We’d watched two films on life and death, and before we pulled ourselves out of the scenes of the movie, my community college instructor announced that we are going to have an outdoors class, to Maokong, to have some tea and to have a hiking trip.
“The movie is telling us to live in the moment, and we must put that theory into action.”, the instructor encouraged us to do what we want to.
Our instructor is over age seventy, slightly on the heavy side, and would dress up colorfully for class, and, she’d especially enjoyed putting a huge bow on her curly head of hair, and sometimes, she’d have glitter on her hair, and would pull the bows to pointy, she looked like a Playboy Bunny.
“That day, my grandson had half a day of class.”
“My son’s working on his house, needed me to sit in, to keep watch over the progress.”
“What happens to mom’s lunch?”
Some of my classmates are swayed on what to do, some sighed about how they couldn’t be at two places at once, my teacher broke their worries one by one, “give your grandchild back to your daughter-in-law; your son will come up with a solution on his own; you must allow your husband to show his filial piety toward his own parents, at our age, we should put ourselves first.”
The classmates nodded their heads nonstop, and so the trip to Maokong was settled, my teacher smiled that smile of satisfaction.
And this reminded me of how one autumn, I’d gone to South Korea to travel, the red leaves are so beautiful, contrasted with the blue skies and the white clouds, but I saw a couple of old ladies, picking up the maple leaves, and, sticking them onto each other’s hair, their smiles are so deep that it’d made their wrinkles more apparent. I was stunned, the beauties from the snowcapped mountain, along with the beautiful red maple leaves, paled by comparison to the elderly women’s blushed faces and white hair. Even as time has passed too quickly, the graceful ways of those elderly women imprinted onto my mind.
A friend said, that she’d met an elderly woman on the bus, with her hair brushed up neatly, her brows shadowed, with a light mascara, she looked very lively. And she’d asked her age, the elderly woman was already eighty-two, and, my friend inquired where she was going? The elderly answered, “to the sales in the malls, they’re giving a huge discount on the eye creams!”, my friend was in awe, at how must zest and energy this elderly woman has.
Passed through the younger years, gone through the ups and downs of midlife, and finally, arrive at this age where everything became unimportant, no longer needed to rush, and so, let the things you should let go of go, with nothing on our minds, whatever we wanted to do, we just go and do, we’re number one.
Like the infectious community college instructor, or the grandma who chased after the red maple leaves on the mountains of South Korea, the elderly woman who still dolled herself up at the age of past eighty, how well they are living, so full of beauty, I’d wanted to give them all the commands, “Grace with age, it’s certainly yours!”
And so, this, is the way that someone can age gracefully, do what you enjoy, stop worrying about the younger generations, after all, they are, old enough, and just let go, and start enjoy your lives, because your days ARE numbered, and if you don’t enjoy them now, you won’t get a chance to again!