Grenada

Some might find it curious that on the thirty year anniversary of the day I was wounded in action that I would long to be back in the one place that it all ended and began for me:

Grenada.

I have always believed that the universe holds its breath when we mortals come to the crossroads of life-changing events. Enter one door, and the force of creation lets out a sigh of relief–choose the other, and, angels weep. I also believe that some doors we enter are not by the gentle knocking and turning of handles. Some doors we enter crashing through in an explosion of chaos and splinters. Upon entering we are given one question to answer:

“What are you going to do now?”

How you answer this each and every day determines what kind of life you lead.

Robert Ruark, is one of my favorite authors. In the second chapter of his book, “Horn of the Hunter,” he muses that his soul has forever been catching up to his heart because of his travels. I believe that this is something that anyone who has ever been seriously wounded in combat can relate to. Combat has the capability to disintegrate bodies into unrecognizable fragments. I also believe that it is also responsible for fragmenting souls.

Thirty years of trying to piece my fragmented soul back together again has taught me that I can never tell just where one of those disembodied pieces will show up.

I found a piece of it on the green grass of Arlington National Cemetery when I visited the gravesite of Sergeant Sean Luketina on the ten year anniversary of his death. I don’t have answers to the riddles of fortune and luck. Nor, can I answer why good men die too young. I do know like Ruark that, “If they keep exposing you to education, you might even realize some day that man becomes immortal only in what he writes on paper, or hacks into rock, or slabbers onto a canvas, or pulls out of a piano.” ( Robert Ruark,   The Old Man and the Boy).

So it is left for survivors to tell the tale.

Where was I? Oh yes! Let me continue.

One week on the San Juan River in North Western New Mexico is where the trout led me to another piece of my soul.

I had to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 1997 to find a missing piece in Cardiff, Wales where I met my wife, Ginny. When our daughter Lucienne was born in 2002, I found yet another.

The pieces are never found where you are looking. They sort of descend upon you like loving-kindness. They reside in ordinary things and hide in extraordinary ways. Always, I have been aware of one indisputable fact:

The greater sum of my soul has remained in the verdant hills of that island–merged with the soul of a nation freed. Carried on the tropical scented breeze, down to the achingly white beaches to the sea.

It calls to me…..

I am forever haunted.