God, that was nuts. Pine trees are brittle, temperamental things, even for a small, skinny child. I knew it was reckless, even before a branch broke under my foot and I slid 20-30 feet with my arms desperately wrapped around the tree trunk, my face pulverized by rough pine bark, and branches breaking and scraping every other part of my tender young self until I reached a branch solid enough to thunk me to a pelvis shattering stop. Picking pine sap out of a scraped face can teach you a thing or two about safety.
I switched to a slightly sturdier blue spruce, a vantage point allowing better unobstructed views of people in my empire. There was some kissing that wasn't exactly private.
I'm going to court this week as a character witness for my friend who is seeking justice for the school bus accident which killed his wife a couple of years ago. I've had multiple lawyer conversations about wife/husband/their marriage, and my/her husband's loss. The lawyer is pleasant, but I want to shove these pesky feelings aside and get on with life.
Even so, there's something about the structure of the questions that forces me to recognize exactly what I lost and what I still have. Why was I friends with her, and why do I remain friends with him? I laughed with him the other day. Oh yeah, he's funny. Add that to my list of stuff to say in court. He showed up on time when we met for lunch. Add "reliable" and "considerate".
Before the accident, the three of us used to get together for dinner, sometimes with another friend. I took a great deal of pleasure observing their happy marriage. They liked and loved each other. How many of us are lucky enough to achieve that? What could I learn about relationships from their excellent example?
Maybe my adult self isn't that much different from the childish voyeur? I wanted, then and now, insights in how people make their relationships work. Back in the day, we had a party line. That's a phone line that has 2 or 3 homes connected to the same number. I listened to the Taylor girl talk to her boyfriend with my hand over the receiver so they couldn't hear my breathing. I was enthusiastic about their relationship.
See, I was never mean-spirited about my spying. I wanted happy people. I didn't really appreciate "invasion of privacy" until I was older. And while I avidly watched chaste kissing, I was uncomfortable if there was fondling. I wasn't that kind of voyeur. I just enjoyed the love and romance of it all. I was so innocent, I didn't even know anything came after kissing, hugs, and hand holding.
In the spirit of wishing others happiness, multiple people have told me they're stressed about US politics. I'd suggest we limit how much news we watch, and do what we can to relax and enjoy life. I'm going to go to a meeting this week to see what I can do in a practical way to stop/limit chaos. Let me offer an American apology to Mexico, Canada, Australia, Muslims, Jews, and anybody else already, or soon to be, insulted. Most of us still appreciate our friends. Set us a good example, and some of us will learn about making relationships work.