These are the thoughts on the meaning of being an elder shared by the participants in the “Elderhood Journey” event held at the Eco-Institute at Pickard’s Mountain on July 10, 2018.
Now is a different time:
Accomplishments diminish in importance,
Eclipsed by appreciation,
Awareness, and gratitude.
Now every thought, action, and state of being
Is incredibly important.
We know now that we are all
Indispensable parts of a Whole,
Willing to share about our journeys
Each one alone,
Each one apart,
Moving as one great Heart.
We know our limitations and disabilities
But we can look forward to becoming an Elder.
We see how our anxieties and misgivings
About our contributions,
Are less than our willingness to share,
And they do not pull at us
As much as they once did.
We are more grateful about the opportunity to listen,
And learn the joy of listening.
We feel more peaceful:
Peace comes from the gift of time.
We know the privilege of being an Elder,
Enjoying the deep questions of life,
And learning from each other.
We now recognize the importance of our needs,
And when we attend to them
That is Eldering, not aging.
We can be more patient
With that which is unresolved,
And be deeply encouraged and inspired
By the universality of our experience.
We are not special in what we need.
This is perhaps our first circle of Elders:
We sit in circle
To enjoy its collective energy.
We are on this journey together
Embracing our different experiences.
In this circle there is peace,
There is depth of inquiry.
As we spiral back down
We grow more into ourselves
Allowing what has been gathered
To become a resonant space of knowing
That can be shared and recognized.
In this circle
We are grateful for our vulnerability,
Knowing that the first duty of love is to listen,
Underline what is complete
And honor and celebrate our wisdom.
The world has forgotten
The power of Elders.
Now we remind ourselves
Of this power
And share it across the generations.