Voices on the Wind Voices on Aging
The Long Road by Leslie Clark I can no longer even pretend that the grey ribbon of road that stretches before me across miles of lovely landscape is longer than the endless expanse rolling back through years. Journeys traveled reflect in the rearview mirror, a past of many climates. Memory makes stops— in the factory town where I grew, restless, aching for something unnamed. Trees arched along the riverbank more alive than some of the townspeople. A place where cars passed through on the way to something interesting. College—to learn what it is for a mind to awaken to possibilities, life’s choices in direction. A too early marriage—expectations of two very different travelers became a hit and run. Those careless single years when friends and I tried on romances like sweaters wrapped around our slender shoulders, only to be discarded on the next leg of the journey. Graduate school guided me to a more promising roadway. Marriage again—this time to an amenable fellow traveler. A venture toward new exits on the career highway. A long distance move to a beautiful, warmer home. Recently, the journey has taken me to live happily on the Pacific coast. Time has molded my face, and body, written life’s map in lines along my cheeks, hung spare tires on my chassis. I peer myopically into the distance, toward destinations yet to be reached. Persevere—keep the engine in as good repair as possible. Read new possibilities into road maps. Keep those wheels rolling.