And, of course, as I write that I have to look up the definition of "nostalgia":
a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time:
My nostalgia is not for what was but for what might have been. It's not for the happiness of a former time, but rather from actions that might have allowed happiness in a former time.
I fantasize about having been adopted by a family who was cultured and musical. I have often said that I was lucky to have been adopted by a family that recognized my talents early in life. But they didn't know how to best nurture those talents. (And I also acknowledge that there is more to nurturing talents than just lessons and training. There's emotional nurturing, also.)
Sometimes, in pondering "life" and "how did I get here", one thinks about those notions of having a life after a life. I'm not saying I believe in the concept of reincarnation. I truly don't know what I believe. But I hear the stories of there being legions of spirits flying around who need to come back to earth to complete their mission. Or something like that. And I wonder why I was chosen for this particular family. If I was, indeed, chosen. For this family.
And as I ponder "why didn't I have a different family," I have to stop and say—almost aloud in my head—It's Not All About You!!
Maybe the fates or the universe or God or whatever chose not that family for me, but me for that family. Or for that man, that wonderful, nurturing daddy, who had a marriage he felt trapped in. He loved me to his core, and he nurtured me as no one else did. He gave me a sense of being loved, wanted, and valuable. Where my mother taught me that I was dumb, ugly and incompetent, he taught me that—at least in his eyes—I was cherished and precious.
And what did I give him? I have no idea. He was not a man to share his feelings. But I'm sure having me mirror his feelings right back to him was significant in his life.
So what if I didn't get a sound footing that put me in a career path the end of which would bring me retrospective joy. I made it through. I accomplished not giving up. I have good kids and grandkids that I'm able to encourage and nurture and—hopefully—guide.
And I was loved, without equal, by Daddy. The most important man in my life.
Maybe he was the why I was adopted by this family.
And that's good enough.
Photos: At top, an Interlochen practice room where a high school string bass player works on his repertoire. Bottom, panorama of Green Lake with oncoming storm whipping up the waves.