Wrinkled Knees

A sunny day at the beach along with the right suit and the right tanning lotion was all that was required back in the day. I remember sitting on the warm sand with the sound of the seagulls and the only thoughts were “you won’t be getting my sandwich, birdie”. The color of the ocean was the backdrop to it all. Now in a different place in time, I recall watching two women that day as they walked towards the ocean carrying the usual items that are certain to enhance a great day at the beach (which include the proper seating and food choices as well as beverages). The ladies looked heavy with the burden of their desired items of chairs, towels and cooler, plus a bag packed full. They were talking and laughing without a missed beat. As they came a little closer, I noticed that both of these women had wrinkled knees. Stunned by the sight of the skin sagging on this area of the body, I starred.  I knew  it was not very polite, however, I was seventeen years old and was certain that I had never seen anything so grotesque before in my life. This impression stayed with me for many years. I assumed that these ladies had not led a good life or that they were victims lacking proper nutrition and or fitness. The surprise came about two years ago at age fifty seven as I was sitting casually reading a book, and suddenly I looked down and saw indentations around my knees. Yes, curly designs of skin that gave the look of something I had seen in a book when I attended school and was examining life sciences. I paused, unfolded my legs and looked wildly at what appeared to be wrinkles around my knees. Then, I remembered that girl, the one sitting on the sand so casual, so sure of herself and shielded from such matter with skin so perfect that the thought of this kind of imperfection was just not possible. Listening for the internal scream that would follow this reality, I then went to the kitchen to make myself a fresh cup of tea. I have earned these wrinkled knees, and now I will respect myself as a warrior of life, and take to the “Wasabi philosophy” that not all is perfect, but all is perfect at each moment! A grand jester and justification, and a much gentler truer self than thinking that it is my responsibility to keep all as it was once when I was a younger woman. It doesn’t get any better than this, and the sky is still the same shade of blue as it was that day of forty years ago. It might be a great day for the beach.

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