Young at Heart

a girl and her elephant
Photo via Pinterest

For my Mother

Day 25: A – Z Challenge

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”Robert Frost

Remember Your Sense of Wonder.

As I get older, it gets more difficult to match how I feel on the inside with how I look on the outside.

There’s an aspect of child-like wonder that directs my life, even as I sit squarely in mid-life. It seems impossible that the girl I am inside, is no longer evident on my face (unless you have known me a long time.)

I don’t know about you, but aging feels strange.

It’s odd to have such clear recollections of the sights, sounds, and smells of childhood, and yet be abruptly confronted with the realization forty years have passed since they took place.

I still feel like a ten-year-old child riding my bike through the sweet onion fields of Walla Walla, Washington.

I can still smell the sweat and dirt. I can still feel the damp air.

Yet, if I visited that place today, I’d find most of the onion fields gone. Instead, wineries now exist where Bird’s Eye used to grow beans and asparagus.

Our house — the one I sometimes visit in the dream state — is still standing; however, I doubt I would recognize it as the place I once knew. Ghosts of my father and grandfather might gather around to remind me, but otherwise I’d pass it and fail to notice.

It exists in a netherworld, a blurry snapshot I tossed in a drawer, twenty or more years ago.

Don’t Ever Grow Old. Don’t Ever Lose Your Wanderlust.

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy

How do we recognize ourselves as we grow older? How do we manage to keep that child we were, nested and warm, inside of us?

Why is important that we do so?

Hope exists for the young at heart.

The guts and marrow of life rests in remaining hopeful. We must awaken with the sense that life is teeming with possibilities, no matter how old we are.

Life ain’t over until it’s over.

May You Stay Forever Young.

Via Tumblr
Via Tumblr

My mom turned 80 in January.

Even so, every morning, she gets up early to greet the new day. She drinks hot tea, listens to the birds, feeds the cats and dog, and then settles in to quilt, sew, read and journal.

She sketches her ideas out and sorts through her fabric.

I can almost see the wheels of her creative mind turning as she works out how she will piece something together or how she will unravel the latest mystery she’s reading.

She’s interested in politics and Buddhism and her grandbabies. She writes letters and makes fresh squeezed juice.

She takes walks, even with sciatica, and other aches and pains.

She talks to strangers and enjoys greeting every yowling dog in our neighborhood.

There is nothing particularly shy or retiring about her. 

And that’s a good thing, in my estimation.

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” ― George Bernard Shaw

My mom’s maintained her sense of wonder; her sense that life is fascinating and brutal and beautiful all at the same time. She’s still certain she has more to learn.

And I learn about grace and wonder and timelessness, just watching her move through her life.

She’s a constant reminder: it’s never too late to be who you might have been.

It’s never too late to try something new.

Until you close the book on life, it’s never too late to launch your dream.

© 2015  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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2 thoughts on “Young at Heart

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