It's light at five o'clock on a good morning now, and when I let Bessie and the cats out, the birds are in full voice in the front yard oaks. I've never lived anywhere before that I've been so conscious of the earth's rotation. It happens without giving notice, but at one time of year the sun and moon rise directly behind a pair of pine trees at the top of the hill across the road, perfectly framed in the picture window. Then, gradually, I realize that the earth has turned and sunrise and moonrise come up over the hills to the southeast, almost down by the light tower on Omo Ranch Road (or maybe it's on Hwy. 88...hard to tell from here).
It is much the same, I think, as getting older. It just happens while you're busy doing something else, and then one day you realize you're honest-to-God old. That's chronologically, I mean. It's somehow shocking to realize you're turning seventy by the calendar, when you're nowhere near that on the inside. I stopped by the Fair Play Mall (the hardware store also sells a few groceries) yesterday and bought an ice cream bar...haven't had one in years. It tasted just as good as when I'd buy one from the Good Humor man for a dime...this one cost a dollar and a quarter. Oh, I know I have more trouble now with the seventy-five-pound bags of goat chow, and I puff harder coming back up the hill, and it would be delusional to think I was even middle-aged, but old...me?! I have to bite my tongue when my Kids tell me not to climb up onto the roof, and not to do this or that anymore, things I've always done...when I stop and think, of course they're right. And then there's my sister. We share the same birthday, and she will be eighty-six, and she can't believe that, either. The trouble is, I still have the same feelings and thoughts and interests I've always had. The shell I wear has nothing to do with the "me" inside. The dignity and wisdom that are supposed to come with age elude me...they're somewhere out there in the future. Maybe the world just hasn't turned far enough.