Spring arrives in a symphony of fluttering wings as honking geese settle on the river’s surface where water has broken free of winter’s icy grip.
Like soldiers marching along the border between neighbouring lands, geese goose-step in a line along icy banks patrolling their turf against invaders. Suddenly, a new gander arrives, and a flurry of flapping, hissing and honking erupts as they battle it out only to subside in the recognition that they are friends, not foes along the water’s edge.
Days are longer. Sun feels brighter and hope of warmer days begins to blossom.
Like the squirrels coming out of hibernation and scurrying along naked branches, leaping from one outstretched tree limb to another, a vagrant thought skitters through my mind.
“This is my last spring of 69,”
As quickly as the thought erupts it rushes off in pursuit of happier climes.
But seriously? My last spring of 69?
What does that mean? Why is it important? Do I care?
The answers are ambiguous.
It doesn’t mean anything in particular. It means a lot. It means what I put into it and whatever I invest into it will create its import, or not.
Do I care?
I suppose if the thought fluttered into my mind with the fury of a goose’s wings breaking its speed as it lands on water, I suppose the answer is, I must care. Somewhere in me, I must care about turning 70 come December.
Watershed moments amidst spring ice cracking up.
It has always been this way for me. Decade markers loom large, whether 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and now, the upcoming 70.
It isn’t that I’m scared or anxious. It is that decade markers open up brave space to explore the question, “Where am I at on this life journey of mine? Am I letting fear drive me away from my dreams or am I calling upon courage to draw me out into living my all fearlessly invested in making this one life of mine a journey of Love?”
And perhaps, the harder question still, as the numbers climb up and the litany of things I used to do grows longer, “Am I still dreaming of new experiences, new adventures? Am I still propelling myself away from comfort zones and limited thinking into the wide-open spaces of possibility where I see this life of mine as a grand adventure full of magic, mystery and wonder?”
It is the alchemy of time.
We begin not knowing there is an ending and grow wiser in our understanding of time and life’s limited number of heartbeats with each journey we take around the sun. Whether we see time as scarce or abundant, speeding or dragging, standing still or running out, the seasons continue to change and the earth to orbit the sun no matter the decade, or times, of our life.
It is the first day of spring. The geese are returning filling the air with a cacophony of sound heralding their arrival. Slowly, river ice is breaking up, the trees are shaking-off winter’s inertia and the promise of new buds and life surrounds me.
It is my last spring of 69. My only one at this particular number in fact. But who’s counting?
What’s most important is not the number of springs I embrace as I shed my winter coat to stretch my arms wide in anticipation of warmer days to come. It’s how committed I am to live fully engaged in life, investing all my joy, passion, and heart into each new day I am privileged to greet.
It is my last spring of 69. Let me make it count, not by its number but by how I live it up for all I’m worth. ‘Cause that’s a lot!.