Forever young

Published 8:44 am Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The exquisite beauty and grandeur of the morning lured me from my fireside chair into the chilly morning air. Oh, that I could paint, but a picture with words is the best I can offer. Clouds enveloped the horizon like puffs of cotton strategically placed to capture the brilliant pink explosion against an azure sky.

As I studied the clouds moving gently across my field of vision the tall pines towered into the foreground, creating a starkly contrasting silhouette of dark, black green. Majestic oaks stood still and bare of summer’s clothing with their nakedness providing an added dimension to the landscape. The bright, brilliant burst of pink quickly muted to purple as my cold fingers moved swiftly across the page. They felt a touch of sadness at the futility of their task but valiantly strained to achieve a semblance of the magnificence of the moment.

How can a mere mortal capture creation? Artists and poets, dreamers and lovers from the beginning of time have put their hearts into the task. The essence of God and His infinitely wondrous creation can only be glimpsed by the finite heart and soul of man.

My writer, dreamer eyes feast on the remnants of the sunrise as a jet glides across the sky, leaving a contrail of white. I wonder who is watching from their window above and what thoughts they are thinking on this lovely morning. Is someone peering down at my perch as they pass by, wondering the same of me?

The glorious sounds of nature fill me with peace. No matter what challenges I may face in my busy world today, I will take the morning with me. Silently, I thank my Creator for this beautiful moment in time.

A brisk breeze chases me inside to warm my icy fingers. I answer the call of my favorite fireside chair and snuggle into a warm throw waiting there. My heart burns with desire to share this moment, but words are not enough.

Warming up by the fire in my husband’s old blue bathrobe with wire-rimmed glasses perched on my nose, I unwrap the mismatched scarf from my neck. Laughter so near the surface rolls out with the vision of my grandma self. I remember my own grandmother, Wilsie Palmer, saying, “Well you know Jan, I’m getting older, but inside I still feel 16.”

Mamaw, as we called her, spent her final days in a nursing home. Near the end of her life she was confined to a wheelchair. Though we didn’t live close, I visited her when I could. Without fail our conversation went like this:

“Mamaw, how about a little day trip?”

“Well honey, you know that’s too much trouble to get my wheelchair in and out of your van. You know I have to stop for a potty break really often.”

“Mamaw, let’s break you out of here! You know you want to get away from these old people for a while!”

“Now honey, they’re mighty good to me here.”

With a huge grin she would finally give in and off we would go to some unknown adventure! Mamaw loved to ride the Natchez Trace, and we found ourselves there. She never complained about her living arrangements or her deteriating physical condition. Her mind was sharp, and I loved to hear her tell stories of her childhood. We just laughed and had a great time together.

That we could all have the wonder and excitement to see each day unfold before us as my grandmother did with her 16-year-old heart.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at