A glorious day up in the Berkshires and beyond. Traveled forty-five minutes into NY state to spend the afternoon at an old fashioned indoor rollerskating rink, with a fenced in section just for skateboarding with ramps and half pipes etc.
My about-to-be-twelve-year-old youngest son mastered the kick-flip finally (jumping on the board and flipping it in the air so it does an entire 360 degree flip and landing back on top of it as your feet meet the board and the board meets the street etc.), so well that he did four in a row perfectly several times.
My eleven-year-old meanwhile did a 180 off a grind on the edge of a box to turn backwards on a ramp and return the way he came from. Probably there's a skateboard term for that I don't know and you probably wouldn't either. Suffice it to say it was an accomplishment, worked long and hard to achieve, and he did today.
On the way there the sun came out and shone on the blasting reds and yellows of a New England Autumn, exactly what I returned to the East for. I couldn't stop saying "thank you" the whole way, up and down rolling hills through farmlands and woods. Too beautiful to articulate now, tired from a full day (I rollerskated quite a bit while they skateboarded, and my daughter, my oldest, rollerskated with me, though faster and more steady, and longer).
There is suffering everywhere, some places more intense, more widespread and more fateful. A lot of that suffering is manmade. But there are also many working to alleviate that suffering or its causes. Today some of my family and me were fortunate to not be suffering, at least not seriously (my little guy injured his hand just before we were ready to leave, one of many injuries he has sustained from skateboarding. We iced the swollen base joint of his thumb but it's still swollen and some Tylenol is helping with the pain, and my granddaughter—who was also with us and won one of the many little games and contests they had for kids, this one dancing—is suffering from a bad cold that makes her sound like Lauren Bacall at thirty-five rather than the seven-year-old she is, etc.).
For our good fortune I thank God and my ancestors and all who have helped to make our world a little better and continue to work in the helping professions that make life easier than it was for even my parents and even older siblings. There is much more work to be done, especially for those less fortunate than us, to all who contribute to that work I also say thank you and hope I can continue to make my small contributions to your good work.