Next to me - in that same doctor's office waiting room - sat an older woman. Quiet. Taking it all in with the wisdom and grace of having been there..done this. Not only the scene with the young mother and her kids in tow..but a picture that included me too.
Moments like this when I find myself looking in both directions. Backwards and at my younger self..and forwards and into my future one.
The edge shifts...the perception. When my parents were the age I am right now - from where I sat - I believed them to be old..out-of-touch..unaware of my where it was that my younger generation's head was at. They were - from my perspective - always old. They were my 'parents'..not 'people' with their own internal lives..hopes and plans and dreams.
From where I sit today - at about the same age as they were then - I find myself young. Perhaps my kids view me as 'old' and 'out-of-touch' and 'unaware'. And -perhaps - from where they sit..I am.
FIFTY - and middle life once looked to be over-that-hill. Which hill - I'm not quite sure. That time of life in which one surrenders. It has come as somewhat of a surprise to find that it is more about re-birth and re-newal. SIXTY - sitting in the not-so-far and distant future - isn't looking old at all. In fact - it's looking to me to be very young. The boundaries..the limits..the self-defining edges - continue to change as we grow.
Age is just a number.
The elder woman surprisingly no longer appears to be as old as I once would have believed her to be. As she sat there in silence - observing - I was sure that I could hear the wheels of her mind turning. A smile. A nod of acknowledgement and reassurance. A reminder that this is the best time of all.