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September 11, 2011

The mirror tells the truth.

I stand on the wooden floor, a guest in a home for the weekend, art spread around me on its walls. I pass a mirror and catch the reflection, seeing the years in the glass. Green eyes still seeking, curious and full of wonder.

I remember being in college, the summer after my sophomore year, staying with friends in town instead of returning to the home of my parents. I remember swimming in the James River, playing catch in its waters with friends, roommates from college. I remember lying on the sandy shore, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, my chest, my stomach. I remember riding my Kawasaki, wind thrown against my face, along winding roads, up and down the hills in this summer of yesterday.

Yesterday, so long ago, and so much in between then and now has passed as I’ve ridden the trails and roads and streets of this life.

The man I see now in the mirror is the same, yet different. Creases are permanently etched into my face, extending from my eyes. My chin, my cheeks, the accumulated gray stubble, telling the tale of time. Smoothness is gone, and in its place is a weathered skin that tells of age.

Time passes, day after day, and they pile up into a mountain of memories that I pull out of dusty cabinets and creaking drawers of my life. I can’t return to those days of yesterday, to feel the sun’s warmth on my face, a face so different from the one that greets me in the mirror today. I remember, but can’t return.


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