I was turning 60. It had been a terribly difficult five years. I had felt the wings of the dark angel gently brush across my face. You know death is close when the dark angel does not frighten you but seems more like a friend, come to comfort you in a difficult time.
I’d pulled back from that edge. I’d had a vision telling me to live and I did. I do.
It was less than a year later when my personal calendar flipped to 60. I could no longer pretend at youth. Sixty, is not so old, but it assuredly is not young.
Nor is it middle age. Sixty is the leading edge of years termed golden — a cynical stab at making a sow’s ear into a silk purse. The downward slope of life’s mountain is perilous. Sharp turns, unexpected twists, unseen hazards blocking the path. They poke and hurt.
Friends depart or are too tired to want to be social. They move to far away places you cannot visit. You lose your will to battle airports and security. Your passion for travel no longer burns hot. Email and telephones, but it’s hard to hear on phones and even email messages are more succinct.
When I turned 60, my husband colluded with family to throw me a party. This was no easy feat as the pool of friends had so greatly diminished, yet somehow, he did it. I saw faces I loved, hadn’t seen in a long time, and some I’d never see again, though I didn’t know it at the time.
There were friends from every place in my world … family I would never see again. It would be the last time my brother would visit because in a year, he would be gone. I look at the pictures and probably 40% of those guests have moved on to another place, hopefully a good one. The gathering was a great though bittersweet gift.
Life goes on. Good times never end. Always, there are days of laughter but softly, softly there is the ticking of the Big Clock. We don’t miss chances to visit, moments to share.
We live in the now, fully for it will not come round again this turn of the wheel.
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