The Christmas Dance (Excerpt from “Sunburnt in December”)
by Senator Brett
It was Christmas Day and Reb found himself missing yet another holiday back home in Texas. “That’s the nature of the life I choose, I guess,” thought Reb to himself as he slowly meandered his way along the edges of the Pacific coast. “But, it sure is nice here,” he reflected; the California sun was hanging low in the sky making it’s lazy way toward the ocean in the distance, the sand warm and comforting to his toes underneath, the seagulls fluttering overhead in their usual dance for food and mates. “Yes, it’s very nice here,” he managed to softly say to himself.
Truth be told, Reb really wasn’t that sad, well, not really sad at all. He was just a little concerned that he was getting far too familiar with holidays spent far away from the ones that he truly loved. Through his travels he had learned that it becomes easier and easier to forget those that matter to you the most when you spend the bulk of your life chasing almost anything else. And, the last six years of his life had come and gone so quickly, and in that brief time he had closed out only one of those years surrounded by green pine trees, George Strait’s voice on the radio, his mother’s homemade wassel and all those comfortable familiar faces that made the most sense to him.
It was as he walked the sunny and sandy beaches of the Pacific, lost in his own thoughts of home, when he heard the great voices, the great whispering voices of the apple-green waves as they crashed into the sand before him. The waves stretching higher and higher and the great voices gradually coming together in unison and becoming less of a whisper and more like a clear concise voice, a voice speaking directly to Reb himself. They waves pounded harshly upon the forgiving sand as it split away from it’s station and retreated with the waves back out into the ocean. And, the great voices gathered in their confidence and volume and became a living breathing thing all of it’s own.
“As long as you are alive then you are at Home,” the great voices declared to Reb. “As long as you are alive then you are at Home,” the voices repeated. Over and over again their echoes reverberated in Reb’s ears until he thought that he might not be able to take it anymore. Reb closed his eyes and began running down the coastline with all the strength and energy that he could muster, but the unrelenting waves kept crashing in front, and behind, of him. And, with them they carried the voices on their crests. “As long as you are alive then you are at Home,” they eerily chanted after him.
It was just a short distance run when Reb came to a sudden stop; his breath labored, his body sweating under the glow of the descending sun. As he struggled for more oxygen he realized that for the first time he was truly sad. It was then that he knew, truly knew, that he was filled with utter remorse; remorse because he knew that the great apple-green voices were right and that even they -these forces of nature with their seemingly unfair view of humanity- knew him better than he knew himself. And, Reb knew that he should have seen this within himself all these long years. And, the not knowing is what saddened him even deeper. There is an eternal truth in this life: there is a certain type of sadness that can only be found when you realize that you are standing so close to something so goddamn big that you can’t see anything else at all.
And, Reb Tramkt had spent most of his life standing too damn close to something so goddamn big that he had missed so much of everything worthwhile. “It stops now,” he determined to himself.
So, Reb waded out into the water and as he did the water seemed to cleanse him, not just his body, but also his mind and soul. There, chest-deep in the Pacific, a thousand miles away from what he considered to be his Home he came to the sudden realization: without knowing it, or even calling out to it, Home had come to him. “I am alive,” he thought to himself. “And, this is Home for me, for now, for just now. I am breathing in-and-out. I can feel the sand between my toes and taste the salt on my tongue. On my skin I can feel the breeze that must have started a million miles away from here. My eyes aren’t dull and blind. I can still move in that direction, or this direction, or any direction at all. But, most importantly, I can still move in that one precious direction… that direction that leads towards Anywhere.”
And, it was then that he realized that Home would follow him the whole way through. Reb remembered an old saying that his grandfather had always said at opportune times before the cancer had taken grandpa away from them, “They say that Home is where the heart is.”
“Well, grandpa,” said Reb aloud to himself, and in his heart he truly hoped that his grandpa could still hear him from up above, “I sure hope that you’re right. And, just so you know, grandpa, I miss you, and I miss Texas, but for right now my heart is all, ‘Go, Go, Go!’ and I now know that Home is waiting in front of me and standing firmly behind me all at the same time. And I am good again.”
And, even though Reb never spoke of that conversation with his departed grandpa with anyone, well, other than Penny, it became the catalyst of the second half of all the adventures that were to be found along the way.
(More to come…)