Written for the Daily Post’s Weekly photo challenge: My Place in the World
A warm breeze washes over me. Taking with it all my worries. I look down at my hands weathered with age and sun. Gnarled joints like an old tree, still telling stories. A tear slips down my cheek. A tear of joy. They do not hurt. My fingers, for the first time in many years, do not hurt. Chronic pain is one of the many prices we pay for the wisdom and serenity that comes with age. It comes on so gradually and it remains with you day in and day out. You ignore it, you become accustomed to it. After this many years, you don’t really even feel it any more. Until, quite suddenly, you realize that it’s gone. Not many know the joy of the simple absence of pain. Not mere relief from it, but the total absence of it. A few days, even just a few moments, of this euphoric feeling of “not hurt” is cause for serious celebration. I smile, big and wide until my cheeks ache from the effort. Then I bend to pick up a tiny shell and continue my walk.