Indian Senior Lady

Those who the gods love grow young.
—Oscar Wilde

Most of us can remember the exact moment when we looked in the mirror and saw our first gray hair or the first noticeable wrinkle on our face. We were still young, perhaps only in our twenties. Year by year our faces and bodies change at such a slow pace that we often don’t perceive what is taking place until we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the reflection of a window and wonder who that person might be. It takes a certain amount of courage to face these changes. We are told that we should be proud of our wrinkles, for we have earned each one. That is true, but it is still hard when we live in a youth-oriented culture to love the physical changes that take place. We could hide some of our physical changes and the world might be fooled, but would we really want to? When we worry about these changes, it is important to remember all the friends, relatives, and acquaintances who died prematurely and who did not have a chance to see and feel themselves maturing and aging. Every stage of life is unique, and we will miss this special stage if we do not accept the beauty of our changing faces and bodies.

Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and shabby. But these things don’t matter at all because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.
—Margery Wiliams, The Velveteen Rabbit

tapestriesThis post originally appeared in Tapestries: Words of Devotion for the Second Half of Life by Gail Mesplay.

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