By Ernie McCray
I was a bit out of tune the other day from just dealing with whatever tiny bits of frazzle-dazzle life had laid in my path that day and as I’m mumbling to myself over my little “First World Problem”, my cell phone vibrates in my levis pocket and I turn it on and there’s a picture of the dude, my main man, the leader of the band: Lyric. Flashing a smile that says in its very cuteness “Hey, dude, let all that minutiae go, bro.”
And so I did, like the sun melting snow. I just let it slide off my hide. I do that anyway, via my DNA, but my grandson’s smile made me not only stop but pause. Any rose near my nose was going to be smelled.
I sat down at my desk in my refreshed frame of mind and my little black book of “what day it is and where I need to be” just happened to be open and at a glance I could see examples of just how good life is being to me.
On the Monday of that week some tireless happy activists and I celebrated the permanent closing of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station, an act which diminishes the possibility of millions of people’s lives being ruined by a nuclear catastrophe – in a beautiful setting in Del Mar overlooking a wide view of eye soothing scenery.
On Wednesday my special other and I dined at a special luncheon for political “leaders” like her at the Del Mar Fair. Talking about some good grub. Yummy!
Thursday we took in KC and the Sunshine Band with the San Diego Symphony Pops down at the Bay. Will good times ever go away?
Doesn’t seem like it. Friday was a day of rest from all the shake shake shaking of our boo-tays and then Saturday and Sunday it was again all about the stage as we sat back and enjoyed “Tribes,” a compelling story about what the deaf have to overcome, at the La Jolla Playhouse and Les Miserables at Del Norte High, at the request of twin girls I’ve known since their infancy. And all the children and young people pulled the production off with amazing artistry. So moving to me.
From there we were off to a barbecue where we would hang out with three old students of mine, one who was in town visiting from Japan and we reminisced about a school we all hold dear, a school we created together, a school where I really found my place as an educator, a school where they found themselves and what they wanted to do in and for the world. I just love those girls (such beautiful and loving and caring and talented and bright women).
Oh, I’ve been on a roll: sharing what’s on my mind in the San Diego Free Press, the OB Rag and Tucson Citizen.Com; visiting a new school superintendent with two old activist friends of mine and two young leaders of tomorrow to share our concerns regarding the military recruiters who cruise our campuses more than it seems they should be allowed; playing Hoke Coleburn, Miss Daisy’s chauffeur, with the dignity such a splendid human being as he deserves; reading “The Game,” a poem written especially to kickoff the Second Annual Young Leader’s Film Festival, setting the tone for an evening dedicated to honoring the athletic and life struggles of a Lithuanian olympic basketball team in a film called “The Other Dream Team” – stories of underdogs overcoming obstacles that stand in their way of being the best they can be fascinates me; seeing my youngest son turn 31 and my querida’s granddaughter segue into ten; jamming on bongo with some talented young people and gifted jazz musicians on Independence Day, feeling in those moments that I really do live in a place called Land of the Free.
But, I don’t take all this casually. No. Because I know, with losing my soul mate four years ago, Lyric’s grandma, and almost losing my beloved oldest daughter a little over a year ago, that life can take some turns that drop you to your knees and drown your soul in weighted down feelings of misery.
So I’ll just bask in the pleasure that Lyric’s smile brings me and enjoy any good times that find their way to my life. And, as the expression on his face suggests, I will definitely let all the small stuff go. I figure the more I do that the better chance I have of seeing him grow.