When you live with someone every day you don’t notice the changes. Their size… their age. Only when reunited after a long separation does one exclaim “my, how you’ve grown”, or silently whisper to one’s spouse, “Man, he’s gotten old”.
Today it’s the beach that is whispering it’s shock at the number of years that have gone by.
My family never travelled, too many kids and too little money for that. Our one yearly trip was to a neighbor’s cabin, The Gitchee-Gummee, it was called, the spelling here totally invented as the passing years have made my memory feeble. Which is the point of all this. I watch the families go by and I see me.. or rather, I remember me. The running children… their parents… the young lovers. We are one, we are the same, separated only by time and the minor details of life.
Now my wife, Karen, and I are that oldder couple watching from the sidelines. Kids and kites and sandcastles. Dads being kids again as they help with the moats and turrets or untangle kite lines. I remember them, watching, remembering. Now and then one of them, greyhaired and pale, takes a desperate grasp at the past and tries to fly a kit. His wife watches without interest. It doesn’t work.. the kite or the attempt to live it again.
There are the young couples passing by, either over-sexed or fighting because they aren’t.
Now it’s me, sitting here quiet… older… remembering.
It’s bittersweet but it is not sad. So many memories, mostly of everyone at their best. My father isn’t hitting me, my mother isn’t drunk. There are no fights or crying. Simply smiles, laughter… my parent’s, my brother and sisters at their happiest.
Like me. Now. Today is good… mostly. I can hear the shocked whispers of how old I’ve become in the wind and waves, but it’s good. Life is good. I am here. And that is a wonderful gift.
Originally posted 2011-09-11 08:50:30.