There's so much change in my life right now, there are nights when I awaken at two a.m. and have to feel of my arms and legs and chest to ensure I'm the same guy who went to sleep four hours ago.
I get up, roam the house (ground floor, so as not to awaken dear Mrs. V), have a bowl of cereal, gaze out the window at the dark forms of trees. The silence subsumes me; no birds, cars, squirrels, wind. This is a great old house, and its solidity is sure solace in the middle of the night.
It's not like I'm sad or even worried tonight. It's more like the train has picked up so much speed that the sleeper compartment has a kind of constant silent rumble to it. Who could slumber in that? Time to climb out and stare at the scenery. Trying to... expand... to encompass all the newness.
Impending fatherhood. Impending private practice, which means business ownership. Newly fatherless. The strange towns roll by the window, all places I'm going to be living very, very soon, though no one knows the exact arrival time. Still... the ticket's punched. No return trip to youthful wanderings. This is a one-way train, and it's got more momentum than Fabian Cancellara, the Swiss Locomotive himself, on the back stretch in the Forest of Ardennes.
Whispers and rumblings of tomorrow: toddlerhood, grade school for him, old(er) age for me. Passengers in the cars ahead of me pass back rumors and opinions of what I'm to expect. I try to ignore it all. Twenty years of spiritual practice haven't taught me as much as I set out for, but I do know that this moment is the only real thing. On my good days, I even remember this.
Other days? Up at three a.m., rocking steady on the express to somewhere... somewhere good.