The speed of life |

The speed of life

Don Rogers
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union

Old age creeps in, wrinkle by gray hair by colleagues the same age, then younger than your children.

You reminisce your own 20s by email with the diaspora from high school, college, jobs left long ago. These kids, younger than you were back when, memories like yesterday.

When you met her. A couple of months ago you celebrated your 30th. Your high school and college reunions would be middle-aged if people. Maybe grandparents.

That wave you caught. That line drive you hit. That fire you covered. That fire you fought. That girl at the nightclub. Oops, inappropriate, even if you were single then. But like yesterday, too.

Your parents when they were your age today. So old. They didn’t get how times had changed. That’s you now. Hah, you don’t believe. Sorry, true. How your children see you.

It don’t feel that way inside. No sir. You ski or snowboard. You still run with the kids. And you’re quick as ever. Huh, huh.

The young woman returns your look. Looks at you like Dad. That’s OK, actually. You’re taken, and she’s still The One you met and finally caught eyes with at sunset how many decades ago? Deal sealed forever. She just knows you a whole lot better than before. And still she shares her bed with you. Despite everything. Maybe because of everything.

Children grew, graduated, became grownups justlikethat. Now they’re older than you. How’d that happen? Wiser, too.

Funny, your old friends just your age. Kind of intimidating at first glance. You want to call them mister or missus like your parents taught you.

This peels back, of course, layer by layer, sometimes with tears, as you cut through all that, all those years, all those memories, finally pure laughter. “And then, you …,” you remember.

So much change. Facebook. Smart phones. Christ, the Internet and the web. GM supplanted by Google. The rise of Silicon Valley. The end of Motown and, thankfully, disco.

The surf still breaks like it did. The buoy out from Diamond Head still bobs big and red. The courthouse still looks cut whole from marble at the center of a park anchoring a town where a career commenced by accident, literally.

Everything around these things flashes past as clouds and sunsets in fast motion. Friends and colleagues and neighbors, too.

You track it all, write some of it, catch on finally to just how rapidly it passes. Class 5, at least. Keep paddling. It’s the only way.

Just you never mind the old pictures of youth, the fresh look in the mirror, how they see you now. Dogs and cats. Humans and tortoises. Mountains and seabeds. The sun itself. All on their own timers.

So a moment stretches long in a toddler’s new steps? Take it. Savor that coffee with the sunrise. Sunset on the deck. A 3-2 count. A deadline beat and chance to chat. Whisky around a campfire. Love in all its shapes and forms. Held in amber.

What’s it all about? Just this. Your universe expanding at perhaps even faster than the speed of life.

Through it all, an adage rings true: “Don’t regret growing old. It’s a privilege denied many.”

Editor and Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at or 970-748-2920.

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