“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December,” proclaimed Sir James Matthew Barrie sometime in the early 1900s. Born in 1860 he lived a full thoughtful life, with his share of sorrow and success. His saying naturally resonates with me: At 94, I can smell those roses! With open arms, I welcome home the memories triggered by the scent.
Life has no set formula. We live our lives differently, and we age differently. One of the common experiences is realizing that age steals many of the abilities and interests once enjoyed. The good news is that the problems I encounter as the years pass are manageable. The joys I experience continue to accumulate. Now deep into my December, as countless wonderful memories drift in, I pick my roses, contentedly.
“The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of the ages,
may be preserved by quotation.”
Isaac D’israeli, an Englishman who lived from 1766 to 1848, was a respected literary essayist. His belief, given above, has weathered well. In 2013 we turn to the online Proverbs of the World and read,
“These sagacious sayings are the distilled wisdom of the ages. Their lessons are as relevant today, as when first heard hundreds and sometimes thousands of years ago.”
We need help today. We struggle to accept, enjoy and handle our modern lives, sometimes against overwhelming odds. We could benefit from the mentoring of experienced guides. Are the problems we face now so different from those in the past? Is it possible to tap into ancient wisdom? Continue reading
Today’s mantra proclaims the value of “Living in the Moment”. Yesterday is gone: Forget it! Tomorrow may never come: Why worry? This state, it suggests, is particularly suited for the elderly.
Having just reached four-score years and ten, I qualify as elderly. (Indeed, I note that the Bible suggests I have lived about as long as one can reasonably expect to! Nonetheless, the Bible also tells stories of many individuals who far exceeded this milestone. Perhaps longevity is not a “one size fits all” phenomenon.)
No one can speak for all elderly people, any more than for other groups. I speak, therefore, only for myself. My credentials? Only these: my years of living and where my musings have taken me. And when it comes to Living in the Moment, “That’s only part of the picture!” I plead. Continue reading
Spring was firmly established. It was warm in the morning sunshine, cool when the breezes whirled by. The sky was bright and blue, the clouds puffy and white and the meadowlarks were singing. The farm teemed with new life – calves, little piglets and baby chicks. The barn cats had kittens, the pet dog produced puppies, and the resident wildlife followed suit in their own style.
This morning the big news was the birth, during the night, of a little colt. My Dad made the announcement at breakfast. Mother and offspring were well and enjoying the day in the fenced paddock behind the barn.
As with most farm kids, even little ones, there were chores to do. I attacked mine with a vengeance, then announced to my mother that I was going to the barn yard to see if I could catch a glimpse of the new colt. She nodded her consent but added “Be quiet, Marjie. The mare will be protective of the new colt, and you must not upset her”. With her admonition ringing in my ears, I hurried away. Up to this point my day’s record was unblemished. I had…
Done my chores,
Told Mother where I was going,
Said what I wished to do, and
Listened to her “Be careful” list …
BUT … Continue reading