Cold Shadows

Turning sixty wasn’t something I was thrilled about. It’s not like I wasn’t expecting it, it just didn’t feel like a cause for celebration. It was more like crossing a line, like the sun had suddenly cast a cold shadow with my name on it.

A dearest loved one passed away, a best friend suffered a serious heart attack, my favourite dog was dying of diabetes. All of a sudden it seemed friends, family, even pets were fading away in the cold shadow of my sixtieth birthday.

I’d finally quit smoking 384 days earlier. I also started running again, going to the gym and cutting carbs. I lost weight, enjoyed the sweaty endorphins, and watched as my youthfully slow resting heart-rate raised my doctor’s eyebrows during an examination. It felt good.

On the radio I heard a specialist proclaim physical exercise the “absolute number one” weapon against age related dementia; something, I thought, worth remembering.

I know the sunshine of youth sets a little past sixty. But I also know life is for living and that making the most of it takes will-power and work. So I’ll do the work, I’ll drink my matcha tea, and I’ll race those cold shadows until my aging feet tell me otherwise.

Chris O’Brien

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