Mid-life Rises

There's something about the view
from smack dab in the middle of life
that I wouldn't want to miss....
or cover up with desire or regret.

The long slow climb behind me now,
I look back upon my ascent.
So different from earlier perspectives.
Clear and available through this
tiny window of opportunity.

The maps that once directed me
tumble, like distant weeds in the wind....
discarded across a deliberate life.
A panorama of journey rises up to meet me.

Failures hang like moss
from trees once climbed
with reckless abandon.
The beautiful, gray cascade;
my summit passage.
Success is but the dry, dead leaves
from winters too cold to remember.

This is the view from the top...
as high as I'll ever get
within the landscape of incarnation.

I turn slowly,
the horizon available from every direction now.
Past and future meet seamlessly
in the heart of my awareness.

My children and theirs walk in the distance,
taking different routes
toward this same peak.
Ever exploring maps....
toward the compass with which they came.

Standing upon this momentous perch,
where there is but room for one,
I turn and look upon the valley ahead.
Somewhere between here and there
my bones will be reduced to ash,
and scattered across a sea of stories
having little to do with me.

The tales we tell ourselves....
of ourselves and others,
exist only as portals;
perspectives through which we explore
a deliberate journey toward the summit of life,
and into the valley below.