Reflections Upon Turning Sixty

When, in the journey of life,
a man has much more road
stretched out behind him than lies ahead,
it is good to seek the shade of a tree,
to rest his weary bones,
and to reflect upon things
both great and small.

For no more can he stop the sun
in its daily trek across the sky
to hold back the coming of night,
than can he escape the darkness
that awaits ahead at journey’s end.
Time cannot be frozen,
cannot even be slowed,
as day after day melts away
and evaporates like all before it.

A man can only hope to find happiness
during his brief stay on this Earth.
Happiness blinks off in the distance
like a firefly on a summer’s evening.
Should happiness be caught,
it must not be grasped too tightly,
or it will be crushed and die.
But, if held too lightly, like the firefly,
it shall crawl through the clutching fingers
and fly away…

Not all men will ever know true love.
True love is life’s purest joy.
It is that rare elixir that drinking thereof
makes the journey worthwhile.
True love is an exquisite jewel
to be treasured and protected,
for it alone is the essence of happiness.

Gazing back, a man can see
the winds of time already have begun
to erase his distant footprints
first made in the sands he traversed.
When the darkness overtakes him,
it will fall to his children to continue
his travel through time.
In his offspring lies the permanence
of immortality and his remembrance.

But, what does it matter that this man
ever even tread through time?
Some say it matters not,
(hard-hearted skeptics are they).
However, this man believes that each
has a meaningful contribution to make,
for if he did not so believe,
he would not have the heart
to travel his road to its timely end…

Harry Edward Gilleland      06.27.04