The Meaning

The stroboscopic effect of the light lulls me into a hypnotic daze as the breeze scissors branches like chopsticks above the hammock, punctuated only by the chaotic jostling only a two year old can make during nap-time. The dog barks. The two older children jeer in protest of a misguided sword fight, or incongruent theories of how faerie wings ought to be. And, a distant hum of an unseen mower in the constant battle of leaf and lawn drones a few fences over, underpinning with it’s bass notes the chant of suburban life; the chant of The Living.
In his book, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe writes, “Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.” I find this a sad way to live. To me, work has always been a means of supporting the true life; the life between my wife and I and our children, and the life that is the one being lived at the moment.
This is where I find meaning in my life; these moments spent in soul-connection with my children, my spouse, my parents, my kin. In the silly, redundant questions of a two-year old I find peace. In the world-enlarging viewpoint of my eleven year old son when he questions what it would be like to live as Beowulf, and posits that he would have been by his side at the end, I find contentment of a safe future. In the simple gesture of my seven year old daughter when she and I are the only ones awake in the morning, and she offers a sip of her juice I find a reassurance that charity holds a seed. When my wife of 13 years pushes me out the door to go running, reassuring me that the dishes can wait, I find the safety that someone will always look out for me.
To this end, I have found great meaning in life. I have found that the future will be full of goodness, charity, love, happiness, contentment and safety. I have also found that the future will be just fine waiting; that there is plenty right now to enjoy. It is just as Tom Stoppard wrote in The Coast of Utopia when he said, “Nature doesn’t disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into each moment.” And, this is all true.


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