Thursday, November 15, 2012

Is Wisdom Wasted on the Old?

     There is a saying about how grey hairs are somehow related to the wisdom of a person.  As a teenager I certainly thought this was pure fantasy as I seemed to be surrounded by lots of foolish older people.  As an adult I can appreciate the context of the saying: when this saying was created if you made it past your 50th birthday it meant that you were doing something that God really liked, or maybe He simply really liked you, given that ancient societies were prone to various cultural and medical maladies most of which clean water, antibiotics and a few good peace treaties could have easily solved.

     Today I turn 44, not quite a new age category for running races and it's not a milestone like a 30, 40 or beyond.  But every day that I am here is still a victory.   Every day is a blessing.  And it's all temporary.  One day none of us will be here.  Life is like a play (not chocolates Forrest Gump!)  we're all a bit player in the grand scheme of things and one day the show will be over!  I learned the harsh facts of the fragility of human life and temporality of my existence in a near-drowning in a conservation area lake when I was a child.   Occasionally I still have flashbacks in which I vividly remember contemplating my own death at twelve.

     When I was younger there were only a few adults in my life who I felt may have known a couple of things.  Truthfully, I thought most of them, especially those in authority positions such as teachers, ministers and doctors and one parent were total nattering fools!  The adults in my life whom I respected and loved the most didn't pretend to know everything.  I regarded them as specialists in their own lives.  

     My neighbour Erma, for instance, had been a high school English and History teacher who connected so well to her students that they would still send her Christmas cards twenty years after their last class with her. From her I learned the value of thinking, dreaming, pondering and the difference that one person can make in another's life.  From my grandparents Young I learned the silent power of faith, perseverance and unconditional love.  From my grandmother Diebold I learned how to survive rejection, your circumstances and how to rise above it all.  From my dad I learned the value of a good day's work, how to innovate and make things work for you.  He also taught me the boundless love of a parent and the value of accepting your child no matter how crazy she is!  From the God who reached out to a lonely child living in difficult circumstances I much.  Where would I start?

     Now I am on the other end of things.  What do I leave behind, what mark do I leave in this world?  As I have no progeny to deposit 44 years of wisdom mostly gained from mistakes and observations what do I do?  Once, I had three little eager brains, two cats and a husky  who were wonderful 'people'  but clearly not interested in any of my ponderings or  breakthroughs.   

    I have embraced change as a matter of principle, an essential tool in the journey.  After all an 'unexamined life isn't worth living', right?  I'm grateful for what I have become and the person I am still evolving to be.  I have always known that I am in good hands! 

    You have to make peace with yourself.  You accept your circumstances and what you have been given to work with.  If you want to try to create peace in the world then you need to make peace with yourself first.  There are things I've decided not to fight and things I have learned to simply work with.  I have befriended my ADD and made it work for me.  I acknowledge and work with my anxiety issues and do not let these things defeat me.  I work with my so-called limitations and have grown to accept them.  Oddly enough, if one thing is poor, it tends to be compensated my something else!

This month I am doing a job I love: NANOWRIMO.  (National Novel Writing Month).  The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month and the novel is called 'The Grace Tree' and the idea was conceived by a 22-year-old version of the person sitting at this laptop.  The journey continues!

In Mount Hope Cemetary Kitchener.  God bless communists!

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