Writing letters has always been for me a wonderful way to work my way through the important "stuff" of life. When I need to roust myself or find comfort, my inner life finds voice in the movement from head to arm to hand to page. The twists, turns and curves turn into trusted truth--naked and without judgment (for I am constantly judging my thoughts and actions, as I'm sure that most educated persons are.) For some reason, the act brings out the best in me, even if I must wrest it from the depths.
So, this brings me to you. I've been wanting to send you letters for years; really from the time of your birth. I had wanted to have a record of your life and some of my observations about the world as a backdrop. Time slipped away and now you are both men. However, that is not an excuse to withhold this love and the dreams I have for you. This is my undertaking as you both are entering new phases of your lives. (The words I share with you here are words that I would also share with the children I never gave birth to, and the congregants and friends whom I love.)
That said, I will still make a feeble attempt at conveying a few things that I've learned upon my path, which is not unlike all paths. There are no shortcuts to an exhilarating life, but there are some basic values to consider. While I may not have THE answers, dear ones, the world does and she offers them regularly, so pay attention!
Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian writer of the mid to late 1800's, is one of my favorite authors because of his realism and his characters who find redemption in the most brutal and unkind of circumstances. He once offered advice to some young men, this way:"...in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work and LOOK AROUND YOU!" Mary Oliver, contemporary poet would tell you to "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." Life cannot be rushed or forced or consumed or purchased...It can only be savored one moment at a time. It's delicious when nibbled, just as a fine meal is explored for each tasty morsel. Take your time my darlings, take your time. Your lives will not be built in a day, just as Rome was not built in a day. Greatness is delivered one breath, one heartbeat at a time. My love will be delivered one short missive at a time. This is the beginning.
Breathe in, breathe out...What do you notice?
I love you,
Your (Aunt) Lee Ann
P.S. You know me well enough to know that this letter is simply a hint of what is to come. My letters will continue, so watch the mail...or rather, the blog!