Mortality – the condition of being certain to die eventually.
Mortality is not a subject that is normally raised in proper conversation but in our private moments it sometimes creeps into our thought process. Autumn is a reminder that we are all mortal and the ensuing winter stamps that reminder with a powerful demonstration of the truth of understanding. When we doubt our own mortality all we have to do is look in the mirror and see if the person staring back at you looks like they did just a few years ago?
In July of 1974 a much younger model of yours truly was getting ready to spend a day fishing on Armstrong's Spring Creek. Notice the dark brown mustache and sideburns.
Fast forward thirty-nine years and the only thing that looks the same is the hat! Notice that the mustache and the sideburns are no longer dark brown. Back in 1974 I would fish from dawn until dark and then get up and do it all over the next day. Now, a long day is 5 or 6 hours unless I'm sitting in a boat, and I really don't much feel like doing it again the next day.
Now I am staring down the coming of a New Year. Having passed my three score and ten the coming of another year serves as a renewed reminder that the time is drawing closer that, as Shakespeare wrote, "When we have shuffled off this mortal coil."
The holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years – should provide for all of us, whether young or old, with a reminder to be thankful, the hope that the birth of the Christ-child brings and the promise of that a New Year offers.
The man in the mirror reminds me of my mortality and the coming of the New Year reminds me of the promise of another spring, the hope that a trout will consider my fly worthy of sampling, and quality time with friends and family. May this season remind you of all your blessings and the hope and promise that we find in Christmas and the coming New Year.