‘My Personal Odometer’ by Ray LaPorte
Thoughts about a milestone from one of our Lowell-linked contributors flung not so far out into the Atlantic, namely, on the Vineyard–PM
My personal odometer spins to a big, bottom-heavy number on Monday, and it has got my attention, prompting me to write and share a few random notes.
I took my first breath 60 years ago at St. Joe’s near the then murky waters of the mighty Merrimack, and I spent much of my first 35 years within its sight and sounds and its looming history. I wonder whether that first impressionable breath included a trace of its wafting waters mixed with the spring sweetness of June. Does that breath still linger in me? I would like to think so because June is my favorite month and the Merrimack still sings to me. I share homes near its headwaters and its mouth, and June is my favorite time to visit them both.
If I were a car, 60,000 miles is no big deal if one has indulged in routine maintenance and avoided heavy impacts. I have been lucky—so far. My paint may be fading, my upholstery wrinkled, but my engine runs strong. It may not go as fast, but she remains reliable. I pray she starts for many mornings to come.
I might have been a child of the Sixties, but I am certain to be childlike in my sixties.
—Raymond LaPorte (c) 2011
One Response to ‘My Personal Odometer’ by Ray LaPorte
Good luck Ray-I’m heading for the same startling milestone, which is still better than a tombstone. I often think of Herrick’s verse, which my old friend Jim Cryan is fond of quoting:
That age is best, which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.