Ode to youth.

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I use to be so arrogant, so wholly stuffed with pride,
When looking in the mirror my concept of me lied.
Others were beneath me, I only knew the way,
Little was I knowing the falls I’d take one day.
Decked in all illusions I briskly trod along
Not seeing all around me the places I’d gone wrong.
Until one day it happened, illusion stripped away,
With horror I acknowledged my inner self that day.
When stripped of all my vaunting, how shriveled up inside,
My inner soul was reeking with the awful stench of pride.
From then a humbler being, I walked within the realm,
My acid thoughts undoing, no more beneath prides spell.
A wiser, fuller creature I hope from that day on
To give to others glory and echo in their song.
A song of love, and heartfelt, admission of my ills
As love rose up within me, as understanding thrills.
I see now all my folly I wrought within those days,
I hope now I am wiser and walk within God’s ways.

Sixty + fun!

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I had such an enjoyable day yesterday! (I’m a volunteer with a group that takes disabled people, sailing on the lake near where I live.)
First session, perfect sailing weather (sun and light wind) with a great “special” partner – a chatty young girl with a big smile, heaven!
Then adventure! As I took off a second time from the jetty, I noticed two big black clouds either side of the lake. All seemed fine till the wind picked up (prelude to heavy rain) gusting us mercilessly towards the shallow water . With visions of being stuck in the reeds while the safety boat removed their rudder to reach us and those black clouds rained down, I began to wave frantically.
The problem was my companion, joining in the “game”, began to wave also. The safety boat waved back happily, thinking “those guys are really having fun!” Eventually they got the point and came to drag us back to deep water and we all made it back before the skies opened. Everyone had a good laugh about that one!
Adventure over, sheltering from the rain, I sighed as I was assigned as helper on the safety boat.. (The safety boat is always the last on the water if it rains!)
Surprisingly instead of a drenching it turned out to be the funest time ever. Not only did the rain stop and the sun appear but, due to only two sailing boats (both with very expert crew members) to watch out for, the motor boats had nothing to do. Soon an impromptu “water fight” began between us and the patrol boat creating wakes to rock/splash each other, reeling and twirling like a fairground ride. I don’t know when I last screamed and shrieked with laughter so much! (amazing for all us 60 +ers.) Our boat “won” with never a drop of wash water reaching us (well the guy on the tiller was a retired sailing instructor lol!) The two “special sailors” watched from the sail boats laughing and enjoying the entertainment.
Sometimes I feel so young!

Age adjustments.

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Don’t worry – less is more! Almost all the things listed come naturally along with retirement age. It’s a time of quality not quantity, of sipping life in small sips rather than downing shots. Appreciation flourishes, patience matures, humility takes the edge off pride as you pass the torch to others, your sense of what is important becomes heightened in the knowledge that your remaining time should be spent wisely.

I can say in honesty I do not crave to be younger, each age has its merits and this one outdoes the others as the taste of a rare vintage   entices the pallet as a new wine never could.

Happy mothers day news.

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I just read that a petition I signed regarding a 92 year old ailing grandmother not be forcibly removed from the care of her daughter in the UK due to an immigration technicality has caused a halt to proceedings, which will now be reviewed. She’ll now be able to remain in the UK under her daughter’s care rather than being shipped off to South Africa where she has no friends, family or means of support due to having lived in the UK most of her life. The news came on mothers day. What a happy gift for a mother!

The three most beautiful women.

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I met three very beautiful women over the past three months, one since passed away from cancer, one has just recovered from cancer, and one’s son recently committed suicide. No it had nothing to do with make up or “taking care of themselves”, though each was tastefully dressed etc. This was something more. Each had struggled with something beyond their capability to bare, as if life had operated and created a void inside emptying out the self, the pride, till an inner beauty had kindled that took my breath away. All three are in their 60’s and one of them had never been beautiful even in youth, but now she glows.

Maybe I don’t see as others do. I must admit I often find the commercially vaunted beauty, tacky, superficial, even slimy. My daughter (who’d secretly like me to find a “special someone”) tends to point out guys to try to “find out my type”. I frequently answer “ugh no!” I try to explain there has to be something to the eyes that shines out. What ever it is these ladies have it, an inner beauty so strong it transforms their faces like angels.

(The photo is from bing by the way (I don’t generally post friends or family on my blog)).

How old is your heart?

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When I first began to teach I rediscovered wonder through a child’s eyes. How immense is the ocean, how fascinating the tiny insect in the grass, how soft a rose petal, how all invading the smell of lavender. God help me as a teacher, mother (grandmother) and inner child never to lose that wonder, and when death calls my name to proceed in intense curiosity, excited by the prospect of new worlds to explore.

Old Love.

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old love

I reach to touch your cheek. It is withered like mine, for it has travelled many journeys, walked beneath many suns, loved beneath many moons. It has no more the outer blossom it once had, but “outer blossom” no longer concerns me. I know within lies a fountain of youth. I glimpse it in your gaze. I want to bathe in those eyes, to let the love I find there wash away the hurts, the compromises of this world. I’m drawn deep within. I feel you enter into me. Not as in youth a mere uniting of bodies. We need not undress, for we see each other’s naked beauty through the eyes. Though fingers trace remembered patterns it is in the spirit we touch, embrace, the physical a mere extension of what flows between us.

No longer the “young stud” your hands elicit joy from me as the virtuoso upon a beloved  old violin. You draw music from my soul with your touch. I do not see the flesh that sags, the wriggles at the brow. My eyes are drawn by something deep within. Like matured wine I taste you, no longer in rapid gulps but in small sips, savouring the flavour. We are one, tasting exquisite pleasure through eye, and touch and soul. With you the flower of youth blossoms once more. For we do not love as others but together enter in to another world. We close the door behind us as we lay aside our aging bodies and, cleansed by love, become young, unwrapping that secret kernel that lays beneath.

The universal present (pause before opening.)

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As the joys of Christmas fade I remind myself that Christmas was not an end but a new beginning. Shortly after its demise as the days imperceptibly grow brighter as winter solstice has passed, young and old, rich and poor, of every nation, we each receive a present, a brand new year!
It comes unsullied from its box, (as life comes each day). As I get older I treasure time more and more (not knowing when my allocation here will be up). While never one for hastily drawn up resolutions (to eat healthy, remember to do my yoga, finalize various writing projects etc.) I do like to pause in these few days before I “open my present” to look at the larger picture.
Is there something more I’m meant to do during my time here? I ask. Am I still on course for my life goals or do adjustments need to be made? Am I ready to surf the waves of life, to catch the fresh wind in my sails? These are the big questions that preclude the smaller resolutions that help take us there.
I look at the present, sitting awaiting me and I ponder.