The Dividends of Aging

by Michael J. Groetsch

I am now in my seventh decade of life. If I am fortunate, I may have two decades left. If not, my future years on earth may be very limited. Irrespective of their numbers, I Can Still Hear the Music (; perhaps better now then when I was young.

In June of this year, I will turn 72. The dividends of growing older are the endless number of institutionalized insights into life that only the process of aging can provide. As we age, many of us begin to see, feel and love more deeply. You find yourself visiting the first house that built you and looking at old pictures of the first dog that loved you. Visits and phone calls from old friends and family members become precious. When working in your garden, you see a microscopic world that you once failed to see.

My precious garden nurtures me, naked hands in dark black mud, the stunning rose and  flowered tree, the sparrow and gray white dove, the blackish ant and yellow bee, the butterfly that flies above, nature’s gifts that I can see, Heaven’s way of sharing love.

Perhaps you see more deeply because you no longer take life for granted; perhaps you do so because you have now traded the more superficial for things of substance, the more simplistic for things of importance; the more human driven activities for those of more spiritual significance. Irrespective of why, your many years of life has allowed you to transcend into someone of quality; someone who appreciates things that once went unseen. In essence, as you age, transcendence becomes the foundation of your spiritual growth and emotional balance.

Do you sometimes ponder, into the distant sky, Where does it end my friend, how high is really high? Do you sometimes ponder, as the sun fades away, how the moon knows how to rise, before the end of day? Do you sometimes ponder, when birds fly in flight, how they know where to go, when turning left or right? Do you sometimes ponder, what happens when we die, do our souls rest as ONE, deep within the sky? Do you sometimes ponder, when we pass away, will loved ones who passed before, still wait near Heaven’s Bay? Do you sometimes ponder?

In no way am I suggesting that the process of aging isn’t difficult. Our cognitive and physical declines can be very challenging. Our personal losses can be devastating. Over the last 24 months, I have bid farewell to 42 family members, friends, loved ones and soul-mates. Those numbers will accelerate as future years pass. Unlike when I was young, working in my garden and even writing takes more physical effort to complete. But in their completion, I feel a deep spiritual ONENESS, more deeply then when I was young. My writings have recently led me into a deep friendship on Facebook with a young woman from the Southern coast of India. Over the months we have interacted, she has become a daughter to me. So much so, that we made perhaps the most spiritual agreement that I have ever formed with another. Living nearly 9000 miles away, it is probable that we will never physically meet; that is until my demise. Upon my request, she has agreed to travel from her home in Mumbai to my home near New Orleans if I should ever have the privilege of entering hospice. She will travel across the globe simply to hold my hand and say goodbye while my soul enters the universe; the same that I have done recently with so many of my loved ones.  From the moment that we are born, we are dying. From the moment of death we are born. Until such time, I Will Continue to Hear the Music and strive for the depth of ONENESS once felt within my Mother’s womb.