September 6, 2011


Today, I am 75. As I’ve said many times, while I would love to look like a 21 year-old, I wouldn’t give up what I’ve learned about life for a few less wrinkles.  It’s not a bad trade off, youth for experience. Imagine how you would answer if a fairy godmother were to appear and say. “I can take away your creaky joints but if I do, I must also take away your memories and your wisdom, too?  Family and friends will have to be forgotten and all your joys and triumphs will be erased.” How many would take that Faustian bargain, I wonder. And so, on this day, despite the bonfire of candles on my birthday cake, I do celebrate. And for my readers, I share this gift: a poem by one of my favorite authors.  He writes more eloquently than I on the subject of aging and wisdom. Enjoy.

          “When I was one-and-twenty

          I heard a wise man say,

          give crowns and pounds and guineas

          But not your heart away;

          Give pearls away and rubies

          But keep your fancy free.’

          But I was one-and-twenty,

          No use to talk to me.

          When I was one-and-twenty

          I heard him say again,

          The heart out of the bosom

          Was never given in vain;

          ‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty

          And sold for endless rue.’

          And I am two-and-twenty,

          And oh, ‘tis true, ‘tis true.”     

(A.E.Housman: “Shropshire Lad, XIII”)  

(Image: photobucket)