A photo of my dad and I. I was about a year old at the time.
The Hazel Street Era
By Richard Mabey Jr.
When I was about a year old, we moved to Clifton on Hazel Street. They say that a person is not supposed to remember that far back. Still, I remember very well the feel and essence of that era. Our house on Hazel Street had a distinct feel.
It was kind of strange, in preparing to write this blog, I spent some time studying the two photos of my dad and I, outside on the front and side lawns of our Hazel Street Home. The photos show my beloved father clipping the hedges. I am walking around in my little stroller, at about a year old. I think that this was an important era when my dad and I spiritually bonded.
When I look back, over the years, I think that hedges played an important role in my relationship with my dad. When I was about three years old, we moved to Madeline Avenue in Clifton. Then, when I was six years old, we moved into the old Mabey Homestead in Lincoln Park. The funny thing is that all three of these homes had hedges in the front yards.
I think I was about seven years old, when I first began helping my dad clip the hedges in the front yard of the old Mabey Homestead. I remember it made me feel like quite the big shot, to help my dad clip the hedges. I think that it was ingrained in the marrow of my being, knowing how to clip the hedges so that they were all perfectly straight and even. For I had been watching my dad trim the hedges from the time I was a year old.
This is kind of strange. We have a long row of hedges on the side of our home, here in Gated Community Land in Florida. It is almost eerie. Whenever I trim the long row of hedges now, I get a bit sentimental and miss my dad. It wasn’t until I took the time today, to study these two old black and white photographs, that I realized why.
Often times, what builds a spiritual bond between people is not to be found within the sacred walls of a church or temple. Sometimes, Divine Spirit bonds people, using the most mundane and ordinary aspects of daily life. From washing dishes to cooking a meal to trimming the hedges; we often form the bonds of love and respect in ordinary moments of life.
My dad went Home to be with the Lord in May of 2006. I still deeply mourn for my dad. I loved him very much. He taught me so very much. He helped me build a spectacular three-tier tree fort. He helped me buy my first car, a luxurious eleven-year-old Ford Falcon. He taught me how to tie knots, to use a compass, to build a fire without matches, and to walk the Appalachian Trail being ever mindful of rattle snakes. Dad taught me First-Aid skills. He taught me to loved and respect nature and all living things. Oh, how dearly do I miss my dad.
We are in the midst of this insane presidential election campaign. It’s rah-rah, win won for the Gipper, blame this one or that one, and pound on the podium for that dramatic effect. Despite it all, mostly all politicians are full of baloney. Here’s the real key to building a better life for yourself: love one another, truly respect each other, and spiritually bond with loved ones through the ordinary and mundane moments in life. For it’s simple but it’s true, love is the key to unlocking the door to the room of true happiness in life.