With age, it is tempting to want to tell younger generations what it’s all about. I don’t think I feel this way, though. What I feel is that I wish I knew then, what I know now.
Second best would have been to be able to go to my elders for advice and insight. To learn from other’s mistakes so to speak. I don’t think I had that available to me. Nothing very coherent anyway.
I wish that I knew that it isn’t all about me as an individual. My short visit here on earth is about much more than to run myself ragged in order to die with the most toys. It’s about us as family, species, and creatures.
I am happy to share what I have gathered, and I am happy to listen to elders. Share and listen in both directions. It should be a kind of deep listening and dialog as we make our way through this fragile life. More about sharing by example as well. Not just me running my mouth.
Looking over journals as part of a deep year-end review, I came across a piece reminding me of the poet Ross Gay and his ideas about doing things that will help future generations that we will never know. What a treasure!
Speaking of his work with the Bloomington Community Orchard Gay says, “But I think everyone felt that it would be something that we together could make that might care for people we do not know, and might care for people in the future who we could not imagine.”
This idea helps make sense of our short stay here. To care for people we do not know, and for people in the future who we could not imagine. What else is there?
It conjures images of Seventh Generation Principles, and other life ways that consider humanity and our broader communities. We need to care for each other. Care for the young, care for the old, and care for the other than human people in our communities.