For Annesley

This is actually part of a story I told before, but it has evolved, so I’m telling it anew.

I remember a day in 1976 when I went with my housemates to Sandia Peak
Outside of Albuquerque.
I had an apple that tasted like cotton candy, and I had sipped water
From a natural spring that was almost as sweet.
I was leaning against a giant boulder, basking in the New Mexico sun.
Someone snapped a photo.
It was such a powerful shot that it crystallized the age.
Suddenly and forever sixteen would mean sun, water and sweet apple.
Now it seems that sixty is the new sixteen.
The things that satisfy me the most
are opportunities to relieve suffering,
even when that means I have to look darkness in the face and not look away,
especially when it’s my own face I see.
To share the delight of discovery with a child, and become young again through play,
to watch her face light up at the sight of a tall stand of wild grass that has gone to seed,
to marvel at the feathery tops swaying in a brisk summer breeze,
these are the things that satisfy me.
Unlike a captured, snapshot of bliss,
where goodness was locked into a place and time, sixty is open ended.
My whole life stretches out before me,
radiant beams of possibility
in rich shades of light and dark as far as my eyes can see.

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