Sunday, January 22, 2012

Things one should never outgrow:

lookouts.

Remember when we were little? After we built the fort, there would always be a lookout. It might be a place, possibly camouflaged or from above or peeking out somewhere no one would suspect. The lookout might also be a designated member of the group who hid and watched for what approached.

But what did we expect to approach? Usually it was our parents' unwanted commands. "It's time to go home!" "It's time to come inside!" (And then we would hide for as long as we could.) Sometimes the lookouts were for approaching enemies. But except for an occasional older sibling who threatened to wreck the fort, none really came. No. The real purpose of the lookout was the suspense.

I loved that feeling.

I think we adults forget that feeling, that anticipation. That's why I'm realizing that lookouts are still important....

For the past several months I have been literally counting the days. And then yesterday, I heard a whisper, "Just stop." I've wasted so much time trying to get life back the way it was. But the life I want back doesn't exist anymore.

This is my life. Right now.

I have to stop wasting my time counting. Instead, I have to build a lookout, one that looks ahead instead of back, one that is excited about what could be next whatever that might be, one that believes in promise again, one with more wonder than worry.

17 comments:

Alistair said...

Boy do I get this. What a bunch of memories you stirred there bro.

{We called ours a 'ranch' for some reason}

Mrs. Tuna said...

Excellent job mister. Excuse me now while I run off and build a pillow fort to watch the Giant game.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

What a good post! Here's towards looking forward, not back!

SherilinR said...

ooo, going deep.

Pickleope said...

You're the best at invoking nostalgia and applying it to adulthood. Great job. Keep looking forward because objects in the rear view may be smaller than...wait that's not the...well, you get the idea. Press on sir!

Rubye Jack said...

That's the thing with counting days. We lose those days when we're doing that counting. I have a hard time with this also. To say the least!

Michael said...

Deep gasho, friend.

dbs said...

Hey Michael. Your last post inspired this post.

Nicole said...

I'm moved by this one. And it's bittersweet. I hope you're well, and that the optimism you bring to this piece is tangible for you.

I miss that feeling, too. It's just like getting chased by a friend posing as a monster. As a kid I'd squeal and bolt; the excitement and anxiety over being caught was real, the fear wasn't.

Here's hoping no one comes calling you in for clean up and supper.

Michael said...

I'm glad I'm not the only trying to figure this life out. Forward with company.

Symdaddy said...

I was never a 'fort' builder and I never had a 'lookout' but the older I get the better my past appears to have been. My future? What a dismal prospect!

Angelina said...

That is so true! Just yesterday hubby said that when he has "time" he will recreate some of the Scottish recipes his mum made him when he was a child. I said, you don't need to wait for a special time to do that, just do it now! Of course, I had an alterier motive,... it would free me from kitchen duty. :)

Laoch of Chicago said...

Well said.

The Defiant Marshmallow said...

Whump!

That was the sound of your post kicking me square in the ass.

Thanks. You put that perfectly.

Al Penwasser said...

You mean I'm not SUPPOSED to sleep under the bed? I need to have a word with Mrs. Penwasser.

Mrs4444 said...

Terrific post.

As I recall, a Lookout was often used to protect us from getting busted from something, too. Whatever you do, don't adopt that kind of lookout, Dbs! :)

wendy said...

that whole last paragraph...is ME
in a nutshell

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