A Fine Winter's Day - 2009

A Fine Winter's DayTuesday, 20th January
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” my first grade teacher asked.

“Um, a firefighter” I reply.

I remember this vividly. Don’t ask me why but I do. And I only said “firefighter” because my other friends both said firefighters and I thought we would all drop out of elementary school and get jobs together. It would be funny if we lived in a dictatorship or something and whatever you said when you were 6 you had to become.

Dictator - “You will become firefighter”
Me - “What? Why?”
Dictator - “Don’t you remember what you said in 1984? We have it on tape!”

My point to this is I’m in New Hampshire right now and today my mom found a gray hair on my head. I ran to the bathroom mirror and stared at it. It’s sticking out of the left side of my cranium for the world to see.

I grabbed the delicate strand with my index finger and was getting ready to pull when something occurred to me. This hair was more than just some dead follicle growing from my scalp. Like an army sergeant receiving a purple heart, this hair was being awarded after years of life experience. Every obstacle, every hurdle. They all come fast and unexpected. All we can do we is give our best and accept reality, even if that means not becoming firefighter.

I open the front door of my house unleashing a sub-arctic wind, frosting the tip of my nose.

It’s good to be home. 
Tarun ShettyComment