Yesterday I began re-reading Nona Brooks "Mysteries." She is one of my favorite spiritual women and the founder of Divine Science, along with her two sisters. I read her chapter on aging yesterday, and it has been dancing around in the corners of my mind ever since. Here is just one passage:
Old age does not mean the burden of years; it means the fruition of a life. Years are not our enemies, but our friends, if we live in harmony with the years and think of them as opportunities for development. Each day of the year is in itself an opportunity to realize more of truth, but unwisely, we resist the passing of the years instead of cooperating in spirit with the seeming flight of time... People do not have to go downhill until their process ends, as we say, in death. To be here and not to live is the only death there is.
That last sentence particularly grabbed me. As I pondered this, it occurred to me that some live a predeath, having given up their zest, they shut down parts of themselves. It is almost like they think they are not supposed to face life with gusto anymore. It is unseemly for the elderly to dance and celebrate and create and be filled with unbounded joy.
I say hogwash. We who are called elderly, and yet fully live our lives, have earned the right to be called wise ones, mentors, examples of the fruits of a life lived fully. We have had many chapters in our lives. We have been many places, looked in many eyes, heard tall tales and myths and true stories. We have tasted a great deal of cultures from the food to the music. We know how life feels in its crowded corners and its expanses. We lived and are living it.
To you, my dear friends, scattered across this little blue planet, I give you Nona's words again, To be here and not to live is the only death there is.