As I celebrate my 70th birthday, I think about a piece I wrote in November when I was taking a day for reflection. It is a metaphor that fits today.
I walk around the lake I visited in late spring. It is different now. Most leaves have fallen and I find it easier to keep my bearings because I can see further and glimpse the lake and the buildings in the distance. When I walked on these paths in May, I got turned around and had to backtrack to find my way. The bushes, trees and weeds were so thick I had to go by trial and error.
This is a beautiful metaphor for the life cycle. In youth and middle age, we find our way as we go. When one path takes us in circles, we try another. Eventually we learn.
By the time seven decades have passed, we enter the autumn of life. We have learned so much that it is easier to stay the course. We have perspective from the many years we spent negotiating the thickets of life. We move a little slower because we have less pressure and anxiety. We have time to look at the sky and notice the changing colors. We have a better understanding of where we are going and how to get there.
We celebrate the fact that we can walk, hear the birds, see the sky through the bare limbs and breathe fresh air. Yes, winter will come but right now the joy is being in the moment when all is well.