The little girl, walking slowly up the hill to school in the snow, observing meltwater running down the ditch. A fairyland, a miniature river with space for fairies. She tells herself stories all the way, imagining the lives of little people.
The old woman, walking briskly under a summer sun, observing flowers and grasses, hearing birds, seeing insects, trying to name and classify everything in this burgeoning natural world so full of wonder and mystery.
What is the difference between seven and seventy, except for decades of life, decades which seem to have leaked unnoticed through careless fingers, hours and days, months and years running down the drain of time, flowing eventually into the ocean of infinity from which they once emerged?
I loved this. Found it sad. The difference is the seven year old has no idea how the seventy year old will feel one day about time, nor does the seventeen year old or the forty-seven year old. What is it they say, Fifty is the new forty, sixty is the new fifty, but seventy is seventy! Thanks for this post.
“They” only say that because not enough boomers have reached seventy yet. Soon it will be the new sixty! But I don’t think this was my point…. I intended, although obviously not successfully, to imply that we are the same, although different. throughout our lives. As T S Eliot said, In our end is our beginning … in our beginning is our end ….
This is lovely, Jean. Yes, we are the same throughout our lives, and I love the way you encapsulated that thought so beautifully in your depiction of the seven year old and the “old” woman. (Although I do not consider myself an “old” woman, I realize that is likely the perception of those passing me on a path or street.) As you say, we are different in many ways, but we are still capable of iimagining and being filled with awe and wonder at the miraculous evidence of nature’s gifts around us.
Thank you Peggy. Glad you “got” it. I didn’t mean it to be a sad observation. i actually think it quite wonderful that a person can live a long life and have many experiences and yet is still the same in essence. It means, I think, that there may be something to the idea that we are eternal beings and this life here and now is only a page in our existence.