Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mysteries That Are Unsolvable

Here’s a mystery for you:
Why do monarch butterflies return every year to the same couple of trees in a eucalyptus grove in California? How do they find their way to the same itsy-bitsy grove on a speck of land during their thousand-mile migration, with brains no larger than a pinhead?

Here’s another mystery:
Why do some elephant seals stop at the same teensy-weensy stretch of beach on the coast near my home? Is there the equivalent of an ocean off-ramp just for the handful of seals that might care? And how would you know, if you were an elephant seal, where exactly on this coastline you were born?

Americans love mysteries. We spend millions on thrillers every year. We do it for that “Ah-ha!” moment, when our suspicions are laid to rest and we know whodunit and why.
But “Ah-ha!” moments aren’t found only between the covers of a book. If you’re a seeker who asks questions, you can have the “Ah-ha!” experience all the time in real life.

In a week or so, some of us celebrate Epiphany, the date in the Christian church calendar commemorating what you might call the ultimate “Ah-ha!” moment: The Wise Men saw a Star and followed it to a stable in Bethlehem. My pastor calls it the moment when the light bulb goes on.
When my 75-year-old mother was reminded of Epiphany and its “Ah-ha!” moment, she said, “I have those every morning when I wake up.”
I walked around for days afterward trying to visualize what it’s like to say, “Ah-ha!” every day when my conscious mind becomes aware of life again. Hello, here I am again! What a nice way to live.

The Internet makes sleuthing fun, because search engines will pull up literally millions of web sites posing possible answers for any question a person cares to ask.
For example, why does a man pick a particular woman to love and cherish? Ask Jeeves at and you’ll get 8,486,000 possible answers, although you’ll sift through a boatload of stuff to arrive at books like “Women Men Love, Women Men Leave: Why Men Are Drawn to Women; What Makes Them Want to Stay.”
There are an awful lot of words in that title. No wonder it isn’t on the best-selling lists.

I wonder how many words have been written on the subject of love, or more specifically, on the attempt to explain the inexplicable mystery of why one man happens to love one woman for a very long time.
I asked my husband recently why he has loved me all these years, and he looked at me cockeyed. Then I discovered that he looks at me like I look at a good thriller. I’m a mystery for him to solve, in little bits at a time.

That day, he was taking down the Christmas lights, and at lunchtime I was reminding him of the old salt about HALT—don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. My tongue tripped over the word “angry” and it came out “angle-y”—which must have made the light bulb go off for him.
He threw his arm around my shoulders and observed, “When you get hungry, you get all angle-y, and all your sharp parts stick out. You get real sensitive behind it.”
As I rolled around the driveway laughing, all I could think was: That’s real love, when somebody knows you get angle-y.
Then we shared a meatloaf sandwich, and he packed away the lights, and the real mystery is: Will we find them next Christmas?


the walking man said...

I may not be able to explain it but I do know the time for asking the old lady why are well past us.

Kim A. said...

Thanks for the giggle this morning. My husband would have looked at me cockeyed too! My husband and I are such a good fit because we are the only ones who understand our inside jokes. You sound like you have a jewel.


Brian Miller said...

you get all angley..thats awesome...and sharing a meatloaf sandwich even better. mysteries, love em, just like my wife...hope iu never get to the bottom of it. happy saturday!

Madison said...

What an interesting post. Wouldn't it be just a big bore if we knew the answers to everything? Your husband sounds like a perfect match for you. My husband hates questions like that - why do you love me...that might remain a mystery. I look forward to reading all your posts in 2010.

Karen said...

Great musings on the mysteries of life, love, living, laughing. and angling!

You can really write, girl!

big Jenn said...

You make me smile. :) jeNN

Prayer Girl said...

Dear Enchanted Oak,
This is an enchanting post. I just love it.

You quoted your husband saying, “When you get hungry, you get all angle-y, and all your sharp parts stick out. You get real sensitive behind it.” That is a perfect description. I often tell my sponsees it is like their nerve endings are on the outside of their skin. They like that description too.

Love and have a great Saturday.

Lou said...

A post filled with love, wonder, and respect. Awesome!

Dianne said...

Hmmm, I think those Monarchs are very mysterious, have you seen them in bunches sleeping in a chain on an eucalyptus tree on a cold day? They look unrecognisable.

Nice complement to your man, makes me want to post the puma poem,

have a happy new day, we'll keep walking.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, more mysteries of life! You are just awesome Chris!

I have missed reading you the past week! I'm looking forward to getting settled in my new place so I can keep up with everyone's blogs.

I wish you joy and peace, strength and great moments for this year, Chris... God bless you! Hugs and more hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with PG. An enchanting post, indeed :)

I love getting into your head and seeing what's swimming around in there ;)

Happy New Year.

Mama Zen said...

I love this post. And, you're right; when someone knows you get angle-y, that's real love.

Anonymous said...

Hide those lights, put a little mystery in Christmas, like when you were a kid! ha ha

This is my first visit, I want to follow you.


Larry said...

I'm sure you'll find the lights next Christmas. Love is beautiful especially when you see it every day in the one you truthfully love with all your heart. I've been married four times Chris every time I said I do I thought it was for the last time. Because I finally thought she was the right one. But last january I knew I found the right one because I felt it was the right one. I really don't know how to explain that except I felt it I didn't know it I felt it this time. I've never ever been as happy as I am until January 31 2009 I know Clare and I will be together for ever.
Thanks for all you share in this blog... I haven't seen any examples of your linking as of yet and if you still aren't sure of how to link I will show you again.
anytime you need help with HTML call on me You know my email address.

you can right anything between the angle brackets

Tall Kay said...

And I thought it was the cold that made our our sharp parts stick out!

Can you tell I'm tired? Love you!

Syd said...

Great message, Chris. You must know that I love this post about the mysteries of so many things in this world. I have googled to my heart's delight and the dismay of those around me. What are you looking up now, they'll ask. Ah, maybe about getting my angle-y all sensitive....