009 The Catch and the Release

009 The CatchA month ago I spent some time in New York City coordinating a couple business projects. One afternoon I found myself strolling towards Central Park. I took just a few steps around the gorgeous fountain at the south east corner and scraped my knee, spilled my tea, banged up the camera and twisted my ankle pretty good. Most of all I felt embarrassed for not paying attention to my presence. I was focusing so hard on what picture I wanted to snap next, I was unaware of what the changes right beneath me feet.
I rested for a few moments on a bench in an attempt to release my frustration and gather my pride with one of my favorite hobbies…people watching and writing from observation. Below is what showed up later in a poem.

Silent steps among fallen rustling leaves,
empty benches invite lovers to believe.

Jogging beauties strolling their young
while handsome men call home.

Frisbee boys and pink sweatered girls
happy children with their laughs unfurled.

Fathers coach their sons to catch to and fro
and in turn their sons teach them how to let go.

That last phrase of letting go really stuck with me. I still remember how simple the moment was between father and son. They were simply tossing a ball back and forth, but what I saw was so much deeper. You see, we teach our children to catch. Heck, we even teach our dogs to catch. It’s a fun game. The challenge though is that in order to play catch, we must also learn let go. And most kids, and dogs for sure, typically don’t give up once they have that ball, chewy, stuffed animal in their paws. It’s our role as a parent to show that it’s okay to let go. The game goes on. The ball eventually finds its way back. And if it doesn’t, we’ll discover a new one with our open glove.