How old am I?
I peer inside myself, deep deep down, but really, the first shallow answer to that question is the same answer after I’ve dived into the well of my soul.
I am 482.
Perhaps older, but in our strange culture of age and the importance of youth, this number will suffice.
I am ancient. I feel it in my bones. Not my physically sore, stretched, aging bones, but in my metaphorical bones. The bones of me – the structure of my being.
I’ve been around a while.
When I meet people for the first time, I see them: their polish and their bluster; their fears and their kindness; their anger and their joy.
Can a teenager do this? No. In fact, can a soul who’s only arrived on this earthy level once, or even twice, note the lacy-webbed intricacies of an individual?
Only those of us who have been around, and come around, over and over.
Only then can we feel like we truly appreciate the sheer breathless beauty of a pink-hued dawn. Only then can we hold the tiny hand of a newborn and note how our pumping heart bleeds a bit in honor of what this young soul has in store for her.
Only then can we say goodbye to a dying friend with the ease of knowing we will see him again.
And only then can we commune so easily with special animal companions – a cat or a dog or a chicken, a gerbil or bluebird or squirrel – knowing her being has intertwined somehow completely with ours.
So, do I feel old? YES, I’m blessed with being that age when wisdom and grace and gratefulness seem to help me stroll through this strange, holy space with anticipation and glory.
How old are YOU?