Monday, June 29, 2009

Coming of Age

It is always a shock when you see the first liver-colored spot on your hands or face. Then one day you are looking at your arms and legs and you flex a muscle in dismay. The top layer of skin has a rippled look like wind gently blowing over water--wrinkles. You go to pluck your eyebrows and energetically pull the white hairs out--they were never there before. Somehow that streak of gray in your hair got wider without your even noticing it--until you brush your hair in a different direction and discover a whole layer of it underneath. You used sunblock faithfully but the crow's feet are getting more pronounced, and that frown wrinkle between your eyes has gotten deep enough it never entirely disappears, even when you're not frowning. You start flexing and stretching before exercising, because a strain or sprain has taught you that not doing so is foolish and injury likely if you don't. You go to the next room to get something and can't remember what it was by the time you arrive there. You stop, think through what you were doing, and why you might need something, and eventually it comes to you--ah, I'm in the pantry to get the ... honey!

But there is good news! You've wised up some. There are mistakes you don't repeat any more. There are things you get done, because time is more precious. There are lots of things you don't worry about any more, because you've come to see they aren't worth it. You have things to look back on and see what has been accomplished. It is good to see how far you've come. You've learned that experience is the best teacher--so you try to give less advice and pray more. You have more stories to tell and more to laugh about! And when things are not going well, you panic less. Things really do pass on. You realize there is always something to get riled up about, and when the current crisis is over another one will follow. We do live in a fallen world. You get riled up because you love many things in this world that is terminally ill. You view generations like people standing in line--one generation passes through the veil and you step up in the queue. Occasionally you are shocked when someone behind you takes cuts and steps through first, but your turn is coming. You try to grow in faith, to keep your fears in check, and keep your soul clean. Because the age is coming when what matters most is how you've lived and who you love most.

1 comment:

J-chan said...

I really like that metaphor.