the earliest signs of spring are here. birds are chirping, grass is greening, crocuses are blooming, and old folks are falling. around here, in this rural setting, spring brings with it a universal stirring deep in the heart of old folks, an awakening, that spurs them out of their quiet homes and into their yards to pick up sticks. the sticks, like sirens, call to them, 'come. come! we are waiting for you!'
gathering sticks in early spring is a ritual as deeply rooted in their souls as christmas. but if you are old, i urge you, you must resist! the ground is uneven, your balance - oh, your balance! - has all but abandoned you, and the wind is poised like a cat waiting to rush at you the moment you are at your most vulnerable - bent at the waist, reaching for that stick, stretching your arm just a little beyond what your shoulder and your equilibrium expected. you will go down!
but don't worry. i am waiting for you. i will clean and bandage your wounds. i will send you to PT for balance and gait training. and yes, i will admonish you to leave those sticks to the younger folks, you're too old for that now. but you and i both know, tomorrow is another day, and who are we if we don't at least occasionally heed our sirens.