At one of my nearest and dearest’s baby shower last weekend, I hung out with a 93-year-old Ontario resident who doesn’t look a day over 74. She’s eloquent, exceptionally beautiful (clearly without any artificial intervention), and of unquestionably sounder mind than I am. (It should be noted that she also has exquisite posture.)
There’s nothing like the elderly. I mix well with and instinctively flock toward them - especially the old women. It might have something to do with the idyllic childhood bonds I forged with my grandmother and a great-aunt; it could be that the hardship I’ve already faced has led me to identify more readily with those who have lived twice or thrice as long as I have; or maybe, back at the outset, I was just naturally implanted with an old soul. All’s I know is that I want to align myself with the oldest souls I can find. Whenever one of my friends has a wedding or some other multigenerationally-attended milestone gathering, you can count on me to ignore the people in my crowd and head straight for the grandmothers – and it’s with them I’ll usually prefer to stay for the duration of the event. That’s where the real conversation and insight tends to be. Too many insight-free conversations aren’t good for you.
As far as I’m concerned, elderly women = safety. I become more free around them. The guard comes down because they get me, or at least make me feel as though they do. I view even the very high-strung ones as agents of calm. They’ve beaten any raging insecurity they once had into the ground, and what’s left is a brand of self-comfort and a lack of self-consciousness that’s re-hydrating – and in the desert I constantly find myself slogging through, I’ll take all the water I can get. It’s too bad and too weird that this country’s culture so often chooses to marginalize (instead of magnify) the senior league.
As I continue along the ongoing coming-of-age pipeline, I’m already looking forward to giving back and mentoring any of my junior journeywomen who care to listen. They better get ready - I’m in merely the early stages of building what damn sure promises to be a well-stocked wisdom arsenal. The wisdom-cobbling process hasn’t been a joyride. What helps is that I’m continually inspired and influenced by the counsel of and the example set by a lot of glimmering golden girls who help make my ride a little smoother.
A day in pictures...
1 day ago