The child next door is three years old. She’s tiny. I watch from the kitchen window as I swallow my low strength aspirin and fish oil capsules. She’s exploring the backyard now, a magical place of freshly mown grass, trees, and liberated leaves floating down from the azure sky, waiting to be caught by a laughing three year old girl.

The boxer is with her, helping to explore and discover all the yard has to offer. He’s a good dog, offering companionship, protection, and advice. He stops to examine a stick and then moves on. The child performs her own examination of the stick and concurs with the boxer’s decision. The elderly black lab watches quietly from a place in the sun. This is life on a Thursday morning.

Time is an artificial construct, a means for measuring, recording, and celebrating the seasons of our lives. Time does not fly nor does it dawdle. It is impervious to the pleas and cajolery of those who would ask for just a bit more. Time doesn’t care.

She’s found another stick, one that is good for digging. Perhaps there is treasure buried at the base of that tree. The girl and the boxer are excited by the possibility. I watch and I remember those days of bicycles and ball fields, the smell of an old baseball glove and a new baseball,the one I got for my birthday.

My heart is full. I hope this child has a life filled with love, joy, and meaning. My birthday is two days away. I will be sixty six years old, but once upon a time I was three.