One of the greatest pleasures of age has to do with context and perspective. And memories.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people, places and things that hold special meaning to those of us with a bit of mileage on our meters.
A simple drive can provoke memories of a special anniversary in a particular restaurant, or the wonderful summer afternoon with a then-small child in a park. An otherwise un-noteworthy book on a shelf might bring to mind the giver of the gift, and the relationship it represents. A crunchy bite into a crisp apple provides a flash back to youthful tree climbing. And those songs – the ones that suddenly appear on the radio – bring you back to a first kiss, a wedding dance or even the bittersweet longing for a love long gone.
Age can bring physical challenges and employment anxiety. It can make one feel disconnected from current culture, and can enlarge a nagging feeling of creeping invisibility.
But age can sweeten as well. A glance into a lover’s eyes can trigger an encyclopedic spin of moments that race past like a photo album dervish – embraces, apologies, laughs, private encouragements and angers forgiven. Age allows a special kind of gratitude to emerge – one that can only come from the knowledge that another has chosen to share your path for many years. Young lovers may revel in their physicality and a shared sense of purpose. But age gives longtime lovers the gift of a deep, visceral satisfaction that is bone deep.
With age comes substance. Life is infused with a kind of emotional heft. The trivial and the temporary holds little allure. And while each new sunrise may bring with it the occasional physical ache or physic regret, the dawn is an old friend that beckons us to get back out there once again and share our unique selves. Life is music, we are the instruments, and our memories are the songs we love to play again and again.