How old are you?


It is in the most unexpected moments you get the lessons on the true nature of life, its beauty and joy. One such experience occurred this evening.

“Do you think it might rain soon?” asked the person whom I had just passed as I walked along the side-walk. The sky was partly overcast. The sun has been on its course to set earlier each day, even as the shorter days of fall are at least a couple more weeks away. Only a few weeks ago, with the brighter sun light around this time of the day, even with this partially cloudy sky, there would have been no concern of imminent rain. Some how the darker skies make even the shades of cloud appear more ominous than otherwise.

“I don’t think so”, I replied. While I was reasonably certain, some how I also wanted to be more positive. “Where are you coming from”? I asked. “I have been to the nearby farmer’s market” came the reply. This frail looking woman, with an arched back could have been in her late eighties. She was sporting a backpack on her shoulders. “How far along you have to go?” I asked. “Not very far”, she replied and then explained to me her plans to walk nearly a mile further in the neighborhood, part of the road along a steep hill. Concerned as I was, I offered, “Do you need a ride?” As soon as I uttered the word, I was wondering how I would give the ride, since my car was in a repair shop and our second car was not at home as it was already in use! I offered the ride out of my genuine concern, since I saw this old lady, who may have to go so much farther in the twilight hour. Some times your heart makes decisions that will be later over ruled by the mind!

“Oh! No” replied the woman, “I am on my walk now and I will do just fine”!  I was about to ask her, “How old are you”? Before I could ask she added, “Usually I ride my bike. Today, I just decided to walk”! I could not believe my ears. Her energy and enthusiam were that of a much younger person. I felt it was not appropriate to find our how old she was or even think along those lines. Her age really did not matter. Her spirit and enthusiasm for life are far younger than her looks would suggest.

No sooner than I parted company with this youthful soul, I saw a family of Canadian Geese on the nearby yard. It was just another group of birds on the way, in my books. It was not the case with my young at heart acquaintance. She was visibly excited at the sight of these birds and engaged in a cheerful conversation with them for a few seconds, before she continued her walk. I truly witnessed a lesson on being in union with nature. For some one in that spirit, youthfulness is eternal.

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