Every year on January 30
I smile at the notion that I have
gained a half a year,
remembering when I lorded
those six months over my sister,
felt superior to younger classmates,
looked eagerly toward gaining the next
digit at the end of July, when—lucky me—
there would be a party that often involved
hopping the fence across the street,
making our way down the hilly path
to swim in the lake.
And now, halfway through my 61st year,
I understand what my elders moaned
about in my youth: that years grow wings
and do, indeed, fly, that we pick up speed
on the roller coaster of life, that we
look back and wonder where it all went,
wish we could restart and truly enjoy
the ride, return to languorous days
at the lake with our friends, then—
damp towels slung over shoulders
that had no glimmer yet of the burdens
they would one day carry—
head back up the dusty trail toward home
where a cake and presents, and, it turned out,
the rest of our lives, awaited.
Thanks to Antsy McClain for the inspiration.
Well said, Jan. Wait ‘til you get a bit older and they’ll fly by even faster. It’s amazing that we’re done with January 2020 already.
Sent from my iPad