This morning I heard the alarm clock, went back to sleep, hit the snooze a second time, dozed, then reluctantly pulled myself out of bed in response to some impatient, targeted (at me), huffing by Scout Labradoodle – who had been ready for her walk since the first sounds of Dan Fogelberg’s “To the Morning” leaked from my phone twenty minutes earlier.
My knees objected to being straightened out, my elbows chimed in with, “me too,” and my back tried to warn me against the full-body yawn I was contemplating.
I stretched cautiously, splashed some water on my face, and then did a double-take at the reflection looking back at me from the mirror. The incisive morning light is not so kind. Seriously? Am I really that wrinkled, that blotchy, that thin on top, that – how shall I say… rustic?
So Scout and I took our trek through the neighborhood. Wake Forest was 48-degrees, clear, bursting with fall color, and inviting. By the time we turned into the park I felt considerably better; and together – she with her old-dog arthritis and me with my… reality – we enjoyed an invigorating 30-minute walk.
When we returned home I pulled in the garbage can and rolled it around the side of the house. That’s when I noticed the concrete pig. He’s been sitting around in our garden since the early days in Tampa, and I really hadn’t noticed him in a long while – not until one of the construction guys asked about him a couple of days ago.
“What a great looking pig,” he said. “I love the way it’s taken on all the different colors and textures over the years.”
So I looked at the pig this morning, then thought about the unflattering reflection in the bathroom mirror. Aged; weathered; different hues, and colors, and textures; rugged; pretty cool. What a great looking
pig… what a great looking face.
Not so shabby. It turns out I have patina.
I walked into the kitchen, poured a couple of mugs of steaming fresh coffee, and went back upstairs.
“Good morning, beautiful,” I said.
“Good morning, handsome man,” she replied.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.