Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote the following in 1944, just one year after I was born: “A man’s age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.”
All of that is very true for me now at threescore and ten plus six years. When I contemplate the years gone by, the journey of life that has been mine, I discover a “fine cargo of experiences and memories.” But if I stay there, simply contemplating what has been, sitting on the fine cushion I have built for my old age, I really cease to live.
For to live is to look forward, to dream, to think, to take risks, to be excited about today and tomorrow and the next day if there is one. All the doors have not closed or ceased to exist, all the trials have not ended, and all the “desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves” are still yet to be experienced anew. Don’t linger in the “fine cargo” when there are new doors, new portals, for each of us to pass through where a new cargo of experiences and memories await.
“Morning has broken like the first morning;
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word!
Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning
Born of the first light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation, praise every morning,
God’s re-creation of the new day!”