And time keeps moving…
It is no small thing to grow old. That’s my take on the aging process. One day you add up the number of years of your life and that number is no longer as small as it should be. You begin to compare your days with all that has gone on around you and the effect can be daunting. So can things that once appeared easy to do, like getting out of bed all in one motion. I’m reminded of the scene in The Electric Horseman where Robert Redford comments that some parts wake up faster than others. All of mine seem inclined to sleep in.
Time’s passage makes you aware of the hidden cost of the neglect you didn’t worry about in your twenties. Every time you went “oh, it’ll be okay” will come back to haunt you. Muscles remember and your bones know how to get even. And they can do it without your cooperation. Your brain is on their side when it comes to this revenge. Actually your brain is taking its own holiday so it really doesn’t know or care what the rest of the outfit is doing.
All is not despair, though. What is left is a purer form of desire than I had as a younger woman, and a greater longing for the things that occupy my heart. Though my body may resist the physical impulses I try and connect it to, my soul flies higher than it ever has before. And it complains less about the trip. Age has enabled my soul to dream and to believe with a power that doesn’t depend on my physical state and time has allowed it a vision that sees further than the known world. When I was young and I watched my older family members sit in the sun with their eyes closed I assumed they were only sleeping. Now I know they were flying free in their own minds, released from the physical limitations their bodies were forcing on them. All of the places and people who filled their memories gathered round them on that mental journey and they could see and understand all those things that eluded them before.
But I know where all that physical energy has gone. I’m watching it right now as it jumps around the living room to the music on the Mickey Mouse show. It has been reformed into the younger bodies of my grandchildren and I can’t say I regret that. I hope it serves them as well as it did me so when their time comes they have as much to remember and to dream about as I do.