In Between

I often wondered what my daughters experienced
while away from the home visiting grandparents.
Now, I wonder where they are, now that they are away.
When they return will each bring a little note of love
filled with x's and o's like they wrote when they were young?
"xo I miss you very much.  But I'm having a blast. xo”  These
words fill the space in between the longing to have time
for myself and missing them so terribly, like I often do now.
The mystics claim that the soul finds its perfection in 
what is absent and, uniting with absence, somehow
the magic of soul-filling happens.  I have yet to see that magic.
I was once a man of faith believing that all things are possible.
Now I try not to spend so much effort understanding the 
ineffable mystery so often fallen back upon by those in the know.
Unmoving, I move towards the ash tree growing outside
my window where years ago a seed dropped to the ground.
I do not ask for it to fill me with wonder.  I do not desire 
to place a swing around its largest limb.  It is and I am.
My daughter sat up straight in bed one night crying out
after a large crack of thunder as lightning tore the tree
apart.  I spent the next day picking up pieces of bark
from my neighbor's yard.  Some believe that fences make
good neighbors.  I apologized for the mess my tree had made.
I guess meaning depends upon whether or not we believe
stories must have a beginning and an end.  One implies 
the continuity of life; the other, the inevitability of death.
I try to live in between where often the space is small
and sometimes crowded with memories.  There, there,
is the place where I have a chance to be taken by surprise.

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