And so it goes…

It is almost like I’ve written this before. Maybe I have, maybe not. My stacks of journals are witness but I haven’t the patience to cruise them all – it would take hours, days, months, etc. The story as old as the ages. What age does. I’m seventy-seven. It is a startling revelation each time I say it aloud. I remember thinking sixty was the end game when I was thirty. What is seventy-seven? I know many people in my generation, my age group. Some are old, some not.  I put myself in the latter category. I certainly don’t feel old. My body does occasionally, but I disabuse it of that notion as quickly as it complains. ‘No, it’s not age, it’s what you ate-drank-did yesterday that is the cause of complaint,’ I tell the federation of bone, fat, and muscle that contains my spirit.  ‘Be more thoughtful in your choices’.

I read some time ago, old is ten years older than whatever age you are. When I was ten, twenty was freedom. When I was twenty, thirty was unimaginably far in the distance with countries like marriage, continents like parenting to explore. In my thirties, there were career challenges. There was so much to do between ten and twenty and between twenty and thirty and beyond.  Seeming lifetimes of choice were encapsulated in each decade. What did I know at fifty, that I didn’t know at forty? The blurrrrr of years, forties, fifties, sixties and now seventies, whizzed by. Here I am looking ten years down the road. What will eighty-seven bring? How will I evolve in that space of time? Who will I meet? What questions will be answered? What fresh questions will arise? What different territories will open? I am ever curious. Each day brings something new. Nothing is static when you are alive. Change is the only constant and change brings opportunity. Embrace each day for the treasure that comes with it. Even difficult days reveal nuggets of discovery, maybe more so.

Painting by Sally Rosenbaum
Painting by Sally Rosenbaum

It is never too late for surprises in life. Not in a million years would I have thought I’d be a published author. A writer, yes, but not published. My stories and poems have always been for my own amusement. Yet here I am in league with two other writers having a published book, Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets, a journey of friendship through words. Published at age seventy-seven! It is a book I believe in because it is meant as an encouragement to those solitary writers who want to be heard by the world at large or those who want to have their voices heard in a smaller way. Writers’ groups can be a support for both.

Reflections of Change

Autumn has been kind and gentle to us here in Tucson this season. The nights have not dropped below 38 degrees, the days remain between the ’60s to mid-’70s. Evenings quiet with a slight chill to invite a log lite in the fireplace. During the day, I slide open a door and window to allow the warmth of fall to slip into the house.

As I read through others’ blog posts, and read emails from friends or family, those close to my heart or those of new acquaintance, worries wedge in of health, aging, close calls, and uncertainty. I realize at this age in my life, and looking back, my growth has been like a small tree starting its place in the soil. Each year as I have grown, I grew and gained more limbs and vibrant leaves. Each leaf represents those I have gone to school with, worked alongside in various jobs over many years, relatives I have known since birth and now long gone, introductions to strangers that became a delightful newfound friendship, children, nieces and nephews, and anyone else that drifted onto my path. These leaves became thicker and denser with time, but at a certain point in a year, a certain point in life, they drop and flutter to the ground one by one.

Last Friday Jackie speaks of relationship love, child love, animal love, and sister love; all of which are bundles of leaves clinging to a branch, giving us beauty in small doses when we look closely.

On Monday, Diana speaks of gratitude in nature. She reaches toward our natural beauty as a solid substance, knowing nature withstands what we as humans cannot at the times we are weakened by uncertainties that spring up.

I speak of today, the moments that melt into the sound from our very close friend painting my husbands’ car shop, doing repairs in the house and around, tasks that my husband cannot do right now. A friend who didn’t drive down the road or across town to our home, but drove the long distance from Missouri to assist. The motion of self-sacrifice is one of the biggest gifts to give and receive. Like part of a tree, leaves filter through the seasons, and we season with the stream of life.

Take a moment to peer closer at one of your reflections, write a gift you can give to someone, write the gifts others have given you with their time and gather the leaves that rustle with you on your path.