As another year comes to a close, I taste the tang of mortality on my tongue. Twinkling lights, candles, and gifts decorate the streets and homes, encouraging us to connect in the darkest time of the year. After feasts, celebrations, and New Year’s resolutions, it feels like the best time to be asking: Can I live better knowing I will die? And what does it mean to live?
When I was young, I remember my Bubby, my maternal grandmother, pulling her face back so the skin was taut and wrinkle free. We would laugh and laugh, and she engrained in me a lesson that I have integrated into my world: she told me how she earned every wrinkle, that each one told a story of her life. Seeing her face stretched back was hilariously ridiculous because it wasn’t her; it erased her character and the wisdom that she developed through experiencing every moment that lined her face.
Since those deep, belly shaking laughing lessons, I often picture myself as an old woman. In a moment where I need to make a decision, sometimes small, but always important, I transport my mind to my future ancient self. I have thin white hair, frail skin, and very little physical strength as I lie on my death bed, reflecting on my life. Will I regret my choice? Or will I be relieved that I tried, even if it didn’t work out.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. But I can decide, every day, to live life to the fullest.
Looking Through Time
Through my dying eyes,
I look back at my life.
I recall the moment
my body is presently in.
My body is here,
But my eyes are there.
Nearly a century from now
They are reflecting on a life well lived.
On the beauty and pain
That accompanies the existence of
Walking the earth.
My eyes see
with a wisdom I do not yet have.
My eyes know
With the experience of age yet to be gained.
How did I fare in my current situation?
How did I respond to my life’s questions?
Do my eyes see regret that I did not follow my heart?
Do my eyes see sorrow for words misspoken?
If so, there is still time.
Time to travel back to where I am now,
And gift myself with these eyes
That have seen so much.
What do you see? Would love your perspective, leave me a comment.
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