Imagine my sense of affirmation when I opened just-received November issue of THE SUN to the interview by John Malkin with Michael Meade. Michael Meade strongly urges us to become True Elders as we grow older. He states, “Becoming an elder involves lifelong awakening to and reflection upon the story embedded in one’s soul.” Such an encouraging statement for this white-haired senior celebrating perceived self-developments in the wisdom set of skills as I have become pretty much an official “senior citizen”. White Hair Walking, indeed.
One more quote from Meade: “When older people become elders, they act not out of fear but out of wisdom and understanding…If there were to be a genuine revolution in this culture–which claims to be free but increasingly lacks freedom–it’s more like to come from older folks who give up the fears associated with aging and dying and become elders instead.” This soon after stating to Malkin that “many traditional cultures believe that the true elders stay young at heart because they remain close to the dreams they had when they were young.” Yesterday, I ruminated in my post about the steps over the decades required to resolve the inborn physical weakness that had prevented me in early years from following through on the beginnings of so many inspiring moments of beauty and joy and what a difference I am privileged to experience these days in the dept to which I can “follow through”. Now I am observing that not only was that inborn physical weakness handled in a victorious manner but early poorly focused enthusiasms have been redeemed–indeed, are BEING redeemed–by my own metamorphosis into some sort of “elder”.
So I view today the memory of my eight-year-old self’s 30 seconds of morning joy as simply being a temporarily “sleeping” tiger in my creative tank–thank you very much! And after having worked most of the night helping others, being very sleepy with my top-of-the-morning “nature” immersions, I was wise enough to give room for the emerging poem:
Slaggy walking around in a light frost
On leaves of fallen tree grace
Leads to stumbling affections
In a world newly minted in heart……
(Getting physically sleepy again keying in this post, but mentally much re-charged with a calmer, wiser assurance of both continuing this poem internally as a matter of lifeforce and as published work.)
Oh, I am experiencing great joy and less-than-minus amounts of angst as I look forward to “demonstrat(ing) the courage to live closer to the ideal of freedom” as I grow chronologically older, yet ever younger at heart.
You see, it is my own freedom to be at peace within myself as well as freedom to live at peace with others in such a way as to promote their own inner peace. Sweet dreams, all your other “elders”. Do not fear to allow your fears to “sleep” so that you may awaken to courage.
An African proverb advises, “When death finds you, may it find you ALIVE.” This means living the life that your own soul wants to live. That eight-year-old girl greeting the Mississippi farm morning lives on under this white hair–and she walks on “up the mountain”.