On Growing Old

“I grow old… I grow old…                                                                                                                                                             I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”

-T.S. Eliot

I have a lot on my plate lately, and don’t have the time to be quiet nor to have a good conversation with people I can really talk with, so yesterday as I sat down to rest for a few minutes I thought about how many strands of white hair could be growing out of my head. I decided to just laugh about life instead of worrying about it. I’m not ready to dye my hair.

Beautiful winter afternoon sun in Jimei

Winter afternoon sun in Jimei

With every misfortune,
And every disappointment,
And angry and hurtful words,

With every neglect
And every apathy
And unwelcome silence,

I can feel white hair
Growing out of my scalp.
I swear I can hear each strand
As it wriggles its way out.

And I look at myself in the mirror
And I look for those strands of white
There’s one close to the right ear
And another one by the hairline,

And then there’s none.

Perhaps those two came out
Because I worried
That because I worried,
I would grow old.

The Yellow Flower

gladiolus

Rain falls on the yellow gladiolus.
Like gentle kisses on its petals,
Glistening in the light,
Droplets of rain
Draw its beauty out.

Alone among the reeds,
It blooms and opens
And looks up to the sky
And welcomes the rain
That gives it beauty, life.

Somewhere else
There’s a white gladiolus
But for now, alone among the reeds,
The yellow gladiolus is happy to be yellow
And to be kissed by the rain.

********

It was drizzling when I walked to work today. I stopped by the wooden bridge to have a closer look at this yellow gladiolus that stood alone among the reeds by the lake. Beautiful. I thought it looked even more beautiful with the raindrops on its petals.

And then…