I never thought it would happen to me, growing older. It did. I look in the mirror and suddenly the smooth contours of my face, the ones I've ALWAYS relied on, my chums, my comrades, now have the audacity to entertain small etchings for all to see. My skin is losing its elasticity and the fountain of youth from whence I thirstily drank with nary a second thought, the one I believed would never dry up, is now starting to tighten its belt.
My body is changing, too - no way around it. At first, the differences were subtle: not being as fast on my feet when I danced, a little bit of extra weight around my middle and other small nuances. I blew them off as nothing worth ruffling my feathers about and continued on my merry way. Then a few years later, it hit me: I wouldn't be going back, not now not ever to the glory days of youth. No, that part of my life was over. The spry little gadabout that once graced the streets of San Francisco has gone home and closed the door behind her.
All is not lost, however. That same girl has now emerged a woman carrying a different kind of grace. Not just of the physical sort, but rather one that comes from the inside and cannot fade with the passage of time - a charitable, kind, loving grace that flows from the soul, and not just the body. Good thing.
Don't get me wrong, I still consider myself to be attractive - I like the way my face hangs together and I haven't put myself out to pasture yet (I've a long way to go, truth be told), but looking good now requires props that it once didn't and the ghost of my hard lived life taps it's long, skinny finger on my shoulder every day as I stiffly get out of bed, a reminder that I am not 24 anymore. But even with all these considerations, it is well with my soul. I find that I am working more in harmony with and not as viciously against the changes that the passage of time has inevitably brought and for this I am glad.
I would not be able to do this without the help of The Almighty. It is He who lifts my head and tells me I am beautiful, worthy, loved. He who has made it bearable to continue even when the vestiges of my youth have begun to wane and maturity settle in. I have also found a good man who loves me, who is attracted to my inner qualities (and not just my outward self) the softer, gentler ones that have, almost imperceptibly, appeared in the interim between seasons.
So what to say? It's not so bad reaching a new vista, a higher ground. Sure, you have to shed skin to get there and that sometimes hurts, but the end is a glorious new beginning. And that's all good.