The Ages

From a friend’s island porch we saw these girls skipping their way across the field, and then one of them started doing cartwheels.

As they frolicked their way past us, I was struck by the juxtaposition of youthful exuberance against the aging houses down on the bar...not to mention the old cemetery. 

These elements threw into focus a keen sense of the fleeting nature of our lives. The short life and early death of the son of those friends was, ultimately, what had brought me to the island, and while there I was especially aware of, and receptive to, indicators of the passage of time. 

On the island evidence of life and death thrown into sharp contrast; my characteristically over-active imagination was in overdrive. I didn’t see ghosts, yet there was the almost tangible presence of those who had gone before. The young son’s demise, the old lady who burned to death in her house on the backside of the island, fading shadows of the original Gott family and the late poet and author Ruth Moore....they were all around. The silence there was filled with constant faint whispers.

Time rolls on, tides come and go, cemeteries slowly fill and children frolic. We all have a final rendezvous ahead...but in the corporeal now, we have each other and, if we are lucky, we recognize the sentient miracle of our momentary place in the ages.

The Ages
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Meredith Ralston