The Winter of Life

The leaves of fall have turned to rainbows and gone their separate ways as the pallor of winter has settled in. There’s a fresh crispness in the air. My cup of steaming coffee blends nicely with the vapor that lazily floats up from the lake. I stretch my legs up and onto the deck’s railing and lean back in my rocking chair to soak up winter’s sun. The chatter of snow geese invades my consciousness. It’s been said that they care for one another. If one is sick, others come to its aid. I wonder what the sick one feels. Certainly not a sense of loneliness. No, I’m not going to talk about loneliness. Well, maybe a little. I think, like the geese, loneliness has a consort. I call it fear. But what is fear? It’s a response to a perceived danger-emotional and or physical. Maybe it’s a fear of the unknown, of what tomorrow will or won’t be.

Certainly, there are times I am afraid of not being found if I die and I am alone. Note it is not a fear of dying. I guess I just don’t want the decay of my physical self to stink up the place. Fear of not being found if I fall and injure myself. Fear of waking up and having nothing to do, nowhere to go. Fear of no longer having a purpose or reason for my existence. That is real fear! No longer being of value.

The fear of not having a purpose, a reason for living is so very visible in local eateries where folks go for their breakfast. They exist and that’s about all. There is a lack of vitality. They don’t even seem to savor the food they are ingesting and they barely grunt as the waiter brings the coffee pot around for a refill. Some are reading a newspaper or a paperback. You ever see them turn the page? Most likely not. It’s a camouflage. A camouflage so no one can see the emptiness in their eyes.

So at nearly eighty-five what purpose for living do I have? I no longer teach, and as a healer, my clients are few and far between. A woman, my age, recently revealed that Face Book gave her a life. I cringed. Do I really need to know what someone, half-way around the world, had for their dinner? Or that they have been “blessed” with a sixth grandchild? The argument over the value of the Internet runs from indifference to indispensable. Some claiming it segregates family life while others claim it brings people together. Whatever the case, it provides an outlet for my writing.

And therein lies a purpose. Writing. Writing to stimulate others, to challenge their thinking, and to provide a sense of empathy. To let them know they are not alone. Maybe it just to let the world know I give a damn!

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