Blue mountains

Everything to know was in his face. Blue eyes open, confused, but calm. Color good — creased, delicate, pale, not ashen or pallid. Actually healthy-looking for a 96 year old.

Dementia, his home aide said, and he had had a fall. When we lifted him, he was light like a bird.

His daughter later said he had been born in that house. Born in 1920. That made him older than the maple trees on that property. He lived when the railroads still ran milk from these blue mountains. Before the highways. Before the industrial future that is now, or an age come and gone.

In the ambulance ride to the hospital, he answered our questions and understood what was happening. He was entirely in the present. No complaints or regrets.

Grace and power were in those blue eyes. Somewhere in all that blue was a long life well lived.

Franz Marc — Yellow Cow, 1911