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The Age of Wisdom – Celebrating 65 Trips Around the Sun

Time passes like a gushing wind which suddenly slows as the seasons change and skies clear; its’ course collides with the atmosphere and redirects for the greatest advantage. It is temperamental and often cries as it howls and moans through the dark of night, bringing shadows into the rhythm of its haunting shroud. The wild […]

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Time passes like a gushing wind which suddenly slows as the seasons change and skies clear; its’ course collides with the atmosphere and redirects for the greatest advantage. It is temperamental and often cries as it howls and moans through the dark of night, bringing shadows into the rhythm of its haunting shroud. The wild wind stirs the dust as it whisks away the dirt and clears the weeds, revealing the barren plateaus and filling the vacuous crevasses.

It is the perfect analogy for life. Life emulates the wind and time takes a toll when alas all that has been encumbered begins to wither with the brisk of the breeze and the setting of the sun. One must endure the harsh terrain, seed the fertile soil and be forever transformed in the stripping away of all that dirties your soul. It is the rhythm of life, of aging through decades of massive change and thought-provoking events which mold the seasoned soul.

The 65th sojourn around the sun is momentous, for one can no longer claim middle age as the deepening lines once blurred are now fixed.

“How many years do I have left” voices the air I breathe?

When there are more behind me than in front of me, I now ponder and plot with more purposeful deliberation. The precious dew that once adorned my bronze, taunt skin has faded. I once ran with wildness in my bones and hoped to ne’re be bridled only now discovering, the authentic beauty of both the bridled and unbridled tether.

That girl in the mirror still giggles but now has decades flowing through the corners of eyes that were once lit with wonder, now aglow with glimmers of wisdom, only slightly dimmed by the history they’ve been witness to. My hair is aflame with silver like the branches of old tree, sprigs shoot out to reach for the sky but fall short of touching the stars. Happiness has filled my belly with an overflowing jiggle and my every changing frame holds the weight of a life filled with experience. The insecurities of youth have been replaced by unconditional self-love and Zen-like comfortability with my ever-increasing size. Where drama once fed me, a calm, serene, happy-go-lucky diet is my daily food.

Magical epiphanies flow like rivers when I recognize, that unlike a distant friend, I don’t have a “resting bitch face.” I see myself with the most brutal honesty and poignant observation as if outside my body. I walk through my house smiling with no witness to see the joy constant steady within me. I own and operate my own sunshine factory. I laugh out loud at thoughts, stories and souls on television, at my 4 dogs, 12 squirrels, magpies and turtle doves all vying for affection and attention. I sing for no reason and belt it like Streisand on the Stanton Island Ferry with a depth of a thousand musicals. I cook while narrating and plating for the perfect presentation complete with play by play commentary as if channeling Martha Stewart. I cry for no reason whatsoever moved and touched by the sweetness of humanity, the constant overflow of gratitude and the very gift of life itself.

The beauty I see in every microcosm sparks wonder and ignites the artist within, longing to be freed from a heart filled with unused expression. I dance like a Prima ballerina in the middle of the room as if Baryshnikov is waiting to take my hand and break into a waltz imagining Captain Von Trapp beside me. I leap from my chair with thunderous applause when singers on Idol, the Voice and other shows win or perform. I feel their joy at the shear opportunity to be featured on national television, exposure to people who would never otherwise be seen or heard, shows that did exist when I was a singer.

I curse at the news while openly sobbing when yet another innocent black man is gunned down or murdered by cops too fearful or too raciest to be on the force to begin with. With every mass shooting I mourn and walk in the shoes of the families who bleed and actively lobby legislators for sensible gun laws and more thorough background checks as well as addressing mental health in this country.

I dress for company every day even on days I am sure I won’t be seeing clients in person, my hair coiffed and makeup, red carpet worthy. I write like the end is near sharing thoughts, inspiration, ideas and love in hopes of reaching or touching just one person a day.

I love with more passion, with every ounce of my being; my heart, my mind, my soul, my pocketbook, my social media posts, my entire beingness surrenders to loving with abandon as if to measure the time left. Every insect, every animal, every human, the oceans, the sky, the forests and mountains constantly captivate my heart. I love with greater passion, with deepened and more heartfelt compassion, with a “walk in their shoes” kind of empathy, and a righteousness and hunger for justice that speaks in waves more active than the ebb and flow of the ocean. What is good and right and true should be expressed through loving but it is the tyranny of the world that compels the fiercest warrior within me. Fighting the good fight is a “’till death do you part” kind of proposition. You can’t go through life trying to change the world only to weaken your resolve in the last 25 years of your life. I pray to be effective, to infect the world with love and kindness, to blanket humanity with light and to raise the frequency while conveying the wisdom of the ancients who have gone before and left a blueprint on how to love unconditionally. May my walk on this beautiful of all planets be longer than 25 or 30 more years and may I become more of everything that contributes to the greater good for all.

Ariaa Jaeger photography by Christy Leigh Creations
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