Graceful Aging

Young At Heart   What are your thoughts on aging?

“Youth. I don’t seek it through another because I have it within; it’s a state of mind, a spirit that is free, and a mind that is playful. The shell of my being is altered by the effects of time, but nothing will tarnish a soul that will never forget what its like to experience creation with endless wonder and appreciation.” ― Donna Hope

 

The perfect middle of a splendid November afternoon. The flood of sunlight has began to ebb, the air feels cool, fresh and a little chilly. The shadows are long upon the smooth dense turf and lengthen slowly. The shadows on the perfect lawn are  not that straight but angular; they are the shadow of  my mother-in-law sitting on an old-fashioned garden chair. From the doorway I watch her. Her hair is as light as milkweed fluff has gone from the dark shade of black to white. It is pulled up with a black hairpin. From this angle her face is obscured by the cotton hat. She sits with a newspaper on her lap. Occasionally she raises her eyes to look at the pretty dark pink and red roses of the garden than lowers them to the newspaper. I walk closer to her chair. “ Hi, mom!” She turns her head slowly,her eyebrows lifted.She could not believe her eyes to see me suddenly after so many years. She makes an attempt to rise, she leans forward,she nods her head in disbelief then bounces off from the chair. She hugs me and begins to ask me series of questions in a thrilling voice; each speech is an arrangement of special notes.
I look at her. She is almost ninety years old; still strong, and sharp.The lines around her mouth are overshadowed by  pleasant and angelic smile. Her large bright deep brown eyes overflow with kindness. We touch on lots of topics; on kids, on work… Our laughter mingle and fill the house.  

 

She has a wonderful routine. Every morning around five she does the deep breathing exercise,lots of stretching and meditation. She makes sure to donate either her time or extra money to the needy all the time. Every night before bed she sits on a chair and writes the diary and a gratitude journal and her memory as strong as a young . I stay with her a few days.

 

It happens for the first time on a Sunday morning in December just before my last birthday. I stand in front of the brightly lighted rectangle mirror in the powder room. After the shower as I apply the cream to the face something strange catches my eyes. “ Wow!” I lean forward towards the mirror then taken aback by the reflection; there are small lines at the corner of my eyes, two deep lines around the lip, a few tiny light brown spots here and there on the face. I glance more closely. Even the hairline has changed; they are wavy but not so thick as before,grey hairs start to emerge from different sides of the head. I nod in disbelief. When did these changes happen?? The bold promises of the giant  beauty care industries suddenly overpower my thoughts; Antiaging serum, Retinol, Collagen injections, chemical peel, laser resurfacing, wrinkle fillers…

 

Sunday afternoon. I sit with a cup of  Darjeeling tea in the fading warmth of the filtered afternoon sun spilling through the kitchen window. My German shepherd dog drapes over my feet. I keep fidgeting crossing one leg and then the other. I put the teacup down on the table,lace my fingers together on my lap. I trod over deeper into the outer ring of oldness. If I can hold my youth a couple more years. I blink rapidly and sigh! The dog sighs too, she understands me pretty well. Suddenly my mother-in-law’s face flashes in my head. I have never seen worries or anxiety in her, not a bit! She does not care about the physical beauty but only the inner beauty. People enjoy and cling to her love and affection.There is always an air of calmness surrounds her. I sit straight. I cup my chin in one hand.

 

“Life is not measured by the number of  breaths we take but by moments that take our breath away.”

 

A smile break through the gravity. Old age is a gift and I have decided to shift my perspective.

Bring your attention towards greater self-awareness through simple actions such as meditations, journal writing, walking in nature.

build new habits, challenge your brain with new learning; writing, sketching, gardening.

-Eat healthy and exercise daily.

– Do something adventurous.

laugh more often.

– Volunteer your free time.

 

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Lekhamisra

Lekhamisra

Hello and Namaste to my wonderful bloggers and readers. I am Lekha, grew up in one of the beautiful city of Odisha in the mystical land India. My paternal grandmother was a perfect story teller- stories of brave kings and queens to stories of freedom fighters, to stories on kindness,honesty, compassion, truthfulness. As soon as I learned to read, my marvelous adventures started through the fairy tales, the mysteries, the classics and the autobiographies. O’ Yes, it was lots of fun! Life got busy with my son and daughter in their school,library, music class, dance class, tennis, soccer, scout, debate...Staying active is very important for me. I have a deep affection and respect to Nature. After the children started their own lives, enormous time has poured into my weekends. I decide to do devout my time in volunteering. But still I could not satisfy my hunger and craving to do something more. One evening, I was reading some article on international issues on children, women,and on animal cruelty, which were very disturbing, traumatic and sad. It is very hard to see others in suffering. Life is more fulfilling and rich when you help others, when you bring smile on others. “ Be a rainbow in someone else’s clouds.”- Maya Angelou. So I start to write again. I want my writing to be a strong voice for others in distress; for the innocent animals,for children, for women, on global warming and for all other social causes. And I am thankful to WordPress for providing this wonderful platform to express my observation, views and dreams. I hope you explore the stories,enjoy and leave appropriate comments.

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