I am as old as I’ve ever been
But I’ll never be this young again
My teenage years will reach an end
As infamous adulthood begins

But I refuse to conform to the
World’s demands to be ordinary
Ever since I swam in the Nordic Sea
I’ve understood there’s more to see

Ever since I heard a frozen lake breathe
The creaking ice made me believe
There are wonders we cannot conceive
And beauty in the love we grieve

I stood before the gorgeous vastness
With my darling, and I asked this
“Why don’t we just raise our glasses
Before this bittersweet youth passes?”

I’ve never agreed with the notion
Of wasting youth’s precious emotions
I watch my days pass in slow motion
’Til they crash in waves like oceans

I tally my seconds before they leave
And count my minutes as they flee
I write down lovely memories
Knowing I will always treasure these

It’s not the helplessness of childhood I ache to keep close
Nor is it the self-centered way of thinking I want most
It’s the way a child can perceive fantasy as the truth
That is the greatest gift, and the purest power of youth 

If I got the chance to speak with Time, I would ask him simply
Why place me in a world of stories growing infinitely
There are more tales in existence than I could hope to read
And more wonders of nature than I could aspire to see

It is both cruel and beautiful how little we can touch
We can dream boundless dreams, but we cannot live as such
Unless we revert back to that youthful state of being
In which what we imagine is as real as what we’re seeing

Imagination, such a fragile and powerful thing
A means of escaping from or coping with existing
A tool with which to build the lives we so desire
But torn down far more often than lifted higher

I invite you to remember those days on the playground
When there was far more than slides and swing sets around
Your youthful reality was whatever you envisioned
Now imagine if reality was an everyday decision

I firmly believe we never lost that mystic power
Though many of our minds have grown bitter and sour
That creative essence still resides deep within
Waiting to be summoned and resurface once again

But one gift may come
As we leave adolescence
And embrace the world around us
Seeing beauty in the sun
And the moon’s gleaming crescents
Every single day, magic surrounds us

Catching the silver glimmer
Of Chicago’s lonely streets
After a day of never-ending rainfall
Wandering the city in winter
Watching as it snows and sleets
And white flurries from the sky paint all

Even just observing
Textures of your morning drink
You will find allure in the mundane
Through my hoping and yearning
I won’t miss life when I blink
Gratitude was the cure to my pain

There is light across this Earth
There is marvel in the mind
And our days to explore it are numbered
So from the day of our birth
To the day we’re ninety-nine
Let’s immerse ourselves in the wonder

I swam beneath a rainbow
As thunderstorms rolled in
You know that moment was unforgettable
I often see the same glow
A reminder time is golden
And our youth is more scarce than plentiful

We are as old as we have been
And as young as we will be
We are living, breathing, moments in time
We are walking contradictions
And enthralling works of fiction
We’re each a story, and now you’ve heard mine

67 thoughts on “Youth

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