There’s something about aging that I’ve been waiting for. As a child I waited to grow up, I waited to see what I would be, I dreamed of getting married, of having children, of having my own house, my own yard. I dreamed of escaping school. As I grew older, I dreamed of boys, and on occasion, really smart girls, and the day my period would GO AWAY. I traveled through time, but still I was waiting for something, and I didn’t know what.
I have a few silver hairs now. No wrinkles yet, but the muscles in my throat honed by 15 years of voice have sagged, and though I’m not badly overweight, I have a wattle. I am content. I see those silver hairs, and a thrill goes from my eyes to my toes – those hairs bring me joy.
I’m not in love with death. I’m not even all that in love with change, even if it IS my purpose to bring it with me everywhere I go. I’m not in love with pain, with arthritis and memory loss, with the loss of muscular control, with adult diapers, or little blue pills.
But I can’t stop looking at that sprinkling of silver hairs, waiting expectantly for a few more to crop up. There’s excitement in the air. A sense of, “Finally… FINALLY it’s happening!”
It’s no surprise, really.
I’ve been waiting for 3000 years to grow old.
70,000 years old for a Faerie isn’t that old. 3000 years of human lives, though, NONE in which I survived past 25, makes me old, but young. I have a lot of people tell me I’m an old soul who have no idea… and a few who tell me that I’m old enough to know better… and likewise are ignorant.
So when I see those grey hairs… I don’t see what you see. I don’t see the long, slow slide into decrepit uselessness.
I see that I have, for once, survived.
I see each strand as a badge of success.
I could tell you every death that I remember… but it would be pointless.
I could tell you every life that I have had here, but again… what good would it do you?
You fear what you have experienced before… you keep growing old, then you die, and then you come back to do it again.
For me, this is new. This is different. This is an adventure.
I’ve seen old humans for thousands of years, but their aging has never touched ME until now. It’s my turn to get grey hair. It’s my turn to wear my wisdom on display, each emotional experience driving tracks into the dry soil of my flesh. It’s my turn to walk stiffly, and to reach out for a steadying hand. It’s my turn to ask for support. It’s my turn to tell my stories and know that they are important, while I watch the younger folk ignore them, because they have to learn on their own.
It’s finally MY turn to grow old.
My heart is singing.