'….when it is autumn in your life, the things that happened in your life, the things that happened in the past, or the experiences that were sown in the clay of your heart, almost unknown to you, now yield their fruit. Autumntime in a person's life can be a time of great gathering. It is a time for harvesting the fruits of your experiences." ~ John O'Donohue 'Anam Cara'
My Jubilee year also marks the period when I begin transitioning from the summer of my life to its autumn. The spring of my life was the first 25 years. My life's summer period extended from 25 to 50. Now I have reached 50 the wheel of time turns onward and I am now in what I consider my life's autumn time.
As I was born in Autumn if feels possible that this time of my life will a time for harvesting the fruits of my experiences. The time of digging deep and collecting moments. But this is also a time of remembering and gathering in knowledge and experience and applying wisdom. Santayana said "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Moving forward I want to avoid just doing the same old same old.
This is the time to reach forth and take hold of different experiences. As Czeslaw Milosz said "What is given to have tasted in this life, I have tasted". So if not now, then when? What is holding me back? Is it false mental images, false fears that I am holding onto? Do I need to spend less time feeding my doubts and more time feeding my faith?
"It is a lonely experience to be at the deathbed of someone who is full of regret; to hear him say how he would love another year to do the things his heart has always dreamed of, but believed he could never do til he retired. " John O'Donohue.
I know of people who once retired purchased a caravan and spent a wonderful year travelling until illness intervened. Did they wait too long to pursue this long cherished desire? I see a neighbour who has retired in the last couple of years struggling to get up and down the front steps to his home. I see another neighbour who retired in the last couple of years who is now on daily dialysis, and receiving in home care services.
Putting off meaningful experiences until retirement is a risky proposition. Time and tide wait for no man or woman.