It is one of those dark, dreary November days. I am standing on patio stones overlooking Judge Park: just thinking. I am thinking of the swift passage of time which, in reality, has a measured cadence of its own. It’s measured in years, months, weeks and days. It is grouped into the four seasons. However, I am also very aware that at no time does the tempo increase. Today, it is common to hear senior citizens refer to time as passing swiftly. They say it with conviction. How often do we pause to reflect that the swiftness conjured is merely because our time of departure is rapidly approaching? Cheerful thoughts? Just thinking.
I am thinking also of the twilight hours of last evening. Still my mind’s imprint echoes the excitement and laughter that rose from the children at the nearby playground. As they joyfully raced about, oblivious to all but the precious moments that were left of play, they were in their own bubble just as I was then in mine: just thinking.
I was just thinking, too, of the time that I gathered with playmates to laugh and shout away the twilight hours before being called into the house to get ready for bed. How precious were those days when we were all oblivious to the passing of time. There were no concerns with the accumulation of material possessions, of style, of making a good impression or of disguising our transgressions. We can never go back to resurrect that time of innocence, to be ‘in the moment,’ to be with others shouting out with joy those simple things that have since diminished.
That’s when a light went on. If I couldn’t bring back the childhood spontaneity, why not begin this precious day by saying a cheerful word to others whom I meet? A cheerful word, a wave, a smile … just thinking. Today, I could bring that ‘joie de vivre’ to all, wherever my footsteps take me: inhale the fresh air, appreciate the trees, the rocks, the earth and the sky above it. Relish the smiling faces and the words of those around me.
Yes, and to consolidate it all by putting pen to paper, I’m writing a few verses to summarize my thoughts.
Thank you to my daughter Christine for her revision to the poem.
Darkness fades to pale grey of morning
Before sunrise, long shadows are cast
Thoughts fade as eyelids are closing
Dreams take me to some other past.
A family gathered around a table
Each voice with a story to tell
Until food is brought to the table
After prayer and laughter, all’s well.
Morning sun beams through a window
Rays through the curtains now trace
A figure of one doing stretches
Then splashing cold water on face.
On the journey, we have our stories
Flaunt successes along life’s race
While smiles disguise our transgressions
That are written all over our face.