Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hidden Compartments

The thing that fails us most in youth is to realize... everyone was once young, too.

In fact, the old are no different than the young; they just keep their youth tucked away in hidden compartments only they can understand.

Toddler, pre-teen, teen, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 100 and beyond.

Every moment, every minute, every day, week and year.

Every memory, every emotion...stamped, catalogued and stored away in each of these sacred spaces.

Yeah...okay. Maybe “sacred” seems a bit over the top, melodramatic.

Perhaps, even schmaltzy.

But I think it applies, here.

What else would you call the place where the particles of your history are stored?

Youth awaits us, early on, with self-centered confidence; a world of days much too vast to contemplate.

All ours to use; never to lose.

Blowing by with endless energy and dreams.

Building, building...ever building, towards whatever we might imagine.

And before us, if we should stop to see, the old step carefully through the receding tide, stoop to pick a shell, simply admiring its miraculous twists and turns.

Such a mystery to be so old, we think in youth; such a shame to dwindle down the days.

As if the old were always old and youth will never pass this way.

Now, as I dip into my 60s, I have a bird’s eye view, directly on the 50 yard line, as it were.

Not far enough along to be considered old—but well past fledgling to be considered young—happily, still spry in legs and mind, observing all; youth behind and old ahead...yet, even now, seen through separate lenses.

Then I saw the old, marveling that shell, splashing through the water line, embracing the day with laughter, pointing out the clouds.

And I could see it... for the first time; I was allowed to see it.

Youth, living hidden compartments, garnishing our memories; flavoring our days.

Sacred spaces to be sure; holding secrets revealed in our time.

No matter the number, we’re forever unchanged, forever who we are...and who we’ll always be.

It’s all right there, hidden in those compartments, in time revealed...and finally we understand.

Finally, we begin to live....



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  1. i LOVE this... as i celebrate another birthday i can't wrap my compartments around the fact that i am 45. and what a blessing it is!! and what a true story that youth is wasted on the young... there's lots of wisdom in those years and plenty of hindsight too.

    1. Wisdom...hindsight...and of course, plenty of beer-the good beer- helps too. I haven't been able to wrap my compartments around the fact I'm 45 either...and I'm 63...!


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