While waiting to hear from an ophthalmologist about a cataract. (08.11.23)
Thank you for reminders of age that let me know life
has beginnings and endings I cannot control.
Thank you for the frustration of fatigue that says
I need to let others share in the vocation of well-doing.
Thank you for those occasional glitches in memory
that push me to trust you as the One for whom I live
“in remembrance of.”
Thank you for aches and bruises that take just that
little bit longer to heal, and so remind me the physical
self is a gift from you which requires patience and well-tending.
Thank you for wisdom that comes with age, though at time
that same wisdom so hard-earned can prompt regret
for past thought and action.
Thank you for insight into what life was like for those who
have gone before me in the graduating classes of life,
who have taught me by example that aging takes courage I
had not understood as you witness the world you have known
and those you have treasured fade away, disappear.
Thank you for the inner self that, for some, never ages;
for the gift of flexible thinking and self-understanding that does
not abandon youthful hopes or impatience with how life should be;
the inner self surprised by glances in the mirror that stop us short
and make us ask, perhaps in wonder: “just who is that old person.”
Thank you for companions here and among the cloud of witnesses
as we cheer each other on, rejoicing and weeping
in time with our seasoning.
Thank you, too, for aging that grows us up at last to embrace
what it means to let go of ego, pride, resistance, and unfaith,
to trust-fall as beloved children into the arms of the One
who transcends aging and all our infirmity.
See you soon (but not too soon :)
-Bob Guffey (August 11, 2023)
(bguffey, Traveler's Rest, SC, 2015)