Having put some time and some life behind me, I wanted to make an accounting of the important things that

had happened to me so far. Not moment by moment but experience by experience, what I would tell someone if they asked me what had happened to me that made a difference. I obviously have a need to express these things and I am aware that I am using you shamelessly, please forgive me. -------------------------------------------------------------------I have watched the sun's rising and setting. Walked the streets; and hills; and mountains; and fields. Tracked the turning stars and the turning seasons. Felt the waters flow and the winds blow. I have loved; and lost; and gained. Kept the worthwhile, discarded the worthless; and vice versa. Held my life too cheap; and held it too dear; and held it not at all. I have cheated; kept faith Lied; held to truth unswerving. Stood, though afraid; cowered in fear. Known effortless accomplishment; and futile labor. I have walked in pain, with heart shuttered and barred. I have thrown my heart open wide, heedless, to be as it would. I have known strength; and weakness. Known the helplessness inherent in power; And the power in helplessness. I have held a lover; held a wife; held a mother; held a child I have held a fading dream. I have held a friend leaving this life; Held a lover as she left mine. I have been noble; and craven. Laughed; and cried. Had my heart broken; and mended. I have fallen victim; and risen again. I have raged in my pain, been the voice of reason despite the pain. Known triumph and failure. Felt both pride and shame; hope and despair. I have used and been used, knowingly and not. I have known timeless golden afternoons and endless chill nights. Yearned for glorious era, barely imagined. Used both half measures; and full. I have declared myself apart in pride, knowing and foolishly denying the truth.

I have grasped after the fleeting moment; felt aching time weigh my hands. I have forgotten; and remembered; and I will do both again. I have stirred the hearts of others and had mine stirred in return, a great and humbling circle. I have known the bitter mixed in the sweet; the loss inherent in the fulfillment. The richness of life. It does not matter that there were no great accomplishments to my credit, nor monumental failures. That the world was not shaken by my being is a comfort, I don't crave that much disturbance put to my account. What lingers in life is a taste that can only be joy for it brings with it a smile, and a tear, and they are perfect. There are people like bright birds in life, soaring and streaking across the landscape. There are people like great storms, tumbling all in their path along with them. There are people like the trees in the forest, essential roost for the birds, affected but unbroken by the storms. I am a tree.