Sunday, September 9, 2012

How Old Are You?

The air was crisp this morning.

Not crisp like a packet of crisps, but bright, cold, clear and fresh.

There's just something about fall that makes it my favorite. The spicy smells, the wind, the rain, the gray skies and growing early darkness in the evenings... the early morning sun.

Fall is like spring, but reverse.
You start with the lovely earthy, fresh smells and progress through the sun warming the chilled frost on the blades of grass and the bark of trees, to the dry peppery smell of crunching leaves which cascade into winter.

I need a scarf, I thought to myself as I sprinted through open front door.

Seuss had escaped to the front yard by pawing the door open and it was only because I heard the screen gently bang shut behind him that I knew he'd gotten out.

He was rolling delightedly on the pavement, and then, at my approach, he strolled daintily (if you can call a giant black Maine Coon Tabby dainty) around to the car, winking at me and rubbing his chin and body against the yellow paint of our vehicle.

Sighing to myself and smiling at him, I calmly walked behind until he looked over his shoulder up at me, and sat down.

I scooped the large cat up and his fur was cool, then warm in my arms. He immediately began to purr fiercely, his eyes widening and then closing to satisfied green slits.

He was covered in twigs, leaves and dirt from his little roll.

Why the pavement feels so good to him, I'll never know!

Humming to myself, we strode back into the house.

Plopping him down, I grabbed a light and soft scarf and wrapped it loosely around my neck.  My black cap was slipped onto my crazy hair and coffee in hand, I slipped out the door for a second time, turning the lock behind me.

Walking through the neighborhood, I ran into a fellow and his dog, whom I'd met before on my morning excursions.

We smiled and exchanged pleasantries. I was struck by the briskness of the morning air; noticing he was wearing only a t-shirt and shorts.

Walking down the block and across, I paused by the corner to admire my favorite big old house with the mature trees and wrap around porch. Inhaling deeply I felt the minty, cleansing, frigid air whoosh in and out of my lungs.

I continued on.

Down the sidewalk path, past the old trucks lining the street, across to the big white house with the placard, onto my favorite street.

The one where all the houses seem bright and cheerful; somehow reminding me simultaneously of the old ranch style stone places from my early childhood, as well as the New England victorians. All brightly colored and muted too; beautiful gardens, sunshine filtering through the trees.... I love this street.

As I walked through the cool, I thought... I wonder why I feel old sometimes.

You see, I'm not talking about stiff joints and muscles old (though that happens too); I'm talking about my soul.

My soul feels old.

I don't mean simply the familiar fact that it's been inhabiting my living, eating, breathing cells for almost 29 years now; I'm stating the fact that my SOUL is OLDER than my body.

It just has to be; I can feel it.

Things aren't surprising to my soul.

The way it feels when music of any kind is playing; it likes to vibrate and swell and respond.

The way it feels when I dance or sing.

My soul lives in the center of my being, but sometimes it creeps itself up into my heart and like a warm and furry critter curling up, circling around before bed, it snuggles and wraps around.

This is why I cannot deny my heart anything. Believe me, I've tried.

Any time I attempt to ignore how my heart feels, it completely bites me in the behind -- every, single, time.

My brain occasionally thinks that it can override my heart; that in fact, it is logically in control-- NOT so.

When I think I must go against my heart, I learn the HARD way that it is futile to resist; the heart knows better than the brain speculates.

My heart is willing to entertain ideas from my brain, but never, NEVER will my heart relinquish control.

The heart has more power, you see.

The brain is simply an extension of the heart at the center.

Ever heard of those wild stories about transplant patients? I remember reading one about a fella' who had a heart transplant. Before the procedure, he eschewed red meat and certain types of music, and several other things. After the surgery, he found himself using phrases that he never used to use, craving steak, and liking genres he'd never thought possible.

One of the phrases he used was, "We're copasetic," and I think he said it to the wife of the heart donor, or something, and she gasped, because that was a sentence used by her heart-donor-late-husband.

Muscle memory indeed.
SOUL memory.

Ok, here, I found the story about the  Heart Transplant fellow.

Anywho, I'm not sure why that popped into my head just now, but it makes PERFECT sense to me.

Echoes are real --- energy echoes --- traces of everything that's happened; past, present and future.

Circles are profound for a reason.

Ok, I'm waxing ridiculous here.... but I mean it.

Music, words, touches, smells, tastes, memories, deja-vu, intuition, dreams, reminders, feelings... all of it has meaning when it needs to, and sometimes when it doesn't.

I know because my soul tingles inside my cells every day; and it's OLD.

It's compassionate and it has lived through more than my body has--- it identifies with things that I have never experienced, but which feel true as though I had.

It's one of the reasons I love people of all ages; they're funny, familiar, interesting and my heart reaches out to them of it's own volition --- my body must follow.

My soul is very old, and I'm quite glad it's retained some of the wisdom it had before settling into my body.

Physically I'm pretty young: 29 this November.

However, as my body grows in age, my soul begins to delight because it is OLD, though I am not... yet.

My red-hair has some bright white unicorn strands in it's coppery blend;
my hyper-mobile joints give me more grief than they used to after hyper-extension;
my system wants more raw veggies, fruit and nuts-- less alcohol, sugar and grease;
my stomach argues against caffeine and processed foods;
my system longs for the ocean --- not the pool;
my skin must have it's moisturizer and goodly doses of water all the time;
my muscles must work and stretch-- they have to move to stay toned as they used to have time before-- now they do not;
my elimination system cannot wait or be ignored for long;
my allergies are both worse and better;
and yet....

I am excited to be growing older-- this is a journey that everyone must make, no matter what else they'd like to do.

I want to be the kind of Grandma who has a nickname that isn't Gramma' or Grandmother or Grandma, but more along the lines of Mimi, Gran, Baba or some other hybrid cute old lady label.

Next time, I'll post about the midnight cookies. Halloween is coming up, so it'll be perfect.

For now, I simply know that my body is slowly, but surely catching up to my soul. Certainly my soul will outlive my cells; it's already far older than I think I will ever live to be.

I think there's a joy in life that apexes; I try to live each moment as though it were the time of my life, the continuous and flowing BEST moment of my life.

Sometimes it is and sometimes not.

All I know is that I'm not scared of being old; I'm looking forward to it.

I'm in no hurry of course.  It's about the journey, not the destination, but the age of my soul gives me glimpses of what is to be.

I hope it happens.

My soul is old, and I'm sure it has more wisdom than the youth of my body.

My soul is old; and I am thankful.

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