Saturday morning. The little thermometer on the outside of the kitchen window has given up recording the low temperatures. Even the murder of crows that show up daily, cawing loudly for their breakfast around the bird feeder, have not made an appearance today.
Big Mac and Honey Bee, true to their feline nature, are nowhere to be found and are probably hibernating in some warm and inaccessible corner of the house. TV weather persons in various Midwest cities make dire predictions of 50 degree-below-zero temperatures and how a five minute exposure will make your ears fall off! Like something out of a B rated sci-fi horror movie, something called the Polar Vortex is heading our way and threatening to make all of the New England states into a giant Popsicle.
My thoughts go back to another Saturday not so long ago. Karen and I had made a trip to New York City to visit my daughter Amelia, who following her love of animals, is now a practicing veterinarian in Manhattan. The weather was a balmy 60 degrees, remarkable for the tail end of December. Times Square was wall to wall people and I could see why America is the world’s melting pot. The smiling faces of the crowds truly represented a cross section of humanity, all getting along in the melee, as they swarmed over the streets and pavements of this iconic landmark.
After a ridiculously expensive lunch at a nearby restaurant (would you believe $25 for a lobster roll sandwich?!) it was time for the Christmas presents. Along with the gift cards to various department stores (Amelia loves to shop) I had enclosed a poem that I had written just for her and had set it in a simple frame. It was in my own way, a subtle reminder to her of life’s lessons that I had picked up in a sometimes crazy but eventful life.
Of course, she took a quick glance at it and placed it promptly in a large shopping bag along with the rest of the loot. I hope that someday she actually reads the poem and finally realizes that dad is not so dumb after all!
After a little prodding from friends and family, I was persuaded to share this poem with the readers of this op-ed piece. Hope you enjoy it.
SECRETS (For Amelia)
Did I tell you:
The futility of believing that ducks really swim in a row,
And spiders never quite weave tangled webs, only people,
Or that bees just pretend to be busy, it’s the flowers they love,
And maybe life’s greatest mystery lies inherent in its chaos.
Did I tell you:
In the humdrum of days, no two sunsets are the same,
And a cigar sometimes is just a cigar, not an epiphany.
Or that real beauty lies within, not in the eye of the beholder,
And if you are lucky, love can last a lifetime, never an eternity.
Did I tell you:
You can kill them with kindness, never with compassion,
And a dog’s bite if true, is better than a hundred false barks,
Or sorrows in that infamous box (Pandora) can turn out to be blessings,
And small acts of loving, sweeter memories than great leaps of faith.
Dr. Mehernosh Khan is a physician with a specialty in complementary medicine.