It’s never been something I worry over. It’s the kinda thing that I only notice on a random, unusually awake morning glance in the mirror. Needing a trim when my facial hair gets scraggly gets more of my attention. Other typical American concerns about my body like the wrinkles, a tan (or lack of), or the steadily thinner hair atop my scalp are pretty meaningless to me. The wrinkles are a record my habitual emotions, just as the lines on my hands and callouses on my palms reveal how I hold tools. You get to place of acceptance. IE: I’ve accepted it requires a little more time to rejuvenate after an especially long hard workday.
I’m very thankful I’m still capable of working a physical job all day long. Grateful for this body which, even if I’m a bit more deliberate, pretty much will do what I ask it to do, and much of what I could decades ago. Maybe some of that has to do with experience and learning how to use my brain more and my body more properly, or at least more carefully and efficiently. To degree it’s also just lucky genetics.
I like staying active, and getting outside somewhat all year round. When you are, you can’t help notice the seasons also make transitions. They turn from sprightly spring greens to the banquet of colorful summer blossoms to the vivid flame-like notes as autumn descends into the spare bones and shimmers of gold and silvers in winter. My 94 years young mom is for sure in winter. And yet, to me, her essence is more radiant now, maybe as her physical body becomes more frail, the Light within is able to shine more fully through.
I feel like I’ve entered autumn, having now (probably) lived more seasons than I have left… Not that I overthink these ratios of past and future much, nor dwell on actuary tables really. The days float by and things change. Like noticing less russet and more silver in my hair—“Well whadya know, when did this happen!” Other experiences are more profound and wake us from the routine. I’ve learned brushes with death, or the challenging loss of loved ones, for sure press the opportunity for such contemplation into our awareness.
Why are these necessary to be aware? In a more subtle, far less dramatic way, a deep view at the river’s edge, or even a long look in the mirror can prompt one to ponder things. Does our vision become more cloudy and nostalgic as we age, or is our perception more “real” and “accurate”? I wish it was clearly the latter, most of the time.
As winter approaches, the flamboyant rainbows of youth set aside, the river reveals underlying tones that are the color of precious metals and jewels. There’s a bedrock honesty to the silvers and golds, something invaluable in the glimmers of emeralds and rubies. Or maybe I’m just imagining them, looking to find treasures in the now crystal clear waters. Real or not, it’s all a precious gift to me.