I am in the best shape I have ever been, am healthy and, it seems, according to one source, too old. One of my favorite lines in music comes from “Poems, Prayers and Promises” by John Denver.
Still I have to smile
It turns me on to think of growing old
For though my life's been good to me
There's still so much to do
On a ride today to South Florida. Ft. Lauderdale. My son opted to go along. I did not ask but he offered and I was glad for the company.
I grabbed a disk of music titled Sing-a-longs I had made a few months ago. We were on our way.
Against the bright sun I put on a pair of Solar Shields, wraparound polarized lenses since, in the car, out of direct sun, Transition lenses do not live up to their name and become all noun and no verb.
Alek will soon be fifteen. In one month. His sister will be twenty-one soon thereafter. I was there when they were born. It was yesterday. This has all been said before and it is what parents go through. This is nothing new.
The disk played. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. I sing to nearly everything. I did not make it through as a lump formed in my throat, pressing against my voice, down and down. It was the live version and Stevie Nicks dedicated it to her father. I was glad for my sunglasses as my eyes began, slightly, to moisten.
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
I don't know.....I don't know
Well I've been afraid of changin'because I've built my life around
But time makes you bolder, even children get older
And I'm getting older too....
Next came “Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell.
And the Circles, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in a circle game.
I was a gonner. The lump threatened to take over possession of the entire upper half of my body and my dark glasses now hid tears.
So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There'll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.
We were on our way to visit my father. He has been spending time with his parents. His mother does not remember him and his father needs some relief. Four generations and the Great-grandmother is the child again. The Great-grandfather consoled by his son, the son’s mind moved from his worries by his son and my son keeping me company so, after all is said and the doors are closed and we are on the North road again, he can tell me it’s ok.
As we return, Katell Keinig sings:
Lay me down in a wooded field
Plant a bush above my head
Lay me, lay me down
Don't go writing on my grave
I'll have it said it all before the end
Lay me, lay me down.
And when we're all dead
They won't philosophize
Or feel regret
They'll remember us when we said
We had one hell of a life.
The song ends and I turn the radio off. We talk and do our best to leave nothing unsaid. There is no time like now.