Time

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Time does a number on the body, that’s for sure. Just yesterday, stretching before a workout, the sun shining through the window and onto my forearms, I ask myself, ‘Whose arm is that?’ The skin folded in finely wrinkled lines which I associate with the elder women of my extended family, now long gone. But these were my arms, not Great-Great-Aunt Margaret’s. A sobering realization.

And so I take consolation in Emilie Da’oud’s thoughts on the word, ‘supple:

If an adult body becomes truly supple, there’s a quality to its movement that the child’s doesn’t have, a texture of experience, a fourth dimension of time. When we watch a seventy-year-old hand move, we feel, ‘Yes, that hand has lived.’ All the bodies it has touched, all the heads it has cradled are present in its movement. It is resonant with experience; the fingers curve with a sense of having been there.’

For those of us who are ‘of a certain age,’ may we happily reside in our aging bodies, which are ‘resonant with experience,’ wrinkles and all.

 

 

Growing Lovely

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‘Let me grow lovely, growing old–

so many fine things do.

Laces, and ivory, and gold,

And silks need not be new,

And there is healing in old trees,

Old streets a glamour hold;

Why may not I, as well as these,

Grow lovely, growing old?’

–Karle Wilson Baker

Other fine things that ‘grow lovely, growing old’:  paintings, with their cracked and faded patina, wrinkled hands with age spots, the scent of boxwoods along a worn stone walkway, creaky wooden stairs.

Age well today, dear reader. It’s a gift to be here.

*Baker (1878-1960), born in Arkansas, was educated at The University of Chicago, lived most of her life in Texas, where she wrote and taught for decades, receiving accolades as a poet and publishing multiple books with Yale University Press.

(That’s a sweet-gum seed pod in the pixabay photo. A favorite tree of Betty’s, my mother-in-law. Thank you, Betty, for giving my husband a turn on this earth.)