The blog and I have been on hiatus, that annual gap in May between the submission of Spring grades and the hectic end-of-month crowding of two insistently-special Occasions: our anniversary (we’re now well into our third decade, my Better Half and I) and Younger Daughter’s birthday. As for the latter, it’s a big one: she’ll now be legal to solo behind the wheel. Yikes!
So there’s no denying, time’s marching on. Maybe that’s why I find myself strolling again with former poet laureate Donald Hall. His Essays After Eighty are an inspiration and a caution, beginning with the New Yorker essay I noted awhile back in which he gazes contentedly from a treasured ancestral perch in New Hampshire. “I sit in my blue armchair looking out the window. I am eighty-three, I teeter when I walk, I no longer drive, I look out the window,” begins the widower Hall, appreciative spectator of birds and life.
I have decades to go before I catch the poet, I don’t think I teeter, I do still drive. I still have a wife to share our anniversary with.
But I won’t still be driving Younger Daughter to school every morning when it begins again, and that’s a bit saddening.
This, though, is a celebratory weekend. No time or place for sadness today. We’re all happy, in the blue armchair and out. We older birds still perch together. As an even older poet said, we have all the time we need to appreciate the gift of the present. Butterfly as role-model? We could do worse.
And oh, Younger Daughter, the places you’ll go!
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