“But now the days are short, I’m in the autumn of my years. And I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs. From the brim to the dregs, it poured sweet and clear. It was a very good year.” – Ervin Drake, It Was A Very Good Year
There is something grounding, something earthly ceremonial about the change of seasons. The natural world is filled with answers to our longing. Nature is the great healer and finding time to spend in its sensual beauty nurtures the tired soul.
After 37+ years of regular workouts, my body has decided to defend itself by developing osteoarthritis. Every workout is now a rousing game of Will It Hurt If I Do This? Oh, what fun.
As the Buddhists say, “pain and pleasure, praise and blame, loss and gain are the natural waves of being human.” Just sitting quietly in a wicker rocker in the sunshine, I am pulled up and down by text messages, phone calls and the fluctuations in my own mind.
I’ve been single for the last 17 years. I got married in 1964, when I was 20 years old. I was married for 18 years (really, 15 years because that is when we separated). And then, after that, I had a relationship with a significant other for 17 years. Doing the math, I was in a relationship for 32 years and single for 42 years.
Everyone has the capacity to appreciate the simple joy of being alive. It is the delight you feel from the view of a spectacular sunset, the sound of a beautiful piece of music or the smile of a loved one. It is an experience of natural richness.
The phrase, “Follow your bliss,” was famously said by the author, Joseph Campbell. It seems like one of those New Age truisms that we respond to with, “Sounds nice, but who can afford to do that? Rock stars? Celebrities? Very rich people?”
You’d think that, after 60, we wouldn’t have a reason to compare ourselves with others. After all, we’ve already led full lives so why aren’t we comfortable in our own skin?