What are three things on your bucket list, someone asks on Facebook—three things to do before you die. I don’t have a bucket list, I want to answer. Have I done it all, or am I just short of ideas.
I would like to be in shape again, I offer. Not for just a day or two, but get there and stay there for the duration. I want to sit with a good friend, or a group of good friends, sip a little tequila or a cup of coffee, and talk a better world into being for as long as it takes. I want to look deeply into the eyes of someone I love, who still loves me back. But I’m not sure that’s a bucket list.
It’s raining outside. I stepped out into it for a moment. A little cold. Sip my coffee. Best time of year—everything is green.
I think I want to fly. Not in a plane or hot air balloon, but just fly—like Peter Pan. That’s not possible. Not eligible for the bucket list. I take a breath. In my dreams, I still fly. Also in my imagination. But in that world, I simply smile and the sick are healed, anger gives way to joy. You look deeply into my eyes as we lay on the cushions of a high jump pit.
I’ve seen the Grand Canyon three times. Autumn in Maine once. Been on the observation deck of the Empire State building. Listened to Grace Slick sing “White Rabbit” while sitting in a friend’s car in San Francisco, 1967. Stood on the sidewalk next to the spot in Dallas. Watched all of my daughters graduate from college. Held five daughters and four grand daughters in my arms. Watched a ball game in Fenway. Took the ferry across the sound to and from Seattle. Ran the trail around Town Lake several hundred times. Ran the trail next to the Concho. Played miniature golf in San Angelo. Climbed San Gorgonio one summer with Bryan and Chuck. Once hit a ball so solid that it sailed over the pine trees beyond the right field fence. Swam naked in Lake Travis—also in Still House Hollow. Been in love more than once. Been loved more than once. Had my heart broken more than once. Baked bread. Changed the oil in my car. Adjusted the valves in my old 1970 VW bug. Made it through boot camp. Wrote a dissertation—full of typos. Wrote four books of poetry. Had a pedicure. Sang to my daughter who had just died. Drove cross country from Texas to Utah to Chicago back to Texas to Florida to Maryland to Maine with her when she was two. No car seat. Fought in a karate tournament and won fourth place. Ate breakfast in Lordsburg, New Mexico. Ate breakfast in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Stood on the very steps where MLK gave his I have a dream speech.
I could sit here and write these all day long and not come to an end. I don’t have a bucket list. But I would like to be in shape again.