Thursday, June 2, 2016

military training

Circumstances gathered up my younger son this morning and whisked him away to two weeks of National Guard training in New Jersey. A comrade picked him up shortly before 5 a.m. and off he went. My contribution was four eggs over easy. He gathered his camouflaged gear, took it out to the car and was gone.

Somehow it made me remember the feeling when hitchhiking across the country -- standing on some straight-away in Wyoming or Nevada or Colorado or some place and seeing a tractor-trailer approach. The truck was visible, going 60, 70, 80 miles per hour or whatever. I never expected them to stop: It took some doing to get up to cruising speed and stopping for a hitchhiker was a move in the wrong direction. Generally, I just waited for the tractor-trailers to pass. Big and bulky and powerful and visible and, in the close-up-and-personal, surrounded by an invisible bubble of air. The trucks pushed the air in the front, disturbed the air to its sides and, once past, left a wake of emptiness. Whoosh ... gone ... silent ... no movement ... nothing left.

Circumstances gathered up my son this morning and I feel left in some silent wake. It does not occur to me to think that I too have been gathered up by circumstances: I am too busy with a small sense of loss and of missing my son. Perhaps one day I will become an adult, but today is not that day.

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