Reflections on Time

Hank Mattimore
Dec 12, 2015
Reproduced with Permission

Time has a special relevance for those of us of a certain age. There is no turning back the clock for persons of any age, no rewind button. But for those of us who have been roaming planet earth for 80 years plus, I think we are more conscious of time because, let's face it, the "go forward" button can't be trusted to work too much longer.

Our time is short so it can make us feel an urgency about how we spend our remaining years. We may not admit it but deep down we know that there is something different going on with us now. We are suddenly, it seems so quickly, the older generation. No grammas or grandpas around. We are the top of the heap. The realization can scare the hell out of us at first.

But if we can get over that initial denial, if we can go with it, accept our role as elders, we find a kind of peace. We let go of the controls( man that part is tough because we liked being in charge) and leave the decisions to someone younger.

Little by little we become more dependent on our kids or our friends (that's difficult too because we find it harder to receive than it was to give.) But we discover in our dependence a certain freedom. It's like when we were kids on a family excursion when mom or dad were doing the planning and paying for our treats. All we had to do is enjoy the trip. What fun!

The deeper thing going on in us as we age is more difficult to put in words. Call it wisdom if you want; I think of it more like a transformation, a gradual but very radical change in our outlook on life. Our perspective is no longer that of a 25 year old or a 50 year old. It's a soul change, a metamorphosis rather than simply a change in attitude.

Elders experiencing this transformation see life differently. At our best (and God knows we oldsters are not always at our best) we begin to see life as a whole. It's the kind of feeling you get when you stand under a 2,000 year old redwood tree or when you see a newborn baby. If only for a moment we are on a natural high. We have soared to a different dimension.Re

The trick is to work to put these moments together in such a way that life itself becomes sacred and, yes, satisfying. Time then becomes a friend, an opportunity to grow old gracefully.