from Earth. That translates to about 150 million kilometers for my European readers. How many times do you think I might have saw or heard that same information while in school or in my general life over the last 55 years? I can’t say for sure but I’m confident I’ve come across it several times and never really cared all that much. I mean, what does that have to do with me, really?

But, for some strange reason, the thought of our sun being that far away from Earth really struck a chord with me. I started to think about all the light and heat energy emanating from it and how powerful that energy must be in order for it to have such a strong impact on us, nearly 100 million miles away.

Universally, my mind wandered around to what life would be like if Earth had just landed one million miles different, nearer or farther, than where it this ended. Would Earth have the ability to sustain life as we know it if we lived just a million miles closer or farther away in our solar system?

Something poignant sprang to my mind for the first time. That was: nearly a hundred million miles from here, deep in outer space, is an enormous sphere of hot plasma and fire producing enough light and heat energy to vaporize pretty much everything, yet, by the time all that energy gets to us, it’s perfect… it is just right!

How many of you out there got married before you were mature enough to know how to be a good spouse? I count myself among all of you for sure. It’s an unfortunate statistic but we all want things we’re not ready to have. How many of you had a driver’s license before you were mature enough to be a safe driver? I could go on and on, right?

But when I think about how I got here, to this exact place where I am today and the path I took with all of its crooked roads, potholes, dead ends and roundabouts, it seems quite unlikely that I would have landed right here in this exact place. And when I analyze my wife’s life under the same lens, and formulate all of the things that did happen, didn’t happen, were supposed to happen, etc., and how it all ended up with us together and happy for so long. It kinda blows my mind. It it worthy of a blog; I think so?

I’m not suggesting that either of us are perfect or “just right” for anyone else, I’m just acknowledging what we both know, that we’re just right for each other and probably wouldn’t have been if we’d met each other 10 years prior. Just like if our sun were a million miles closer, we might have crashed and burned.

I won’t pretend to understand or even analyze karma or fait or divine intervention. Maybe they are all the same thing, I don’t know. But there is an order about things in this world that defies our ability to know every answer or formulate every hypothesis. Some things just happen because they are supposed to happen. Consequently, some things are allowed to happen to us because we can’t grow if we’re allowed to self-insulate ourselves from the kinds of pain we must learn to endure if we intend to be happy.

I know this is way too early for a birthday card, so I have made it a blog instead. But I’ve learned the hard way; when inspiration hits you, it is always the right time to say something that needs to be said.

Writing is literally my only superpower. Its easy for me to express myself with the written word but I’m not a naturally expressive person in my daily life. So, in my open life, I’ve learned to say nice things when I think nice things. Otherwise, I never say enough nice things.

Saying and expressing the type of kindness my loved ones deserve to know hasn’t always been something I’m great at doing. I’m analyzing my weaknesses by writing about them and doing my best to let others really know who I am by making an effort to do better.

If you have things you really want to say, I encourage you to do the same thing. The people who count on you, psychologically, will be able to let things go and move forward when they have confidence in your support and understand who you really are and just how much you really love them.

This journey of life never ends, no matter how short yours may end up. Think about it. I often think about what my great grandfathers were like. I have sat in a restaurant in Wales, eating fish & chips, that was once my 12th great grandfathers’ home. Thousands of ancestors grace the pages of my family tree. These people, long since dead, are still part of my life and their energy will continue to radiate in my own story if I allow their voices to be heard; but its my choice isn’t it?

If we’re going to live forever, we may as well be known for saying kind things. It’s a very long road to travel but seemingly shorter and shorter with every year that passes. I’m comforted to know that no matter how far away you go, no matter how lost you seem to be, there’s a very good chance you will end up in exactly the right place.

That is precisely what happened to me. I started off so far away from where I am today. I’ve been happy, sad, emotionally drained and on top of the world. I have failed and succeeded; I’ve contemplated life elsewhere; and, I’ve overstayed my welcome when I should have moved on. But through every experience and around every curve, I have managed to survive long enough to land right here in this exact place.

Likewise, the energy from the sun is immense; it’s far too untamed and powerful to experience close up. While it is almost hundred million miles away, it only takes 8 seconds to get from there to here. The gap between the lives Emily and I lived were, it seemed, impossibly distant and likely incompatible. But here we are, a hundred million miles traveled, scarred, bruised, broken, duct-taped and put back together.

And yet, finally…just like the sun’s energy, everything is just right.

2 thoughts on “100 Million Miles

  1. Thanks for opening a new journey for my brain to get lost in. Seriously, you are on point and then open it up for thoughtful alternatives. My brain needs the work! Stay safe. -Donnie Mariano, NY

    Liked by 1 person

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