“ME…IN THE AGING MIRROR…”

mirror1Over the last few years I’ve been on a hell-of-a-ride that, by a whisker, I live to tell their tale. The reason I begin my blog this way is to inform that not even the word grateful depicts how I feel to be alive: in the truest sense of that word—living. In the before I was appreciative; now I know life to be in the hands of each moment. Sure, I still plan and anticipate and hope because, well because I’m here. Yet, the feelings behind the words hell-of-a-ride are still brittle. When they strengthen I’ll tell their story.

Today follow me into the Aging Mirror… At my age I tend not to look into any mirror, let alone one with the word aging in it. But in spite of this confession, stick with me because I have a feeling we will both learn something. First I must set the stage for my mirror: Father Time and Circumstances. The Supporting Actors: experience, knowledge, right place/wrong time, troubles, second chances and intentions.

My childhood: Italian Father/English Mother and the associated forty-two first cousins may make clear my mad desire to record/write/blog whatever I observed or experienced. My first writings are in a red plastic diary with a small silver key and today books and blogs and life stories. When young I took no notice of time fleeting. But these days I ask Mother Earth to slow the milliseconds without upsetting gravity.

As to looking into the aging mirror these days; well that is a Horse of a Different Color. As Dorothy discovered in the Wizard of Oz she’d had the choice to return to Kansa all along; just a click of her Ruby Red Slippers. The analogy here for me is that when I look into the aging mirror these days I too have an option. I can choose to look away from what time has created or I can look with admiration at the woman I’ve fought to become. It isn’t what I see in the mirror—it is instead what is reflected back.

“THE ROADS AHEAD & BEHIND…”

Signpost of TimeIs it Road 52-C in rural Iowa covered in rust-red powdery earth that billows from beneath a dented fender on farmer Abel’s truck as he drives to his corn fields?

Or a snowbound road in Bismarck, North Dakota—closed! January had waited, impatiently, for the first Canadian cold front of the season to take shape. When it did, She blew hard southward; satisfied.

Some roads are soothing, like the steady flowing motion of the Volga River where on-shore Russian hawkers, male, display their wares. Wooden stall after stall and the word nyet (Нет) hovering above the din.

There was a narrow dirt road we parked alongside so long ago. It was there my English grandmother, dressed all in black, her starched white apron blowing in the wind, waited to embrace my childhood.  

The learning-a-lesson road can be immediate or painfully long; velvety smooth or rough with jagged peril.

Maybe there’s a favorite road you drive down: the first time by accident. The second time; intentional. Something draws you even if you can’t identify it.

The Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz was wrought with flying monkeys; the Horse of a Different Color; a Wizard; Scarecrow; Tin Man; Lion, and Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers. Lest we forget: the Good and Wicked Witches and the Munchkins. Dorothy’s Toll Road taught her it wasn’t her ruby slippers that held the power of place. It was her intent to be there that always led directly home.

Our roads were set in motion by those who came before us. The path they honed imprinted our destiny; not predestined it. The power of place, like Dorothy discovered, is within our reach. It all depends on the roads we choose!