Oh, yes, it’s late! Quite late! I slept like a log last night, almost all night without interruption. When I woke, I heard a yowling cat and opened my eyes to a room thick with sunlight. Not the gentle sunlight that seeps through the windows shortly after daybreak, but drenching sunlight that leaves distinct shadows of everything in its domain. The computer screen allows that the air is a cool 54°F this morning, reaching for a high of 66°F, the kind of weather extremes I love. A clear, blue sky like the one outside my window this morning, and temperatures cool enough for a sweater but not for a coat—that combination is enormously attractive. If I could manufacture the ideal climate, I would model it after the weather that surrounds our house at this very moment. I drank my first double shot of espresso at the breakfast table. Perhaps I’ll have a second one as I sit on the deck in sacred gratitude for this morning that, I hope, fully welcomes me back to the world of the fundamentally healthy.
It seems that age 70 is the initial cultural dividing line between golden maturity and old age. That is my reading of the social cues I have seen in news headlines, e.g., “70-year-old attacked at bus stop,” or “71-year-old drives car into dry cleaner,” or “Missing 73-year-old found in neighbor’s basement.” Those headlines imply the subject is old. If he or she were 69- or 64- or 68-years-old, age probably would not have found its way into the headline. Inserting age into the headline is a means of separating “old” people from “normal” people; that is, appropriately-aged folks from those who are at or beyond their “use by” dates. Despite that readily-visible (if not necessarily intentional) distinction, those of us near or beyond the ages of 70 or 80 or 90 do not have to accept it. We can simply refuse to accept the implicit label. It really is that easy.
Yesterday was a good day, one I would rank high among the days of the past two or three weeks. My intent is for each succeeding day to at least equal the one before it in terms of enjoyment and appreciation. That may be a tall order, but it is one I think well worth pursuing.