Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old."    
                                                                            ~Franz Kafka

I love a good quote.  One that expresses what I'm thinking or feeling, succinctly, or lyrically.  One that inspires me to see the world in a new way.  Or captures an opinion with compassion or humor.  

I've started to collect quotes about aging, thinking they'd make great intros to these postings. Been amazed to see how many are out there, how many seem so apropos.  I don't memorize many - these days I'm lucky to remember why I've gone to another room!  But I glance over them now and then, usually when I'm being particularly reflective or when I'm considering something to write.  It still can surprise me to come upon a quote that seems to leap off the page, so perfect is it for the moment or circumstance.

Take this Kafka quote.  And this scene....

This is St. George.  This is our street.  This is the aftermath of 6 inches of snow, and the lowest temperatures recorded here in 74 years.  This is a city with one snowplow (assigned full time to the local airport) and many snowbirds who live here partime to escape these very conditions. A city with many  folks who don't know how to drive on snow.  Who don't own a shovel and don't want tol  Some folks who saw this storm only as an inconvenience, something to be endured.

And others who took it all in with wonder and joy.  Who delighted in watching children build snowmen.  Who took the opportunity to revisit the storms of their childhood that shut down school and brought with them tunnels and forts and snowball fights.  Who bundled up and captured the beauty as best they could.

Yesterday I attended an event where everyone was over 60 and the difference in the two points of view was glaringly apparent.  In the very absence of any negativity, any complaining from those who attended ...arriving in cars driven by those with four wheel drive.  Walking cautiously over ice lest they fall and break a hip!  Holding on to one another, and "laughing all the way." Greeting each other with "Isn't it beautiful?!"  Sharing stories of the snowstorms of their childhood or removing snow from their driveways with a broom, even a rake.  The room was filled with laughter, enthusiasm, and delight.  

This is my book club - 20 or so men and women whose company I treasure.  I would have said I treasure them because they are bright and curious, respectful of each other's opinions, diverse in life experiences, and rich in skills and talents.  They are. Today, I understand another contribution they make to my life.  They have the "ability to see beauty" and revel in it.  And so, without saying it, they refuse to grow old.  So do I!!!

p.s.  In case I don't post again before the New Year, happy holidays to all and may you be surrounded by beauty.

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