Having New Eyes

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 6:05 pm

Having New Eyes

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

We’re all taking the same journey. We pack daily suitcases when we are mindful of our experiences.
Each night I unpack and review with gratitude the day’s happenings. I have suitcases for family and friends, and a large one for my lifetime.
Being 75 years old surprises me. I don’t know how I got here. I was 10 just yesterday, and, at that age, I had no desire or plan to be old. Now I smile at my ten-year-old self, tell her how young I feel, and that I’m happier than ever.
The 70s are my favorite decade. The angst of youth has resolved and seeing the end of the road encourages me to treasure every moment, and take time for meditation and silence. The miracle of being alive, of having a mind and senses, of sharing this journey with loved ones, brings immense gratitude and this poem:

The Trip
I pack my suitcase,
each day adding more:
cloud blouses, sky skirts,
and a wind scarf carefully tucked
among pear trees and song sparrows.
Beside my daughter’s buoyant spirit and her tears,
I position my son’s pragmatism and heart.
I place Morning Man,
my rise and shine guy who adores me,
next to Evening Man who naps before bedtime.
I take Anne’s listening, Coco’s stories,
Joan’s laugh and Eve’s wonder.
At Costco, I toss in the little boy
sprawled on a couch,
and the old woman serving pita pieces.
And I’m in there at age four
bouncing on my parents’ bed,
at twelve finding I could flirt,
at nineteen holding my baby,
at thirty-four launching a forty-year marriage.
I see myself in the mirror,
study the me I’ve become,
then peel my reflection,
fold it, lay it on top,
and close the suitcase.

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is a poet and a retired psychologist who volunteers at Hospice of San Luis Obispo doing bereavement counseling. She began writing poetry at age 68 and has published two books, Biting the Apple and Marriage and Other Leaps of Faith.

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