Thursday, October 21, 2010

Perspective Control

I have been spending time these days with aging parents, aging friends of parents, and an aging former mother-in-law -- all in various stages of physical and mental decline. Shockingly so.

One, who was always physically active, can barely walk, shuffling along with a walker, moving (painfully) slowly. At one point I quickly bent over to pick up something off the floor and almost felt guilty about the ease with which I did so.

"Youth is wasted on the young," wrote Mark Twain. And I remember turning 31, bemoaning the loss of my twenties. Ha! If I'd only known how incredibly young 31 was.

However, the ease with which I could bend over and pick up something struck home. This is as young as I will ever be again. This is as mentally astute as I will ever be (scary thought, actually). I must not waste this time. WE must not waste this time, this ability to carry camera gear, to walk in the woods, to rise before the sun to record another glorious day, to celebrate our lives and what we're able to do right now, to live thoughtfully, to make healthy choices, to revel in our relative youth.

Every second brings us steadily toward a time when we won't be carrying so much gear, when we won't be seeing quite as clearly, when we're unable (unwilling) to travel quite so much. And we'll look back at today and perhaps bemoan the loss of our forties, fifties, sixties, etc.

Sheesh. What's my point? That right now MIGHT be as good as it gets. That we are as young right now as we ever will be. We should revel in it.

Think about it the next time you bend over to pick up that lens cap you dropped. Celebrate it! Waste not this relative youth.©Carol Leigh

P.S. Photos will begin appearing again when I return after the 23rd. And won't you be glad to be rid of all this wordiness!?