Now, at mid-life or beyond,
You may be asking:
Is my best behind me?
The thrills of peak exertion,
An apogee of capability
Lost forever in time’s grinding march.
And perhaps gone with sinew
Are the golden aspirations
For worlds still unseen
Or the boundless energy
Of the incomplete self.
Maybe passion’s flame
Once burned brighter
Or newness hid behind every corner.
You may ask: where did it go?

 

As you consider things lost,
The silent lamentations of age,
Perhaps it is the mistakes and missteps
That feel more real.
Or the “what could have beens”
That leave you longing
For that point when it was all before you.
Cast aside these thoughts of loss!
The road is long, winding, uncertain.
For the mind that can ask,
Has a heart to answer.
Take one more look at what was old,
And in it you’ll find something new.
Those lines, those wrinkles
Mark distance traveled, not destinations.

 

The fleeting strength of youth
Defined but a moment.
And then, in small ways,
The hard-earned experience
Of gritty perseverance,
Added color, shadow, and texture
To life’s shifting frieze.
The times and people
Still unknown before graying hair,
or weathered skin,
Have formed you, shaped you,
In wondrously unseen ways.
Let go of doubt, fear, regret!
For your peak years are happening now,

And your best work is waiting to be realized.

                                                           —Phillip Berry