Thursday, April 22, 2010

Of Dawns Past

Old men how odd they are in their careful ways with their slow thoughtful movements. Their gray-covered heads and their wrinkled skin sagging on their skeletons. The heavy thoughts that have brewed in their minds for years rest in their jaws waiting to be freed to the world. The lids of their eyes swallow their eyes of wisdom and observation. The bones of their bodies creak as old houses live through those groans. Old men see things that young forget to see in their rush to achieve success.

How funny old men are with their old styled clothes and their old fashioned ways! They reminisce of days gone past and when it was safe for children to roam the streets. Lapses of silence casually occur when their memories fly faster than their lips can form words. These old men have seen much and have dealt with much. Within themselves, they are young. Perhaps, this is why they hold onto their 40 year old wool caps and their worn vests. They live in memories and dreams of the past when their bodies did not trap them.

Old men have learned the adage "one step at a time." It may have been a forced lesson, but it is one learned nonetheless. Lifting one foot ahead of the other has become a struggle. Down the sidewalk, the old men creak as they move one step at a time. Unlike young men, they live no longer in the future nor fully in the past. They have seen that life moves quickly even when one moves slowly. "One step at a time" has become an adage of physical meaning.

Tradition binds old men. Their tired feet have carried them long in these traditional ways. They swerve neither to the right nor to the left. These old men chase the traditions of their young age. When presented with change, they stumble away in uncertainty of the unknown as they murmur weakly, "But, it has always been done in this way." Tradition grips them by their wrinkly old necks. Old men have no strength to free themselves from these long-held traditions.

In the heat of the afternoon, old men sit in the controlled environment of their living room where nothing can cause havoc unless permitted. They have experienced the world and live with the regrets of the young. In the early morning when the young sleep, the old sit on park benches welcoming the dawn of a new day. For a time, they can pretend that they are young once again as the sun spills over the horizon. Old men - how amusing they are in their words and their works!