For years I’ve told people: “The last time I looked, I was 25.” Guess I haven’t been looking too often.
My wee backyard slopes up to a farmer’s field. A couple of weeks ago, huge machines came by and hustled the crop of winter wheat off the earth. I had enjoyed the waving strands and was feeling a little naked about it all.
Offending my sense of the flow of land was a border between grass and stubble: two feet of eighteen-inch-tall weeds. Although cute white butterflies often floated over the fifty-foot length, I decided that action was required. “I’ll chop ’em down!”
Lacking a shovel in my relatively new condo life (each of us has a separate building), I borrowed one from my always helpful neighbour. Two days ago, I set to the task. Moderate morning temperature, lots of sun, lots of water, and a sweatband adorning my forehead. “I can do this.”
Being a relatively intelligent person, I got the hose out for plenteous watering. “Look at how I’m softening the soil. This is easy.” Indeed, the shovel found its mark with aplomb, over and over again. But there were so many overs and overs, and my breaks in the shade gradually grew. Fifty feet looked like a marathon.
But I did it! In a tidy three hours. I had visions of bagging the resulting greens shortly thereafter, but my breathing was a mite heavy, as were my legs. “Tomorrow.”
Early afternoon I pulled the covers up to my chin and snoozed for an hour. Then a ninety-minute Zoom call with the Evolutionary Collective. After that, I contemplated some meditation, maybe reading some more of Stephen King’s The Stand. The answer to both came back clearly … “No.” I was dull of body and spirit.
Yesterday morning dawned as a perfect bagging day … not too hot, and ripe with the thrill of accomplishment. I started bending over to pick up the branches, the roots and the dirt. I enlisted a dolly to transport each full bag to the side of the house. “See how I’m saving energy? What a good boy am I!”
I lasted eight bags full, a task which somehow took almost two hours. “Hmm. Thought I’d last longer than this. Oh well. I’ll call it a morning.” And so to bed … for more than two hours. Then another Zoom call. In the evening, I watched Alice In Wonderland but I could barely keep my eyes open for her return up the rabbit hole.
Nine hours later, I awoke. As far as I can recollect, that was this morning. Everything in the lower half ached. Basic bathroom tasks were problematic. Walking was a pale version of Bruceness. The eyes appeared to be laden with lead weights.
Essentially I’ve stumbled through my day with scarcely a glance towards the backyard. My bed welcomed me for yet another two hours. Is this my future – professional napping? And another question … how exactly have I been able to gather mind and body sufficiently to write this post? Must be divine intervention.
Back to the original question. 25 or 71? Well, right now it feels more like 93.
Could it be that I’m aging?
Could it be that this is just fine?
Yes, that certainly could be
Take kindly the counsel of the years
Gracefully surrendering the things of youth