I felt compelled this week, to explore the topic of grace. As I searched for material on this topic, I discovered instead, these quotes and so I have adjusted my trajectory slightly to comment briefly upon them.
Mark Twain writes…
”Life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations,
and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages.”
I am intrigued by this quote, recalling the story of Benjamin Button and his reversed experience of aging. As I reflect upon what is being suggested here, I consider my own life and the brash and willful manner in which I approached my early years. To have had the wisdom that I now possess would have resulted, I imagine, in a life far different than the one that I now possess. “Perhaps, I could have avoided making so many mistakes”, I muse. Perhaps my life could have been infused with the grace and ease of experience. But is that not the purpose of youth? Is it not designed to help one to learn and to grow through the challenges that life presents, and by doing so, cultivate grace as a hard-earned product of such efforts? I believe that it is. As life is navigated, grace is cultivated, becoming embedded in the very fabric of the self. Like threads of a tapestry it is woven into a beautiful expression of the soul and becomes the gift of living. The gift of aging.
Would I love to know in my youth what I understand at 50? Yes I would. But life is not designed that way and so, I embrace what IS and know that it is precisely because of my age, that I am able to accept this reality and to live with it, peacefully.
“Age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow