The Oak by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Then; and then
All his leaves
Fall’n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
I remember when as a young man I used to wish that I were older so that I might have more wisdom, capability and resources. Looking back at these youthful desires, I see now that each age, each chapter of life contains in it the seeds of perfection, the ideal starting points for the expression of truth and beauty.
If ever you find yourself wishing you were someone else, somewhere else or in another time, be it past or future, stop for a moment and take an honest inventory. Rather than plead for a different set of circumstances, resources, talents or abilities, look instead to identify and call by name those elements present within you and around you that can be put to creative use without further development or manipulation.
When the world is pressing in on you, leaving you little wiggle room, you can tap into an inexhaustible wellspring within you. Your access to that spring changes as you move through life and if you age gracefully–which is possible only by means of an abiding sense of appreciation for where you now are–you’ll find that your ability to tap into that wellspring increases rather than diminishes.
Life is meant to be an ascending spiral, where capability, scope of function, and the ability to encompass and serve others increases with time. But you mustn’t jump ahead or cast back; life is only available in the present moment.
Live thy Life.