This getting older thing makes me contemplative. I have no real qualms about circling the sun annually which results in my aging. As my father would have said “It beats the alternative”. My mother would have liked the use of the word “qualms”, which is kind of a cool word and it’s fun to insert it into my writing, using it appropriately.
Two days ago, my FHB and I travelled south to visit our youngest who lives and goes to graduate school in Connecticut. We like to spend time with him, bring him food, both homemade (vegan chocolate chip cookies) and store bought (bagels) and take him out for a good meal. He chooses, we bring a credit card (one that accumulates travel points) and it all works out well. Since he is studying to be a nurse practitioner, he is more aware of us aging and worrying about us and our health. It’s a nice worry, although he tends to get over zealous and offer a myriad of advice, on so many relevant topics including diet, stress, and whether we have thought of an advance directive (quite possibly one of those stress enhancers in and of itself), not that the concept hasn’t crossed our minds without his encouragement. We know it comes from a place of goodness, kindness and a worry that we are, in the words of my dearly departed mother, going to “croak” sometime soon. If you think about your getting older, factor in that your adult children are standing metaphorically directly behind you ready to catch you, and make sure you don’t leave prematurely. The double edged sword. I am sure, and I know, that I was in the same position at a similar point in life. Yet, here we are fast forwarding ourselves, feeling like those days circling the sun are happening at breakneck speed.
On our way back home, yesterday, I indelicately asked my husband, whether this year had been the fiftieth anniversary of his high school graduation. He was driving at the time and I saw him grip the steering wheel especially tight, and I felt my neck tighten simultaneously. Oh those innocent comments. I was, however, correct in my calculations. We both acknowledged that it seems absolutely incredible that fifty years just shot by. Since I am younger by a few years, I have that to look forward to and I hope to do that.
Yesterday morning, I woke up in our hotel room around seven a.m. and our room faced east. I pulled back the drapes and saw the most magnificent sunrise that you see above. I woke my FHB to come and stand and watch the day begin. I took a few pictures and we saw the silhoulette of a large flock of birds with the sunrise as a backdrop. Our loft apartment faces the west so we get the other end of the day, so this was an especially lovely treat.
When I was a little girl, many sunrises ago, I liked to skip down the street. I was neither graceful, nor coordinated, so it was probably not a particularly appealing sight to behold. I am sure I fell and skinned my knees more times than not, but it didn’t stop me from doing it again. When I was a teenager, my history honor society group took a day trip from New York to Washington D.C. We were, as it was a different time, in so many ways, able to stop the tour bus directly in front of the White House. There were no barriers and we were welcomed off the bus. I was so taken by this beautiful building that I missed the last step off the bus, fell out the door and skinned both knees. The White House security guards took me into their little booth, gave me bandaids and I was good to go and grateful. I was a skip and trip kind of kid.
When we left the hotel yesterday to check out, the hallway outside our room was long and inviting. I felt like skipping and I realized that I actually hadn’t done that in a very long time, and wasn’t sure how to start again. I stopped and paused. I imagined my little girl “skip and trip” self, and visualized a moment in the past, in the moment now. I carried my overnight bag and walked down the hall. I remembered that I had just seen a sunrise. Contentment…