I Can No Longer Walk On These Icy Winter Paths
This winter, I will be honest with you,
and tell you that I can no longer walk on the icy winter paths,
one of my favorite things in the world.
My knees confided in me
that the paths were too slick, my ankles
whispered to me gently it was too deep,
my back warned me not to fall again.
I can no longer walk on my icy winter paths,
I am letting you know,
bravery is sometimes what you can't do,
as well as what you can.
But I can take a photograph of my wife on the path,
and I can look at it and my heart fills with joy.
She has the most admirable knees,
they are determined and quick,
the winter path is a part of her soul,
as it always was for me, and for my dog.
who loves the winter pasture,
she dances and swims in it,
they so love to walk together.
It is after all, a gift sometimes,
to be young, a sorrow to be getting older.
My wife sits up in the deer stands sometimes,
my dog waiting below for her to come down,
as working dogs do.
They criss-cross on their secret paths,
which they know so well.
When I faced the truth about my icy winter paths,
on which I walked so far, for so long,
in the wondrous beauty and peace of the winter words,
I went out to the winter woods alone, I explained myself to the paths,
not personal, I said, I would rather be here than on Facebook.
I cried a bit, it took me a long time to see it,
but how lucky, I thought, that my wife
and dog will find such happiness and peace on these paths,
in the winter woods, they walk together there almost every day,
drinking up the quiet joy,
and I am just as happy for them,
as I was for me,
well almost, I walk down to the gate
that leads to the woods,
and I wave goodbye,
and fuss over them,
and remind them to be careful,
which they don't really need to be,
the woods are not dangerous but
enchanting and healing.
Do they know my heart is breaking,
just a bit, as they stride off, never looking back?
It seems just like yesterday,
that I could walk on my paths,
and they still care about me, whispering through
the pines and icy streams,
"we will see you in the Spring,
we will be here, and so will you."
And I will, pride goeth before a fall,
and I know pride and falls,
The paths are so much bigger than me,
and my brave and loyal ankles and knees.
I am so excited about Spring.
I am not old, I am beginning to be old,
I am grateful for the gift of acceptance,
I can close my eyes and hear
the crunch of my boots on the snow,
the water trickling softly through the streams,
the sound of my heart beating as I climb
uphill, the beautiful and timeless
silence of the winter forest.
I can walk on these icy paths,
every day, on the path of my imagination.