Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All Good Things . . .

"Father Time"
These days are marked by a bitter-sweet quality.  Over the last three months, I have spent a great deal of time with kids from the parish, seminarians, priests, and the bishop.  I have been out late at night to see the meteor shower.  I have been up early to celebrate Sunday Masses in the Cathedral Parish for the first time in weeks (months?).  I have spoken with college students home with their families for a short summer visit.  I have spent long night hours discussing big questions.  I met a gypsy, I cursed the motorcycles, and I traveled to the northernmost edge of the state.  I climbed Bear Butte and then I climbed Harney Peak.  With the help of good young people, I have grown my own peas and tomatoes, I have harvested sun ripened cherries, and I have seen a variety of movies I would likely never have seen otherwise.  I have watched some people achieve minor feats of heroism in battle with rattle snakes, disease, death, the changing natures of relationships, and the tumultuous world of adolescent romance.  I survived Watiki and Storm Mountain, and I have acquired a magnificent farmer's tan.  I have learned that I love fishing and I have shot skeet with more accuracy than I have ever shot before. I have discovered beautiful things about who God has created me to be and in many conversations, I have tried to articulate how I have been blessed this summer.  This summer . . .

The motorcycles have left the Black Hills, and they have taken the last days of summer away with them.  Next week classes will resume.  The seminarians with whom I have spent a great deal of time will be returning to the venerable halls of academia.  The summer jobs and frequent bouts of boredom that have  been the summer fare of high school students have already begun to be displaced by sports practices.  What were long hot days and cool free nights filled with speculation about the nature of goodness and truth will soon become short days burdened under under the weight of homework for the kids and religious education for me.  Afternoons in the sun will evolve into afternoons in the office.  Within a few days, Bishop Cupich will arrive at Rapid City Regional Airport with a suitcase in one hand, and a one-way ticket to Spokane in the other. 

These days leave me a little melancholy.  It is as though time has been paused for three months, and now, at heightened speed, I must make up that time, I must age.  

Today, however, I will go fishing.  For one more day at least, I will defy Father Time.

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