Clearing blue sky
A promise in bare branches.
In winter, there are sunny days.
In adulthood, childhood can return.
…There was an old man who began an orchard upon his retirement. Everyone laughed at him. Why plant trees? They told him that he would never live to see a mature crop. Undaunted, he planted anyway, and he has seen them blossom and has eaten their fruit. We all need that type of optimism. That is the innocence and hope of childhood.
~ Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao: Daily Meditations
I’ve been listening to and watching (online) different yoga teachers (who teach different types of yoga) and I’m puzzled by the mixed messages about age and aging. More than one yoga teacher has said that we need to keep in mind that our bodies change as we age and that we can’t do the same things we did when we were 18 or 25 or even 30 or 40.
And yet, I’ve read about people running their first marathons at age 80 or 90. I have a friend who walked her first half marathon when she turned 70. There is the saying “you’re only as old as you feel’ (although I’ve also heard it as “you’re only as young as you feel” and don’t think there’s much difference except for the exchange of young for old).
We appear to live in a culture of youth, and judging by the way our society as a whole acts, perhaps we humans are stuck in adolescence with our emphasis on looks, clothing, sports, popularity, and our inability to settle differences without bluster and war. But I find myself drawn more towards those older folks who have matured on every level. I don’t mean “older” in terms of age. There are young people who, it seems to me, are old souls, and have more good sense than some elderly people I know. I suspect there are more mature people than there are the immature, but the immature are squeaky wheels, getting more attention than the mature folks.
For instance, I follow Yung Pueblo on Instagram. He is 29 years old and posts some profound, thought-provoking insights. There is a wonderful interview with him here (which also briefly addresses the age of humankind).
Then there is Elena Brower. I don’t know how old she is, but she certainly looks younger than me. I’ve learned a lot from some of her talks, and I bought her book Practice You: A Journal. I love the artwork, the words, and the whole concept of the book. Here is a short (46 seconds) video on meditation: Mindful Smack.
Or Anand Mehrota, founder of Sattva Yoga. I’ve listened to a few of his talks, and I love his guided meditation (47 minutes long), Surrender to Truth. A warning about that one: If you are easily distracted, you might find it difficult to stay with this one. I am pretty sure Anand pours a drink of something fizzy somewhere in the beginning and there are lots of traffic noises in the background. I focus on his voice and the words, and the other noises seem to fade away.
Do you suppose you will look the same when you are an old woman as you do now? Most folk have three faces—the face they get when they’re children, the face they own when they’re grown, and the face they’ve earned when they’re old. But when you live as long as I have, you get many more. I look nothing like I did when I was a wee thing of thirteen. You get the face you build your whole life, with work and loving and grieving and laughing and frowning.
~ Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
I reckon that’s enough rambling from me today. Thank you so much for visiting and joining me on today’s walk. I can’t believe how warm 24°F felt!! It was crunchy and a little slippery outside. We had some freezing rain or sleet last night, and that put a nice and slippery sheen on the surface of the snow and any cleared areas. The temperature has since gone up into the 40’s and I hear we’ll be in the 60’s by Friday. I imagine by Friday evening most, if not all, of the snow will be gone.
I won’t make it out for the sunset this evening. I’ve got some errands to run up in the “big” city and don’t think I’ll make it back by then. It’s scheduled for 5:02 this evening, and if I can make it, I’ll see you out at the Point. Otherwise, enjoy it for me, please.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 521) The crunch of the snow as I broke the surface of it with each footstep this morning. 522) A light misty fog that settled over the meadows and pond. 523) Good news that I can’t share now, but will when the time is right. 524) The way the light and shadows shimmered and played in the woods today. 525) Baked apples.
A song: Forever Young.