Lovliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
by A. E. Housman
I have long taken to heart the message in this poem. It is a message to live by. Not only should we appreciate the beauty around us, but we should do it today. Make the most of every moment, because time is relentless. Since my fiftieth spring has come and gone, the math of the second verse is reversed for me. There is some sense of urgency here!
My little self-pitying bout with bronchitis, following immediately upon my fiftieth birthday and all kinds of ruminations about change and new beginnings has had me sitting numbly in an armchair in front of my television just waiting for it to be late enough to put myself to bed. I went to the doctor yesterday, although I can tell I am somewhat on the path to recovery. I would have been so thrilled if he told me I needed to be admitted and make no effort or decisions for a few days. Dehydrated was the verdict. Serendipitously, yesterday was water delivery day at my house. I drank, I felt better.
My newly hydrated brain has still been worrying away at life's dissatisfactions, until I realized that I am in the grips of a self-defeating rythmn of whining and making excuses. I am rather good at kicking other malingerers in the behind and motivating all and sundry to "just do it". I should have looked in my own mirror way before now.