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Aging Beauty

On this Earth Day 2012 I feel deep gratitude for the many life lessons I’ve learned from Mother Nature. I share one of those as my gift to you on this day of honoring our beautiful Earth. (Original published in Revolutionary News, Summer 2010 issue.)

Now in my 7th decade of life, I am no longer the young chickadee who spent summers romping on New Jersey beaches. In my 50’s I started grappling with aging skin, deepening lines, folds, spots, sags, bags…oh my! It had not been easy to keep my agreement to “See the Best in Myself…” until Mother Nature stepped in.

While hiking along the Oregon coast I was transformed by Her majesty. All around me I saw the magnificence of aging. Rocks and caves proudly showed their purple scarring and other “imperfections” from their intimate relationship with life.

Ancient, gnarled trees commanded my respect and elicited my admiration for their persistence and tenacity over decades of battering winds and rain. The ever-maturing coastline revealed strikingly beautiful sculpture from its lifelong marriage with the sea.

Nature’s Spirit gently guided me to notice the exquisite beauty in aging. In a moment of illumination, I realized that I too am NATURE. I have always loved basking in the sun, playing in the water and dancing with the wind.

Like the aging trees, rocks and cliffs…wouldn’t I expect to be carved and colored and distinguished by my lifetime of interaction with Mother Nature? Indeed, wouldn’t it be a privilege to wear the signs of my cherished relationship with the elements of which I am one?

Perhaps. Yet now in my 60’s, my body is still fit, the signs of aging surely not as visible to others as to myself. How will I feel when I am obviously and irreversibly weathered?

When the mirror reflects back to me the changes sculpted by life’s precious experiences, I must trust that this spiritual perspective will hold steady. As the self-consciousness of my youth continues to give way to greater consciousness of Self, I hope I will naturally embrace the Revolutionary Agreement: I agree to see the best in myself and others. For truly we are Nature’s magnificent models of aging beauty.


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