When people look back at their childhood or youth, their wistfulness comes from the memory, not of what their lives had been in those years, but of what life had then promised to be. The expectation of some indefinable splendor, of the unusual, the exciting, the great is an attribute of youth and the process of aging is the process of that expectations' gradual extinction. One does not have to let it happen. But that fire dies for lack of fuel, under the gray weight of disappointments.

When people look back at their childhood or youth, their wistfulness comes from the memory, not of what their lives had been in those years, but of what life had then promised to be. The expectation of some indefinable splendor, of the unusual, the exciting, the great is an attribute of youth and the process of aging is the process of that expectations' gradual extinction. One does not have to let it happen. But that fire dies for lack of fuel, under the gray weight of disappointments.