#aging

66...AND HAPPY

I am 66 years old today and as I turn another page

I am happy for all life’s wonderful moments that help cushion my old age.

 

I’m happy for the love I’ve shared…all those rides on other people’s shoulders…

Isn’t it amazing how love has a way…of preventing getting older? 

 

I am happy for my family, my friends, the people who have helped to make me…me

and I’m happy for the childhood I’ve brought along with me.

 

I’m happy my brain can calculate how old I am…as I walk further down life’s path

and happier still my heart and my mind…were never very good at math.

 

Finally I’m happy knowing even though today I’m the oldest I have ever been

 

I am also now the youngest age I will ever be again!


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GETTING OLD

When his joints ached as he rose

he kicked the chair leg in despair.

He knows it is the fault of age…

 

but it’s easier to blame the chair.


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SOMEONE TO GROW YOUNG WITH

 

‘If you’re lucky you’ll find someone to grow older with’

as a young man he was told

instead he found someone to grow younger with

 

as both of them grew old.


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BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN

Yesterday when the old man looked out his window pane 

he saw children playing in the rain

 

running through the puddles in the street 

with no umbrellas…in their bare feet

 

and he harkened back to a time with pride 

when he was a child playing outside

 

a time he wished he could repeat.  

when imagination inspired his feet.

 

when he played and climbed and recited rhymes…

back when he had the indulgence of time.

 

as more drops fell upon his window pane 

he wondered, when was the last time he played in the rain?

 

watching the children as they crissed and crossed 

he wondered…at what point was his innocence lost?

 

then his inner voice said, “It isn’t gone.  

it’s there in the rain…out on the lawn.”

 

so he left the safety of his window pane, 

took off his shoes…and ran out in the rain.

 

and barefoot out there in the pouring rain 

he was reunited once again

 

with an innocence…he thought was lost…

as on the lawn he crissed and crossed…

 

as he ran through the puddles out in the street 

 

with no umbrella…in his bare feet.


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THE LITTLE DINOSAUR AND THE SLIDE

So we’re visiting this farm in the country as part of a farm tour

when we see this family with a little boy dressed as a dinosaur…

 

“What a lovely dinosaur you have!” we say to Mom and Dad.  

“He has grace and he has style.”

The Mom and Dad say thank you…and the dinosaur gives us a smile.

 

A little later we come upon the family again at a slide built into the ground,

where their little dinosaur is having a ball…running up and sliding down.

 

When he notices us watching he runs up and says, “This is really fun!”

“Are you going to do it. Wait! I know…Let me show you how it’s done.”

 

We watched the little dinosaur slide sitting down, laugh, get up and then

we watched him slide down on his tummy, jump back up and slide again.

 

When his demonstration was complete…when we learned all that we could learn

the little dinosaur smiled then turned to us…“OK, now it’s your turn.”

 

We didn’t think about our age…how we might injure ourselves or break our crowns.

We climbed to the top of that little hill and the both of us slid down.

 

We slid down fast landing hard in the dirt …but when all was said and done

We turned to that little dinosaur  and said, “You were right…that was really fun!”

 

When we looked back as we walked away that little dinosaur was still sliding

And I thought…How lucky we were that, for a moment, our worlds were coinciding.

 

And I wondered why that little dinosaur chose us to teach…

at that moment on this farm tour…

Perhaps he realized we were the same species…just two older dinosaurs…

 

Or was it when he saw us …he looked past our aging dinosaur skin…

past the scales and the wrinkles…and saw the children there within.

 

For whatever reason I’m glad he did…It was ‘really fun’ and what’s more

I’ve already decided for next year’s farm tour…

 

I’ll be going as a dinosaur.


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WRINKLES

In the book that is our life

where all lives intertwine

each day is written in our wrinkles…

they become our story lines.

 

Every person’s life is a little different

for we all have a different climb

Still…every memory we gather along the way

is a wrinkle etched in time.

 

So you might say our wrinkles are important…

They hold, for us, a special place…

By allowing the story of the life we are living

 

to be written on our face.


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THINGS I STILL REMEMBER

Deborah found the leftovers

(the ones I thought I stored in the fridge)

in a cabinet the other day

and we chuckled at my ‘senior moment’ as we threw them all away.

 

But it got me thinking…there was a time I remembered everything

a time when my memory was much stronger….

I knew getting old was inevitable…

I just thought it’d take a little longer.

 

I have forgotten where I put my glasses.

How did these keys get in this drawer?

I have forgotten, as I search for something, 

what the heck I’m searching for…

 

But just when I begin questioning 

if my memory is dwindling like a fire’s fading embers?

If at my age am I forgetting now

more things than I remember?

 

It is then I remember riding my bike as a child…

how Grandma’s death made me so sad…

It is then I remember splashing through puddles after a rain,

playing football with my dad.

 

It is then I remember friends from high school…

flying kites high in a summer breeze

It is then I remember trying to catch the falling leaves from Autumn 

as they cascaded from the trees.

 

It is then I remember moments with our children and grandchildren… 

yes, when I stop and think on it a while

there are so many moments I remember… 

so many memories that make me smile.

 

Sure, I might forget a few things every now and then…

and sometimes the storage of leftovers is misbegotten….

but I am blessed, in life, that I remember 

 

far more things than I’ve forgotten.


WRINKLES IN TIME

In that old photo…is that me?

I’d really like to know

I think it does resemble me

but that was long ago.

 

I was so young…this I avow.

Still creating my blueprints.

But I’m much older than that now…

A lot has happened since.

 

In that new photo…is that me?

So old…but looking gay

I’m pretty sure that man is me

at least that’s me…today

 

The first photo…of course that's me!

but you can barely see my joy

The second photo…also me…

and also that little boy.

 

I’m not sure how it came to be

I’m not sure how it can…

But on the path of destiny 

that boy became that man.

 

The man was not part of the boy

For that is nature’s plan

But you can see it in his joy…

the boy is in the man.

 

Life is a series of photos

and as we live and grow

one photo is but one photo

not the entire show.

 

The man is 65…that’s true

The boy is 17

But the story of the two of them

lies in all the photos in between.

 

And though time has added a few wrinkles

that cover up my face

the boy, his joy…his twinkle

 

time cannot erase.


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LIVING OUR CHILDHOOD

We are spending a week at a camp for adults…It’s a beautiful place to be.

Deborah’s taking Thai cooking…me….photography.

 

I heard a woman say this morning…it’s been a long time since they felt this good…

She though being here for a week is like reliving their childhood.

 

I don’t quite agree with her assessment…I think with each new sunset…each new dawn

The child we once were long ago may have changed but is never gone.

 

What if every day the me I am joins other past me’s in a giant reservoir?

What if we are continually synthesized into the people who we are?

 

In a way aren’t we constantly adding to ourselves--each day we just change the sum…

as we evolve from every person who we were, and are, into who we will become.

 

And although we may not ever again be that particular child...this one fact I know:

We awake each morning to embrace the wisps of that child from long ago.

 

Sure responsibilities and obligations may change life’s roller coaster ride

but we needn’t worry about that child...he has never left our side.

 

That child is still a part of Deborah…that child is still a part of me…

As she learns how to cook spicy Thai food…and I learn photography.

 

Yes, I’m proud to say our children never left us…and I doubt they ever would…

 

because for 65 years and counting now…we’ve been living our childhood.


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