I look at my hands. I see rough and weathered skin. I see fingers gnarled and twisted. I see fingernails chipped and bent. My hands, no longer young, no longer innocent with youth. Old hands speaking of my journey through life.
My life. So simple.
I was born to the land, to a mother and father also born to the land. My parents imbued me with their wisdom and respect for the natural rhythms held in the ebb and flow of the seasons. I live each day in harmony, feeling the pulse of my world, connected to all defining me.
Inside this moment’s thought, I place my roughened hand upon my cheek and feel it transform into the silky smoothness of youth. With eyes opening anew I am standing with my parents on the hill above our home, watching the light of uncounted stars join the scintillation of the sunlight’s first slanting rays.
“Look down there son,” my father says, “See where the light sparkles as it touches the merest hint of evening held. Mark that place my son, that is where to plant for abundance in the coming season. Mark that place well.”
“Look into the sky my son,” my mother says, “See where the last vestige of the rays of our moon entwine with the sparkle of the belt of Orion. See where it reaches and touches our world. Take special care of that position my son, life’s love will always be there.”
Passing suns within passing seasons are as passing clouds across my days. The hill where I am sitting is where my parents lie, and they mark each change in turn as is their way. I know they saw when my love walked her gentle path into my heart and into my life. I know they saw the dawning of my son and my daughter. I know because my love now lies alongside them, although in this moment, as with the next and the next, we are together always.
My parents gifted me all. They gave this gift as a natural course, a gift given without conscious thought, but a gift given with total love.
This gift I now give to my daughter and my son, who with the light of this day fading, stand with their new born families surrounding me in love.
Once more I look at my hands and see they are again as they should be — old, so old. But now I see these hands full of the fruits of my care: they hold potatoes, tomatoes, zucchinis, and beans, gathered while the morning dew glistened. And I see them holding far far more. My hands are filled with the light and warmth of my parents — filled with future promise.
My hands encompass this gift.
In this my lingering twilight, my hands, my old hands, hear my smile.
As my sun sets this gift I have nurtured I now send to embrace the life of another.