So far, being seventy is a blast! Meals and tea times with friends, phone calls and emails are each treasures. I’ve been able to spread out the meals all month,  so I can get naps and a little bit of project work done.  Thanks to the seventy-plus folks who sent poems, I facilitated a grand poetry reading at a local nursing home. It was the second annual one there and we’d opened it to the public, so we had twice the attendance of last year. In addition to poems, “Happy Birthday” was sung in both Polish and English to the five of us who had April birthdays. There were wind up dancing unicorns and dogs showed around by the activity director. It was a little wilder than most poetry readings, but only one person requested to go back to her room and nobody fell asleep.

The other notable event was a fantastic experience going to confession.  Don’t worry, I haven’t gone off the deep end. I told the priest I was turning seventy tomorrow and confessed that I was  quick to judge and take offense, a sin that I allowed I’d fought for my whole life and I figured I would for the next thirty years. He asked how I felt about turning seventy. I said I felt fabulous about it. When I was born I was a preemie and not expected to live, so I was happy and grateful to get to be seventy. He said my penance was thanking God for getting me to seventy and then asked if that was “enough”. I said it seemed a little light, so he said I could say a couple Lord’s prayers.  We laughed, talked about dogs and I left feeling ready to go for the next adventure.

A C.S. Lewis quote I was given says: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” After I get more celebrating done, I’ll sit back and figure what’s next. I’ll reread the poems I was sent with their themes of enjoying the moment, humor, animals, hanging in there and having courage. Only one poem, “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver was sent to me twice.

My advice to you from this lofty perch of being seventy for a month:

As Bob Marley sang (one of the songs I was sent):
“Get up, stand up. Don’t give up the fight.”
And as it says in “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver,
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination,
Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
Over and over announcing your place
In the family of things.”

 

 

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