On Turning 44


There is a quiet fear existing at the edge of an approaching storm. Thunder rolls in from a distance and I await lightning to streak across the sky in its various forms. For the moment, the winds are still and even the birds have grown quiet. But in this I also find comfort: the protective roof over my head, the resting dog laying across my feet beneath the writing table, the radar on the television, my smartphone.

Colors become more vivid outside even within the shadows of indirect sunlight. Lightbulbs within the cabin appear to grow brighter as the outside light grows dim. I become aware of reflections on the windows of this room I sit within, and find me staring back at myself within those reflections, contemplating middle age, wondering like VGER from Star Trek The Motion Picture if this is really all that I am.

The approaching storm is growing outside according to the radar. I now realize that the fear I am experiencing isn't of the storm, but a question of my potential, a realization in that reflection in the window of myself that I don't know the answer any more, if I ever did. A single day, tomorrow, a week or ten years, they will pass so quickly and if I limit myself to doing one thing really well, will I think in the end that I have wasted my time?

The sky releases what I thought was going to be a flood but is, in truth, nothing more than a brief shower. I laugh at my middle-age thinking, for if I live to be as old as my grandparents, I am only half-way there. In effect, tomorrow I begin again at birth. A whole new world still awaits me.