I am old, and feeling lucky to be so, and liking it a lot. The word “old” is related to a Greek word meaning “to strengthen”, and I think old folks like me are sometimes stronger than in our younger days – not physically stronger, but stronger in our hearts and minds, better able to be brave in a sometimes ominous world. My biceps have broken down considerably, but my sense of dignity and self-respect is stronger than ever. My lungs don’t lift and fall as smoothly as they used to, but my ability to be both audacious and serene has improved each year. The word “old” is related to the Latin word “altus”, meaning “high”, and I guess I’m proud to have reached the heights of old age, the peaks of seniorhood, the summits of advanced years, from where I can look out and see how lucky I am to be standing strong, high up and happy, old and getting older – and more grateful – each day. 

These lovely irises are also standing strong, high up and happy,

but their blossoms are only a few days old. They have the dignity of youthfulness, the majesty of springtime, and seeing them today showed me, again, how I want to live at age 78 – with the grandeur, poise, and gravitas of newly-blossomed irises.

+ + + + +


In Honor, Ohio, there’s dignity 
even in days of rain, since raindrops there 
are renowned for their splendor.  
Even cold, gray days have grandeur, 
and citizens sincerely praise 
the bitterest weather, since it’s simply 
another wonder made by the illustrious universe 
they love so much. In Honor, 
there’s honor in every moment, 
so much so that people shake a lot 
over the stunning majesty of almost all things. 
They see prestige in success,
but also in failure, since the light
of graciousness often arises 
from the darkness of disappointment. 
Visitors are usually amazed 
by the magnificence 
of ordinary things in Honor 
– the triumphs of small birds, 
the sublimity of streets.  

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