Seasons of change

He found the old man under the grape arbor, silently rearranging vines that were not in obvious need of being rearranged. Clearly, something needed said. He was not certain what.

Finally, the old man spoke.

“You’re getting married soon,” he said. “You won’t be coming home on vacations anymore.”

The younger man, barely 21, wanted to deny his father’s statement, but he knew it was true. He and his soon-to-be new wife enjoyed seeing new places and people, and his job likely would move him even farther from the grapevine than it already had.

He had grown up hearing his father’s views on life and social interactions, and complaints about changes the elder man thought were ill-advised. He knew, though he was too young to fully understand, that the change in filial visitations was only the surface of the botherment his father felt.

# # #

I thought of that scene while standing on a footbridge, its green-painted steel latticework supporting a floor of 4-by-12 planks over the creek. Most of the surrounding forestry was either green or brown, leafed or bare. This year, it seemed autumnal colors had been too fleeting in the annual transition from summer to winter – except for a few oaks aglow with brightly polished orange scattered among the rusty poplars and bamboo.

The road past the bridge was closed, except for bicycle and foot traffic. Some of the planks were branded with hand-carved and spray-painted graffiti – Kilroy, or Bert, or Wendy, had been here. Thus young people mark their existence. With age, for such as that old man, a possessiveness comes that makes some of us rail against the “lack of respect” among young people and a forgetfulness of a time when the same was said about us.

The creek slipped slowly beneath the steel and timber structure, a school of minnows the only sign of life in the nearly still flow, though previous visits have revealed families of muskrats and painted turtles.

A couple of turtles catch my eye, perched where the afternoon sun warms a tree stump washed into position by a passing storm. The serpentine flow has been witness to many such events. One must walk slowly and quietly to learn the stories.

Back home, I am met with other signs of changing seasons, reflected on the evening news, with its constant depiction of violence and conflict, but also in the prime time entertainment fare.

Gibbs has left “NCIS,” taking with him the fatherly, arm around the shoulder of whichever young woman completed his team. He always was tough on the young guys, not so much on the young gals.

A new series has joined the franchise – “NCIS: Hawaii.” Its team is headed by a single mom with two kids and features members of Hawaiian ancestry and a gay woman just starting dating another woman trying to get used to her recently acknowledged life.

Already in place is “NCIS: Los Angeles,” its young team members including a couple trying to make a baby, a Muslim and an African-American.

Last night, we watched the new James Bond installment. I became an adult alongside the James Bond franchise. The first movie was “Dr. No,” in 1962, three years before I graduated from high school. The featured character was “Bond. James Bond.” Double-Oh-7 was portrayed by a series of dashing white men.

James has retired, and his replacement is a Black woman, also carrying the 007 designator.

“It’s only a number,” the about-to-be unretired agent quips.

I’ll not spoil the ending for folks who intend to watch it.

But it’s clear seasons are changing on multiple fronts. I’ve always looked forward to the cycle. I eagerly await what’s next.

Thanks for coming along. I hope you enjoyed the trip. Please take a moment to share it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.