Sometimes, when it’s dark
and extremely cold,
you can go outside
into the wash of crystal clean mystery,
of frigid stillness soundlessly
covering your world,
perhaps luck will let you discover
the delicate beauty of freshly falling flakes
of glimmering clean dry ivory snow
seen by streetlights slowly drifting,
like tiny feathers floating down
to find fellows resting
on the ground or drifting
onto your warm hand,
there to melt and vanish,
or you may scoop some up
and with the soft warm vapor of your breath
gently sending angels
of transparent virgin weightless grains
of magic floating freely through
the colorless clean comfort of night.
Look both ways, up and down, mindful of gaps unseen.
Today I am supposed to celebrate surviving three years into my seventh decade. I am glad to be alive. But such luck is a banal accomplishment, since each day when I wake up not dead (yet), I know I did nothing to deserve the pleasure of such a long and mostly good life. I may have stopped smoking 20 years ago, but I didn’t for the 30 before that. I spent thousands of hours throwing my body along faster than any bird can fly. I never crashed. Many did. I was lucky.
Today I meet the threshold of my end times. Will I survive one more year like my father? Four more like Mom? Less, like my sister, cousin, grandfathers, or grandmums? Today I will stop counting up and start counting down. Ten more? Twenty? And my health? Status quo would be a wonderful thing – but it will get worse – it’s a reality everyone dislikes (including me).
Ten years ago, I ran 20 miles of 26.2-mile marathons (walked the other six). Five years ago, I walked briskly for 13 miles on Saturday mornings until one day my body said, we need to rest. I sat on a bench and I wondered what it was – it was my now well-stented heart.
Nowadays, because low blood flow reduces needed oxygen and other stuff in blood from my leg muscles, I manage a quarter mile without a bench or a tree trunk or wall to sit on. A two and a half to three-mile walk is a big day, and I find tired and sore invades me as my body recovers.
It’s morning. I’m here and you are too. Now what? Wanna go for a walk?
Look both ways with contemplative wonder for life and its privileges.
Mind the gaps but live in the moment.