“As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
Accept what is, and sorrow can be made to vanish. Resign to blind fate, to the banal inevitabilities of life and calm soon descends.
At a certain age, your time has come. Those around you begin to fail at a quickening pace. Now more than ever the temptation is to grasp at what is left, to cling, to fear. To dread even.
But it is at just such a time that letting go becomes increasingly necessary.
Think of it perhaps as a “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun.” Embrace the apparent absurdities with which you are confronted every day and see instead the beauty of the clockwork universe on its way round. And around and around. Night following day, death life. Endless creation and re-birth. Infinite variety and breathtaking beauty.
Suns and flowers, gentle winds and the raging heavens with holes which are black, no beginning, no end. See good not bad, beauty not decay. Rebirth and death, the endless dance of which you are but a small part.
Revel in the small things. The smell of freshly roasted coffee beans, the cry of the gulls against a blue sky. The wind on your face, the grains of sand falling through your toes as the soft sound of lapping waves on the shore strokes and soothes.
Does it matter then that you never achieved what you thought it was you wanted? That you failed to climb to the top of the greasy pole, that you retreated from the fray.
It does not, not when age has given you a crystal clarity as to what it’s all about. Not when time has put into perspective the vanity and vain struggles of a material world wrecked by the search for more, ever more.
Now is the time to cherish the earth and the skies too. To gaze in wonder at the Milky Way on a clear and moonless summer night. To listen to the insects chirping, the frogs croaking, the birds whooping and crying.
To thank good fortune that you never helped in the destruction you now so often see all around. To hope and pray that nature and beauty will someday soon come to be preferred to concrete and the doctrine of economic growth.
Savour it, savour it all while you may.
And if it all goes, does it matter? One small and rapacious species on a Goldilocks planet in the middle of nowhere. Not if, but when.
All around you shall pass, perhaps without regret. Perhaps with no one left to express it.
And so what have you learnt? How differently would you do things if all were to come round again? Not so very differently perhaps.
Give more, take less. Love, experience, grow in wisdom.
And cars and banks? Buildings and roads and cellphones? Piling up goods like a mindless ant builds his mound? No, none of that.
It is a good life, can you but see it. Be grateful then that at last you have been granted the power of sight.