Reflections, 43 Years In The Making
Some truths need to season. Of course, they were just as true when I was 23, but somehow the subtle complexities of their flavour didn’t rest on my palate quite like they do now. Good was good and bad was bad; right and wrong held to their respective streams embanked by well worn boundaries. But as I sit by those streams now, I notice the gentle eddies and currents don’t run as straight as I once thought they did. The soap-box that once seemed so secure now appears more fragile. Many issues will still need someone to speak up, but now it seems I’ve grown more concerned with not what needs to be said, but when and how it needs to be said.
Today I woke up and was suddenly 43. Like most other birthdays, it came and went with little fanfare, and even less grandeur. I ache more than I used to, but not just in my bones. The view in the mirror has changed. Beyond the lines of age and silvering hair, my opinion of who I am has adjusted and altered over the years.
I guess that is for the better. I was too sure of myself yesterday.
Yesterday, I was right and you were wrong. Or at least, that’s what my friends (who were also right) told me. But yesterday was long ago, I hadn’t yet met my pains or seen life through the lens of sorrow. Oh, I know, sorrow often distorts the view, casting a grey hue over the colours that normally shine there. But even as it distorts, sorrow can also reveal new landscapes I had never had the courage to explore. Yes, suffering prepares for us a weight of glory that will be revealed in a coming day, but the weight of that glory will often cast its radiance onto today. Not all our hope lives in tomorrow, some of it leaks beyond the boundaries of eternity and brightens our assurance right now.
As the flickering candles burn down, and my children finish their familiar song, I’m glad for 43 turns at living life. The years both lengthen and shorten, carrying unforeseen griefs and unlooked for joys, while tomorrow’s sunrise is not guaranteed. So I resolve to simply enjoy today. Yesterday’s views have become today’s reflections, reflections that were 43 years in the making.