With age comes wisdom. With youth, there is fearlessness; the belief that nothing can harm us. We are just beginning and so we're invincible.
There are so many similarities between young and old. Neither is caught up in the minutia of life, the clock ticking, the rushing here and there, as is referenced in The Handbook. If we manage to grow old without becoming jaded and cynical, we are even more like the very young.
It's a shame for anyone not to be awed by sunsets, flowers and oceans; ladybugs crawling on the edge of a glass; old men telling fish stories; young girls newly smitten; it's a shame not to be awed by cliffs and green fields. It's a shame not to treasure the little things. The giggles and smiles and side glances.
Please, don't ever let me lose my wits so that I forget to revel in the little things. Please don't let me ever forget my first love or the first time I held my son.
I'm reading The Madonnas of Leningrad right now and loving it, but I'm also struck again by the fear that because I want to remember every little thing, I'll forget everything. I've been through the forgetfulness that accompanies pregnancy and childbirth and now my forgetfulness has no real explanation, and I think, if it comes to dementia or Alzheimer's, let me remember with acuteness the best things. If I'm going to lose the immediate, let me have glory days.
Lately, I've been hanging out with "Grannie Annie" and she often tells me the same story over and over, but in each telling, I learn some small tidbit, that is so unique that I'm glad I got to hear the story again. She is smart and witty. She says, "I'm glad I moved here into this smaller house because this way I'm closer to my treasurer (her son)" and she laughs. She's no slouch. She's proud and quick, and I realize that even though she's no blood relation to me, I want to know her better. I want to hold her stories and retell them. Pass them along in fiction and in my own stories, and maybe when I'm very old, I'll imagine her tales as my own. Who knows? The mind is a funny place with nooks and crannies and wonderment. Let's never forget to love those softer places that are less immediate because they are history. They are who WE are, and they are no less worthy of attention.
Do you know someone who is old and who has the world to offer? Do tell!!!!