The Gift of Age

I will turn 65 years old in just a few days. I realize that age does not define us nor does it limit us. My experience caring for four aging relatives and working in the health and hospice field, has made me more aware and appreciative of both age and good health.

First, I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be here for this special time of life. So, I feel especially blessed this year and at this age.

I know to well that aging is a privilege denied many.

I am choosing my birthday month of November to pause, reflect and show my gratitude. One way I choose to honor my life is by showing my gratitude for the many things I love about my life…my family, my friends, being close to nature, having some solitude and being passionate about many things.

I remain a peaceful warrior.

I am actually feeling quite content about aging and shall not bemoan or whine about my status. It is an honor to have remained curious about life and the universe. My greatest hope is to remain healthy and relevant.

As an avid reader, music lover, and naturalist I have found solace and inspiration from so many who have come before. It is true that as long as we continue to feed our soul and spirit all else will align.

I lovingly refer to the four cornerstones of my life; as The Four Johns. The writings and lifetime achievements of these incredible men have given me hope, guidance and genuine comfort throughout my 65 years for which I shall be eternally grateful.

The first John to make his mark on my life was the Apostle John from The Book of John in the Bible. He was a close confidant and loyal companion to Jesus. In verse 13:34 in the book of John he transcribed Jesus’s beloved words: ” Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. ” These words from the Bible were ingrained in me as a young child and continue to resonate. I find inspiration and comfort in my faith daily.

The second Cornerstone John to influence me was John Muir, the famous Naturalist and writer. ” Keep close to nature’s heart and break clear away once in a while and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. ” I found John Muir’s writings in the mid 1960s and proudly remain one of Mother Nature’s children to this day.

The third John to influence my life was John Lennon ; who with Paul McCartney wrote the soundtrack of my life. “All you need is love. ” His music truly keeps me positive and focused.

During my formative years their messages of love and peace became values I continue to promote and cherish more each year.

The fourth cornerstone of The Four Johns is Irish Catholic Priest and author, John O’Donohue. His prose enlightens and inspires me daily. I’m sharing parts of his quote on birthdays from his book; “To Bless the Space Between Us, A Book of Blessings”.

“Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day the blueprint of your life would begin to glow on earth, illuminating all the faces and voices that would arrive to meet your soul to growth. Praised be to your Father and Mother who loved you before you were, and trusted to call you here with no idea of who you were meant to be, blessed be those who have loved you into becoming who you were meant to be, Blessed be the gifts you never notice; your health, eyes to behold the world, thoughts to countenance the unknown, memory to harvest vanished days, your heart to feel the worlds waves, your breath to breathe the nourishment of distance made intimate by earth. On this echoing day of your birth, may you open the gift of solitude in order to receive your soul; enter the generosity of silence to hear your hidden heart; know the serenity of stillness to be enfolded anew by the miracle of your being. “

The words and lives of these four inspiring men give me encouragement to live life more fully and deeply. They compel me to take nothing for granted , adding purpose and greater meaning to my life.

In this next year I shall seek more grace, authenticity, strength, and awareness in each new day.

Eventually, we must all learn and transcend conventional aging…for the way we treat life, is how life will treat us.

Be Love, Be Peace, Be Blessed

Sara

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