Youth.

One of my late-husband’s favorite poems.  I love the sentiments too!

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the infinite, so long are you young.

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at eighty.”

—  Samuel Ullman, American businessman and poet

Moments.

We all get 1,440 minutes every day.  “Precious and irrecoverable time” according to Fanny Burney.  Moments that, once passed, we are unable to get back.  No rewind.  Even on crazy 1,440-minutes-are-definitely-not-enough days, each instant is precious and can be so impactful.  My nature is to focus on the tasks of work and the full enjoyment of play.  I try to make a conscious effort to smile, hold the door… be kind even during busy times.  My moments, and hopefully those of others, are better for the way I choose to move through my day.

Reach.

Been 20 years this week that my previous husband suddenly was taken from this earth.  We both believed that one moves on from this planet after our life’s purpose has been fulfilled.  Doesn’t matter whether we believe we are finished or not.  In the time he had, my late-husband was always looking for ways to extend honesty, kindness, compassion, and integrity.  He believed those to be the highest virtues to attain.  The way he lived his life continues to inspire me to reach.  Not for things.  But for my purpose and the virtues I use to accomplish them each day.  And I truly believe as he did, and as the Henry Scott Holland poem, “All Is Well”, states: “Why should I be out of mind just because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere near, just around the corner.”  Until then, I reach.

Fall-ing.

“None of us are responsible for all the things that happen to us, but all of us are responsible for the way we act when they do happen” – source unknown.  A fall can be silly or embarrassing, as in a pratfall.  Falls can be devastating, even deadly.  I’ve had my share of graceful(?) descents walking on icy pavement.  Had no idea I could do the splits while not spilling a drop of hot chocolate!  Then there was the header down the oak stairs as a teenager resulting in ironic (or appropriate?) blood from my chin onto my red and white candy striper uniform.  Still have the scar where the stitches were.  Falls happen.  I believe the most important part of a tumble (physical or psychological) is how I rise.  My rise can be embarrassing, devastating, or graceful.  I may carry a physical or emotional scar from the fall.  But I rise!

Barrier.

Gardening is challenging when you have a house in the woods.  Critters endeavor to reach the vegetables.  However, the fencing my husband installed has not been breached – the vegetables are free to grow.  Turns out, the vegetables are also free to breach the barrier.  Upon returning from our latest road trip, I found a cucumber making a break for it.  Prohibited from reaching beyond the garden walls?  Nope.  Just had to press on, get creative, adjust, and be bold enough to go for it.  Even a cucumber can inspire.