Today I turned 65. SIXTY-FIVE! I am now officially a senior citizen. A Medicare recipient. An over-the-hillster. And you know what? I embrace it! To celebrate my birthday, I enjoyed a 4.4 mile Walk & Write session.
I hiked on the North Country Trail, a section I only did once before from Mancelona Road to Sand Lake and back. There aren’t any dramatic landscapes to be seen here. No spring wildflowers to speak of yet. No rivers or historical sights. No mountains. Nothing profound.
Yes, my hike did end up on Sand Lake, a small and quiet inland lake with no cabins surrounding it. But that was the biggest feature to be seen. It was a gray day and the transitional season of Win-Spring offered little color to brighten my birthday. Still, I embraced it!
I paused at the lake to do my Walk & Write and decided the best words to sum up the mood of this day is Silver-Gray. The sky, the water, the big rocks along the shore, my 65-year-old hairline at the temples. Silver-Gray.
There was no need to pull out the cushion from my backpack to sit down and write. There were several large rocks to choose from and one fit my tush perfectly. When I gazed down at its surface I saw a fossilized village preserved beneath me. Sometimes the profound is lying at your feet, or in this case under my butt.
I can’t even image what creature or plant may have produced this work of art. Was it a jellyfish? a giant leaf imprint? An alien creature from another world? I wondered how old it might be? Much older than this birthday girl!
I later stumbled upon the skeleton of a beech leaf and it too appeared silver-gray. Many of the fallen beech leaves were still intact, leathery brown in tone, with some still hanging on ferociously to the trees. So, why was this little guy lying on the ground like ancient bones? Had it fallen on mud would it one day become a fossil too? What is it about chance? About universal selection? About fate? I sometimes ponder these things when hiking in the woods alone.
Yes, I am now 65. My bones are not brittle. I can still hike these woods. I am not a fossil yet.
Haiku composed from this day’s Walk and Write:
Skeletal leaf veins
brittle, frail, upon the ground
new grass brings comfort.
May you find comfort in the less profound. Embrace life!