On my last birthday I was ninety-three years old. That is not young, of course. In fact, it is older than ninety. But age is a relative matter. If you continue to work and to absorb the beauty in the world about you, you find that age does not necessarily mean getting old. At least, not in the ordinary sense. I feel many things more intensely than ever before, and for me life grows more fascinating.
and oh how the day will shine….
inquiry for today~ what is really a problem? some beautiful and deeply meaningful experiences are always available….
It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can. In this I am encouraged by the words of one fo my favorite philosophers, David Hume, who, upon learning that he was mortally ill at age sixty-five, wrote a short autobiography in a single day in April of 1776. He titled it “My Own Life.”
“I now reckon upon a speedy dissolution,” he wrote. “I have suffered very little pain from my disorder; and what is more strange, have, notwithstanding the great decline fo my person, never suffers a moment’s abatement of my spirits. I possess the same ardor as ever in study, and the same gaiety in company.”
Hume continued, “I am- a man of mild disposition, of command of temper, of an open, social, and cheerful humor, capable of attachment, but little susceptible of enmity, and of great moderation in all my passions.”
I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work, and my friends. I shall no longer look at NewsHour every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled ad thought and written.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.