I am not afraid of heights, except for that unsettled feeling I have on a bridge when I look down and wonder what it would be like to jump.
I am not that person who gets lost or turned around and can’t find their way out, although there are times I wonder why I am here.
I feel painful pressure in my ear, the kind associated with air flight, except I am firmly attached to the ground.
I stand up too fast and fall down, stand up, fall down again; I stay down, just for a while, so I can marvel at the spinning lights.
I remember when I knew the cause of this sensation; too many rides on the carousel, too many drinks at the party.
I refuse to succumb to the fear that every headache is caused by an undiagnosed brain tumour, but the germ of the idea, like a tumour still grows.
I feel old, and suffer the vertigo of age, unbalanced just a little by the journey to the tipping point between life and death.
I greet the warmth of spring with mixed blessings. Lengthening days speak of promise as winter melts away and temperatures rise to give me hope of birds and blooms. Can summer be far behind? But spring warmth is an illusion. Too quickly this fickle season rears its ugly head with a new kind of chill – one far crueler than winter’s cold – because it feels like betrayal.
At sunset the temperature dips. The melt water flowing in gutters and ditches and across sidewalks by day becomes an ice rink. An old woman slips, a broken hip, and we are visiting Grandma in the hospital.
The cruel mistress of spring holds as much promise of death as it does re-birth because new life cannot rise unless something has died to give it space. I take the inventory of winter kill, not in winter, but in spring. Despite the hope of spring’s renewal, I cannot help but mourn the things that did not – that could not – survive.
It is a function of age no doubt, that I mark each spring as one season closer to my own demise. I tread carefully across icy spring, like the old woman I never imagined I would become and assure myself that the cruel mistress will not take me this year.
I catch the sunrise unaware,
to weave the daylight without care,
and chase the sunset if I dare.
The Weeded Path
Tall grass collapsed under its own weight, twisted by wind and rain into giant whorls like cowlicks. Only weeds – thistle,dandelion, purple vetch – stand tall. I crush them with a careful boot placed against their sturdy stems to bend and break.
Behind me tiny orange butterflies flutter and recover, they alight scant moments after my passing. A path forged, until grass and weeds rise again to fill the gaps and obscure the footprints of my journey into sunset. I leave white sap bleeding in my wake.
Our lives are the instruments we play,
on strings drawn taut between sunrise and sunset.