(im)mortality

The Bradford pears are in bloom.  Everywhere at once, it seems.  I’ve always thought of them as common trees, side-of-the-highway trees, nothing to get excited about trees.  As we flashed by acres of them along route 32 today, I enjoyed their white bloom, though, and thought: these are lovely.  I’ve seen them every spring for most of my 38 springs, and never thought about how lovely they are.

These trees, in their commonness, will last for ages.  They are constant and predictable and forever.

And I realized I am not.  Thirty-eight springs.  If the actuaries are right, there are fewer springs ahead of me than behind.  I may have thirty-eight springs left, or twenty, or two.  Maybe I will be like my great-grandmother, and live to be almost one hundred – but still, only sixty springs left!

Spring is the season of life renewed, of hope – but it is also the season of the ephemeral, the delicate flower that appears and passes in a day, the balmy day that turns to cold rain, and the warm weather itself which dissolves into summer’s heat much too soon.

It isn’t so much a sad thought, to know that I am ephemeral.  But it does make me watch, and urgently – watch the peas as they come up, watch the bliss light my son’s face when he hits a baseball, and watch the lowly Bradford pears as they flash by me on the highway, gone before I ever saw them fully. 

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