Spirit vs The Body

Terry Ballantyne
- Terry Ballantyne

Spirit vs The Body

Aging has never been easy! Let’s recap:

  1. Your joints get loose and achy. (gravity and hormones).
  2. Your vision is not what it used to be, cue the squint!
  3. Food is not as vibrant tasting.
  4. Likely your ankles are resisting a fast pivot.
  5. Your teeth and gums may be acting up.
  6. Skin: too many issues to name.

That’s the hard physical truth! Then there is the social/emotional side:

  1. Putting on makeup (if you do) is not as much fun as on a 20 year old face.
  2. You can’t scamper up a ladder as casually as you remember doing so man times.
  3. You wonder if that throw rug is really the enemy you hear about that kills seniors?
  4. You may be counting down the amount of springtimes that you might have left.
  5. You really study the sun coming up in the morning, appreciating the miracle that it is.

That’s just the start of it! Add your own and share your obeservations with us.

But here’s what made me write this morning.

I am now a grandmother and wonder if the world will stay sane enough to pass any wisdom to my grandchild? Will I have days of sharing the marvelous symmetry of a pine cone with her or exploring the blue jay feather we found? Will there be a healthy ocean for her to dip her toes in for the first time? And lately, will there be laws made in a chamber where people are wearing body armour and carrying guns? I remember putting my hand over my heart in 2nd grade and reciting the pledge of allegiance happy to be at school and excited to learn. I didn’t worry over politics or making a statement. Will my granddaughter have a real childhood free of the burdens of adulthood?

I worry for my own daughter walking down a street alone with her baby and me fearful of her falling victim to one of the twin perils of distracted drivers or human traffickers. Is that crazy? I wonder how angry the malcontents in the United States are and will we really turn on each other and become obsessed with denouncing one another over ideas in our head? Will there be gang colors issued for political factions? The simple pleasure of shopping has been tainted by the pandemic and now we wonder if that hand reaching for the same grapefruit is red or blue or something else entirely!

I know we have difficult issues to solve, income disparity, racial justice, corruption in government, but really all anyone wants to do is to live their life in peace acting on values they cherish. Which all comes down to the community in which you live. I was raised to abhor guns, so I am not comfortable around them, but a Texas cowgirl may be as at home with her pistol as I am with a lipstick. She can shoot a snake, mount a defense, aim at beer cans~ all with a rational attitude: but I don’t want to live around guns. So I live in a community that also is not fond of guns and those that are, don’t force that choice on me. Communities are unique, where I live, we are busy trying to protect our ocean shores and our redwoods. Someone in the midwest may be worried over industrial farming. A community on the east coast may be troubled with the mining industry and if you are far from their community and their values, it may be best not to pass judgement unless their choices rob you of liberties and resources.

So as our tribal elders, we seniors need to help lower the angst and anger and represent the long standing values of tolerance and respect. Show that it’s possible to seek solutions without all the heat and we must demonstrate the art of listening to each other again. To let our fears rest for a while and to consider new points of view. Really open up to new ways to restore our country. And accept that it is not 1950 anymore; the challenges are far more complex. And please! Let’s not rant on social media in an angry spew of half facts and emotional reactions. That’s not helping, the bots embedded there are doing a fine job of spreading hate.

So today, marvel at the sky, share a story with a youngster, take a walk looking for small natural wonders, be curious what the squirrels life is like, how the tiniest birds weather a storm, why gopher holes don’t fill with water in the rain? We live on a beautiful planet and we, who are departing it sooner than we like, must cherish it in word and deed and worry less about our sagging parts and the cruel distegration of our physical and be sure we leave behind the best of our unchanged spirits and our abiding wisdom.

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