Now … Then

I watch people.  It’s a fine hobby.  And many of the folks are old.

They may have a cane, or even a walker.  Perhaps they’re stooped over.  Unsteady on their feet.  Wary of the cobblestone surprises.

They go on slowly.  They find benches for rest.  They allow far more walking time than Google Maps suggests.

Their skin sags.  There are drooping lines beside the mouth.  Under the eyes is a riot of folds and blemishes.  Some, such as a certain Canadian I know, have a generous fold of skin beneath the chin, available for future cosmetic improvements.

For men, the V-shaped body of youth has graciously morphed into a U.  The flat belly is now nicely rounded.  For women, the perky breasts of yesteryear now fall gently towards the earth.


Of course there was a time when Hollywood beauty may have shone from the face.  High cheekbones, unbroken expanses of soft skin, eyes that required no makeup.

Muscles were sleek and strong.  Maybe the body was tanned … not too much, not too little.  Movements were easy and flowing.  Being young spoke clearly.


Now the questions are for me …

Do I have eyes to see beyond the decline of age?

Can my eyes look deeply into theirs, showing me the eternal human being?

Do I truly get that youth is in the smile?

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