On Memorial Day every year, our friends Jan and Alex have a lamb roast. A key element of each year’s celebration is a “roasting” or “toasting” of the lamb. Various participants come before the assembled mob to share thoughts, poems, toasts, stories, or whatever. It is a time for sharing and for bonding. Some guests fly in from as far away as NYC for the event. It really is a treat to see everyone each year.
This year, yours truly stepped forward with an open letter to his daughter, Malena. Due to overwhelming demand (no less than three people asked for a copy of the letter), here it is….
A Letter to Malena:
I wonder about your world.
When I try to look at your world through your eyes, I find your world fascinating, joyful, difficult, uncompromising and sometimes unfathomable.
With a focus only on the present and with no past to look back on, and no concept of a future to come, you are so unburdened and so open.
Still, I can’t help but look through your eyes and wonder at things — things that, as of yet, you haven’t even considered worthy of the bother.
I wonder about what your dreams will be,
what your hopes will be,
what your fears will be.
I wonder if you will have secret crushes, pet peeves, silly quirks.
I wonder what you will think of your Mom and me. When you think of fairness, caring and integrity, will you think of us? Will you think of yourself?
I wonder what your challenges will be. I wonder how you will meet them. I wonder how early you will learn that there are only three possible choices to any challenge: change it, leave it, or accept it as if you chose it. Will you learn this vital lesson before your father does? If you do, will you teach me?
I wonder what your thoughts will be about birth and death. I wonder when you will return to the wonderful state you occupy today — not knowing that you are separate from everything else.
I wonder when I will re-discover that I am not separate from everything else.
In the here and now, I will keep trying to look through your eyes; and [RAISE GLASS]…May I learn some of what you have to teach, before you learn too much from me.
That one should keep Jack Kornfield busy for a while….