FEEL GOOD NEW YEAR: Still can…

By Dave Markwell

A few weeks ago, I was at my old buddy, Scott’s, house catching up a bit following the memorial service for his dad. It was one of those simple, beautiful moments of life and friendship that is made more meaningful under the umbrella of sadness. The loss of a loved one is always sad, but is also a unique reminder of what we still have.

Scott and I have shared many years and an unsavory collection of stories unfit for publishing, but awesome. In our 20’s, we spent nearly 6 months travelling together throughout the U.S. and Central America in my 1986 VW Vanagon. We were young and full of dreams and brave. We travelled light, happy, and tan. We were unburdened by many of the things we accumulate over time. We were free, broke, yet rich with life.

As happens, our lives took us in different directions, but Scott and I remain connected by our time sleeping with each other’s feet in our face. Chatting with him on this day, I was somewhat lamenting the loss of the freedom we once had. We both work and have kids and live in the gilded cages of adulthood. I said something like, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just hop in the van, with a bag of chips and some beer and grape soda and no plan and see what happens, like we did back then???”

His two word response has stuck with me: “Still can.” He said this with the inflection of belief and he made me believe it, too. And I am grateful for these words. They were ones that I didn’t know I needed to hear. “Still can” lives as a reminder of possibility and the power we have to choose. The fact that Scott said them made me believe them even more, for he is decidedly even more screwed than I am in the obligation department. He has 2 young kids and another on the way and a high-pressure, long-hours job and is seemingly bound and gagged in the damp basement of life’s serial dream killer. But, he’s not. No one is, including me. And this is good to know.

So, as I look forward to year 2018 unfolding, I will carry the hopes of youthful dreams and remember they still live. I will seek to explore and define and ask questions without answers. I will work and play and think and sing and aspire and move. I will try and fail and try some more. Most of all, I will remember that through all of the challenges life delivers, the world is still full of grace and love and joy and mystery and miracles. And it’s a good place to be…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by area resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). He also runs the Waterland Arcade, located at 22306 Marine View Drive South in Des Moines. Dave extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, Dave desperately needs more friends – find him on Facebook here.