To the Ambler,
Dear sir, I have come to read your many and varied dispatches with some relish of both the dill and sweet varieties made, as most people know, from the pickling of cucumbers, ones unnaturally aged, as it were. And, it is on that very theme I feel impelled to jot down a quick note to the Ambler himself as a way of pointing to a protrusive root on his path.
I fear bringing forth correction upon so esteemed a traveler carries with it the danger of a smashing rebuttal, but I will not make that my excuse. Rather, relying on your kindly eye, I will plunge forth bravely into the cold waters of trout, refreshment, and possible drowning.
The contention I wish to sally is found throughout your entries in the form of this phrase: “My old bones.” I certainly do not wish to contradict your apparent sensation of age within your appendages (if it is illness I do sincerely hope for a brief convalescence). One cannot argue with feelings, but surely one is still able to argue upon facts. For to claim the entrustment of “old bones,” the Ambler himself is ignoring a fundamental prerequisite of oldness, that of age. For oldness cannot be claimed in a dirth of time, no matter the sensation. We simply do not now possess the adequate years among us for such a claim. Decrepitude, dilapidation, deterioration, or debilitation, maybe, but not aginess, not oldness.
Now, please do not presume to assume that I assume to know your age. You may hold counsel in your spritely nineties or moribund teens; it makes no difference. I’m afraid a ripe old age does not exist anymore (in a worldly sense (even the trees seem to be dying younger these days)), and, I’m not sorry to say, only questionably exists in light of eternity. For that is an old age of discovery and not one of completed discovery; an old age of further expectations not one of the companionship with memories of many exuberant expeditions never to be attempted again. In this light, there are worlds to explore and old age’s veneration will be one of rest, wisdom, and expectation.
For, those in Christ come from the "womb of the morning.” We follow Him who holds the dew of His Youth.* The Evening has passed, the dry bones have and will dance.
No, my friend, this oldness, no matter the feeling, we cannot claim. Even if your bones do tremble they should not hinder the "the hope in our hearts, and wings on our heals." I’m afraid you have many an eon before attempting to throw off this youngishness of yours, and even then, you might struggle in the undertaking!
Neleus of Iolcos