If at this juncture I am pressed with sharp
remembering, with the weight of other days,
of sea mist, of the rustling early grass
where little sparrows forage; and the sand
blown in long streamers on the empty road
speaks to me suddenly of other Junes;
and the slow osprey winging out to sea
transports me to that lost shore instantly;
if I am vulnerable to this extent
in these the middle years, with more ahead
presumably than that which lies behind,
how shall I bear the past when I am old?
To garner wisdom is to lose regret;
if that is true I am not wise at all,
standing here weeping for a happy youth,
puzzling over what the past becomes
seen through the lenses of the gathering years.
I must become accustomed to return,
altered myself, to the unaltered scene.
Then if the heart accepts the happiness
of now, not longing for the what-has-been,
the sweet sea-echo will not mock, but bless.