The Strangest Adventure Yet

  • Of all the adventures I’ve had in life, and I’ve been blessed with many, turning Sixty (yes, Sixty!) is the strangest. No one tells you how suddenly it appears from the fog of youth. A ghost ship bearing the knowledge of quarry years, it arrives with no cannon’s roar.


    I should be terrified. As a woman who enjoyed the benefits of youthful beauty, turning Sixty puts to rest stale illusions. Youth as a cultural commodity is off the table. It’s some other young woman’s turn, and I hope she appreciates the complex power of this fleeting gift. But age liberates as it separates. Wisdom now rules, as it should. And experience. Health is my most treasured possession. There are magical portals in life. Sixty is certainly one of them.


    I’ve always been a wild thing, a dandelion seed caught in a determined wind. The call of the untried and mysterious that steered my life has not left me. An artist at heart, I kick at walls, so Sixty‘s insistence is oddly inspiring. I have entered the youth of my old age, and haven’t felt this alive with possibility since my twenties.


    Of course, I miss that younger me with her light spirit and vagrant heart. I understand the ambitions and fears that drove her. Sometimes when I go within we meet and share a laugh about it all. I know she waits curiously to see what I will do with what she has begun. So I ask more questions than ever before, challenge dictates, crave fresh skills and remarkable people. There is no better anti-aging product than the mind learning something new.


    Transformed by time and its tangled challenges, I did not accomplish everything I wanted for myself. But I achieved successes never anticipated, and became expert at talents few possess. Right now, I am at my very best at many things. Only recently, I published my first novel, Trusting the Currents. It has already won a prestigious literary award and garnishes rave reviews! This kind of courage came late to me.


    I understand why people want to stay young. But we can’t. By trying so hard, we squander the tremendous goodness stretched out before us. Everything is sweeter when there is less of it. The wise elder takes root and becomes the fruit of her blossoms. I stand, I do, pulse on the power of a life in full bloom.


    I’m still squirming in this new skin, both confused and grateful. Who will I become? In our difficult world, we forget that this is all temporary. Most of what we are taught to strive for will have little value in our memories. I do not choose to be Sixty. It is simply my turn and I am ready. Maybe I was born for this age. The world needs its elders now more than ever.


    Ancestors whisper that they too have stood here. I am every one of them.

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