May 7, 2008 at 10:19 AMEnd of the year recitals come every year, just like birthdays and spring breakup. Each year, I take a deep breath before addressing my audience that’s gathered in the church pews, checking off the familiar faces and noting a couple of new ones. Then, I watch each of my students display what they learned this year.
Afterward, the parents mingle and talk. “We didn’t bring a camera this time. What’s there to take a picture of, anyway? Same photo as last year and the year before.” They laugh, and in return I cock my head with a furrowed brow.
Same? No, I don’t think so. Every year, you could try your best to set up the same photo, but you would only display how things have changed. Line up the people, and you will notice right away the changing fashions, the different hair lengths, maybe a new wrinkle or two, or a pound or two. End of the year recitals are for showing change, not similarity.
I gained another year on May 5th. I try my best not to observe the changes that have taken place on my body over the past year, but I can’t help but sneak back to the closet to try on those pale green pants that are three years old. I look at my reflection in the mirror just to see how they fit. Not bad, not bad--but I think it’s time to move onto a new pair of pants.
But we’ve been waiting for change, haven’t we? We go out every day and glance at the lake to see if it’s finally open. Has the ice gone out? It’s late again this year, isn’t it? I look back through the dates on my photos to compare today with past springs, to see how our progress measures. Johnson lake is thawed at last, so ours is soon to follow.
Then we drive out to the Kasilof river to marvel at the ice that still lies on the shore. Was it like this last year? Remember when you caught that king salmon on May 6th that one year? Now look at the ice, and the quiet river and the lack of fishermen.
There's signs of spring if you look, though. I went to my garden to check. The columbines I planted last year chose to make a return and save me the trouble of planting another row. I stoop down to take a peek at the fresh, tight folds that prepare to replace the musty brown stalks. You’re the same flower from last year, aren’t you? You’ve just been hiding down below, waiting out the weather until it favors your fancy. I’m glad you came back to see me again.
Now I’ll settle down at the coffee shop to try out a present that I received by mail. A fellow v.com member sent me some hand spun balls of yarn and a pair of handmade needles–-happy birthday to me! I plan on making her a hat and mailing it back to her, but first I have to get gauge to see how the stitches will add up. Every ball knits up a little different, you know.
Wait, that would make me.. never mind. That's not as funny as I hoped.
Happy **th birthday!
I love your life. May you have SO MANY more years of it! :-)
Sorry I missed your 63rd? b'day. WOW you look fantastic for that age of decrepitude. (You shouldn't leave blanks where numbers are to be inserted — far to dangerous, but at least you didn't leave 3 ***s:-)
Beautiful blog and God bless,
The body ages like a vehicle. The spirit ages like wine. The soul doesn't age at all.
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