Tag Archives: aging

If you can wait

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise…  — Rudyard Kipling If I had to name my top five favorite poems, “If” by Kipling would definitely make …

Continue reading

This is enough

“The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know…Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” ― John Adams I can certainly identify with Adams’ observation about reading, thinking and anxious inquiry. In fact, I’ve noticed that my …

Continue reading

Packed up, but still

“Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land. My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave…”    —Thomas McGrath Many years ago, when the movie Dances with Wolves came out, there was a sort of fad of people thinking up American Indian names for themselves that were …

Continue reading

So much faster

“They outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them.” – Jodi Picoult Drew and Grady flew in to see us on Matt’s birthday. I had not seen Grady in nine months, and during that time he went from a somewhat precocious four year old to a very mature five year old. His birthday is …

Continue reading

Mostly standing still

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.  — Mary Oliver Bereavement, grief and aging are slicing through much of what once seemed inviolable …

Continue reading

Among these winters

Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by. For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive. Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise into the seamless life proclaimed in your …

Continue reading

The patient seamstress

“Faith is the patient seamstress   who mends our torn belief,   who sews the hem of childhood trust   and clips the threads of grief.”                — Joan Walsh Anglund I think this poem captures the essence of how faith operates in most lives. Some claim to have had …

Continue reading

In the slanted light

All the feathery grasses shine in the slanted light. It’s time to bring in the lawn chairs and wind chimes, time to draw the drapes against the wind, time to hunker down. Summer’s fruits are preserved in syrup, but nothing can stopper time. — from the poem “And Now it’s October” by Barbara Crooker Just when we …

Continue reading

To number our days

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12 (NIV) Jeff’s days are numbered.  But so are mine, and yours, and everybody’s. One of the benefits of slamming face-first into the reality of our own mortality is implied in the verse above.  I’ve found that many of the …

Continue reading

The years teach us

“It is very strange that the years teach us patience – that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” ― Elizabeth Taylor (the novelist) One of the great blessings of having parents who live a long time is the ability to learn from them about how to handle what lies ahead.  As my siblings and …

Continue reading

Deep roots

“The old that is strong does not wither.  Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien I quoted from this poem in an earlier post, but recently its timeless words have been on my mind again.  I was reminded of these particular lines by the daffodils in my yard. Daffodils …

Continue reading

Be the navigator

“Time flies.  It’s up to you to be the navigator.” — Robert Orben Though our circumstances differ, and some of us have more opportunities than others, each of us has the power to determine how we will react to the externals we cannot control.  We plan our lives much as a navigator plots a course …

Continue reading

More like rivers

“At the time I did not know that stories of life are often more like rivers than books.” ― Norman Maclean Jeff and I spent the first four years of our marriage in Memphis, Tennessee, while he attended dental school there.  I loved the city for many reasons, but what I loved most was the …

Continue reading

Constantly and visibly

“Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.” — Roman Payne I don’t know whether it’s because I’m less than three years from 60, or because of all the life-and-death issues my family has faced in the past 18 months, but I …

Continue reading

Age has no reality

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.” — Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez Ah, but the physical world …

Continue reading

Never too old to begin

“You’re never too old to begin a journey, if you don’t insist on completing it.” — Ashleigh Brilliant No matter what age, nobody has any guarantees of success or even survival when they embark on a journey.  If physical or financial limitations do not stand in your way, why should chronological age?  Besides, one destination …

Continue reading

Renewed day by day

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” — 2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV The barren winter landscape, even when accented with snow, is a stark and sometimes sad contrast to the lush flowering of just six months prior.  Yet underground, much is going …

Continue reading

Alterations

“Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.”  —  Faith Baldwin I imagine most of you remember Scarlett O’Hara’s reinvention of her parlor curtains, as well as Carol Burnett’s hilarious parody of it.  I admired Scarlett’s ability to work with whatever she had, which often wasn’t very much.   In our era, when new clothing is relatively …

Continue reading

Rejoicing that I’m still here

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”  — Oprah Winfrey A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do …

Continue reading