It almost the eve of my birthday. I’d like to believe that I am still young but at times my body physically objects to that notion. I know I am getting old. I think of a summer afternoon in the province, the way my grandmother sits on the porch facing the world, her stare deep and focused, though her failing eyesight hardly reveals anything to her, not the height of the sugarcanes or the way the light falls fiercely on the red gumamelas. Maybe she sees without looking, maybe she knows by listening, like the way she knows, by the sound of my footsteps, that it is I who is approaching. This is how I know I am getting old. I can tell time by how my voice sounds in the afternoon, husky and tired as though in need of consoling. Sometimes, lying in bed in the deep night, silence becomes music, and music becomes nostalgia. I see my father sitting on his chair looking out the window, and I cannot help but wonder what sort of world he sees out there; I would like him to come back for an hour and tell me how his heart always had room to love people. Once, a fruit vendor, a woman with a young child, gave me some mangoes for free. I did not have cash to buy it from her. Un regalo, she said. A gift. Sometimes it takes so little to be kind. Sometimes it takes years to recognize that the world you live in has always been benevolent. I want to live in the light of gratitude. Tonight I sit in quiet contemplation. Tonight I am a child of the sky, sea, and stars. Tonight I await the first light that comes out of this cold evening, where the light flourishes and lives and feels like a miracle.