I was in the bath wondering what I should write about this week when suddenly the song Four Season In One Day started to play in my mind. While it is not always obvious why these kind of what I want to call subconscious associations turn up, this time I at once understood why I had been made aware of this song. But whether obvious or more far-fetched than my mind is able to follow, I have learned to appreciate the message I am being given as it often tells me about something that I should pay attention to.
I was introduced to Crowded House when I was an exchange student in Australia, and I listened over and over to their Recurring Dream album while going to through the highs (a few) and lows (too many) of being Andreas 22 years old, trying to find my path in life while not daring to find myself. While lying in the bath thinking about this period of my life an image of the dining hall at the student housing where I was living during my year in Brisbane came up. The residential college was called International House and students from many countries were staying there making it a truly international community. Among the students was a Korean girl who liked to read the palms of students after dinner. I was fascinated by this – I did not know much about palm reading but was curious and sometimes sat watching her telling the future of other students.
How I got the nerve I do not remember, but one evening I found myself sitting with my open palm being thoroughly studied. If it was me who asked or if she spontaneously told me I do not know, but I will never forget what she said; either I would marry very soon, or it would be much later in life. Those words I kept with me through the years; all through my twenties, thirties and early forties with no prospect of marriage in sight, I wanted the palm reading girl’s prophecy to be true and it helped me keep my hope that I would eventually meet my future wife (I almost wrote future life, which also would have been true).
I was 22, and it took another 20 years before I met my lovely wife to be. Now sitting here writing, looking at her and our son sleeping, I wish I could thank my exchange student friend for giving me that grain of hope to cling onto; I wish I could share with her the life I finally found, which brings me back to the song. Four seasons in one day – for me the image best illustrating the quintessence of rapid changes in life that sometimes are both hard to follow and understand; four seasons in one day is a perfect description of my life as a dad.
It is an amazing privilege to witness a little life growing; it is amazing to witness my love grow with him. It is an amazing gift to be receiving the most loving smile I can image when coming out of the toilet and he sees my face. Today our son had a four seasons in one hour kind of day – his smile changed into anger into tears into a soft cheek seeking mine into unstoppable laughter into anger into a big smile, all in the space of minutes rather than hours; it is amazing to feel so excited that our son is able to express so many feelings, is able to communicate them with me while expecting me to respond to them. Amazing, though a little daunting, knowing that I most probably need to become better at meeting my sons needs, but days like today he gives me plenty of opportunities to practice. Like Four Seasons In One Day.
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