Every now and then I pause to inventory my life. Woodland Garden requires residents to be viable, independent. I love my Garden home so I will do whatever it takes to stay put as long possible.
Novelist Edith Wharton had this to say about viable longevity: “In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
I pass all Ms. Wharton’s tests for avoiding disintegration. I welcome change. I adopt what fits me and applaud those who move on. As for intellectual curiosity, I constantly google words, places, bios, histories. You can’t grow without new information. Truth never hurt anyone, even when it challenges old concepts.
Take turtles. They live a long time long but don’t travel far (except sea turtles). When threatened, land turtles hide in their cozy, safe shell. No risks. Please, Lord, spare me the turtle mindset.
Big ideas: The Sage of Juniata Street stretches my brain. I pretend to know what he’s talking about then go home and look it up. How did the world got where it is? Where might it be heading? Every cause, movement, idea, and religion has a history. What’s to fear? Truth will prevail but ignorance rots the soul.
As for Ms. Wharton’s small ways, try children, flowers, beetles, birds. Ever ponder a nightcrawler? Or pick nightcrawlers from wet grass at midnight for trout fishing at dawn? No? Then you haven’t lived. When small ways delight you, you will never want for entertainment.
So what does all this mean? I have no idea, but I’m 91, open to change, and happily viable.
Old Grandpa Lloyd