As a 79 year old in cold Ohio, I have my happy lonely, or lonely happy days. Your choice.

5:30 mornings I chauffeur my wife to the bus stop, blessing our children in the car as is our habit for decades now, before I give her my own “may the good Lord, bless you and keep you safe, dear” as she boards the bus, first to mass, then to work, then back again to the same stop where I, like a faithful German shepherd would, be there waiting.

“I almost felt you touching me just now. I wish I knew which way to turn to go. I feel so good and I feel so bad. I wonder what I ought to do?

Ref: If I could only fly, 2x. I’d bid this place goodbye and come and be with you.

But I can hardly stand. I got nowhere to run. Another sinking sun. One more lonely night.

If I could only fly. If you could only fly. If we could only fly. There’d be no lonely nights.

The wind keeps blowing somewhere every day. Tell me things got better somewhere. This dismal thinking on a dismal day. Sad songs for us to bear.

You know sometimes I write happy songs, then some little thing goes wrong. I wish they all could make you smile. Coming home soon and I wanna to stay. Every weekend somehow get away. I wish you could come go with me when I go again.”

(End of song)

I have seen this so many times with other older folks.

And I have of late come to the conclusion that when we come to our sunset years, that many of us just want to get away, to travel, to somehow fly away, and to “wish that you could come with me, when I go again.”

But this world is so big. And our loved ones live so far away from us. So we strain deep in our hearts to be with them. And we pray. For it is in praying that we can hold our loved ones in the hollow of our hearts. In the same way that God becomes real to us, those who pray to him.

But we realize that even the biggest jumbo jets of this world can only take us so far, and our own frail bodies may not anymore be able to stand the stresses that come with travel. And so we dream of being with loved ones. And more important: we pray for them and for ourselves. And when we do this, our loved ones become even more present to us; real in our own minds.

And so, we play golf instead. And my wife? She cooks to her heart’s content. That’s life. That’s us.

How I dream I could still return to Cagayan de Oro, or to Camiguin island, or, for that matter, to the Davao City of my youth, to walk the bygone streets of Sta Ana or Agdao or Claveria. Or, where, in good ole Cagayan I could still rebuild my house(s), walk my little farm, and drink beer with my buddies, Dr. Mercado, Dr. Getubig, Ed Chaves Jr., or Pepot Fortich or Bob Cabrera or Jess Paras, or Dito dela Cerna or Jong Tiro and my islander friends like John Higgins or Manding Reyes or Tonette Ducao or Inting Galgo(+) of Anito But no, I must wait and see if I or we could still travel. And ask permission from the One who is the author of all life’s travels.

When Magellan left Guadalquivir river in Seville, it was to take them more than a year before they ( some dozen or so left, out of the some 500 sailors who ventured to travel to the edge of the world) were able to return home.

And so we stay home in cold Ohio, thankful to God that He brought us here. After all, we prayed that we can come here, and God allowed it.

And God renews the “face of the earth”