EMOTIONAL WELLNESS – Be mindful of how you feel! Engage in mindfulness activities such as yoga and tai chi; talk with your doctor or counselor if you’re feeling blue.
SPIRITUAL WELLNESS – Connect to your spirit in ways that are meaningful to you; whether that’s through your place of worship, prayer or meditation.
Aging is full of wonderful discoveries. One discovery that occurred to me on a walk one evening is the fact that I can time travel. Not forward, but backward into my past. I don’t need a fancy time machine to catapult me into this place that lies within. All I need are my senses. They are my time machine.
Walking the familiar winding trail through the woods near my current home (and childhood summer home) my sense of smell – through the fragrant, moist foliage and earth – hurls me backwards to a time when I was in the carefree days of my youth. The smells rise up to smack my senses. Even the small stones that have been pressed into their earthly bed by passing cars are a sight that I have overlooked for some time. They are still there, just like I remember them then. Somehow they, too, seem refined by age.™
Then there’s the distinctive smell of suede leather that propels me to Estes Park, CO in the majestic Rocky Mountains – a favorite vacation spot for my family when I was a child. It is also the place where I bought my first suede leather jacket with fringes. That was during the late 1960s, and Estes Park was bustling with VW buses occupied by hippies and rattling pots and pans. They probably had the entirety of their worldly possessions packed within those buses.
Due to the invention of the internet, my hearing – through music of years past – brings me back to my high school and young adult days. As music from all eras is posted online I can time travel to any era of my life that I desire. Here, the background of my life is a patchwork of all the songs that have filled the air through my life.
The touch of the fur along a cat’s boney spine – from its neck to the base of its tail – hurls me back to embrace the pets I once loved. The playful days of hide and seek in paper bags and chase the string come racing back to mind.
Photos take me back in time, too, in a visual way. The funny family photos capture one moment of our time together: our quirky eye glasses that date us by the style; once-trendy Zubaz or parachute pants (that couldn’t be deployed if one’s life depended on it), and hairstyles: big, short, long, straight and curly. They tell of fads that failed and those that fade in and out to this day.
Time isn’t something that can be stopped. But it is something that I can recall and savor all over again as if for the first time. I can travel into my past and recapture memories through the power of my senses. These memories, though far away based on the measure of time, are as close as one smell, one song, one touch, one photo. For this I count my blessings and give thanks because the past is a good teacher.
I’m grateful I can’t see forward into the future for I don’t think I could bear that. To handle the events this one day holds in store is more than enough.*
As for the future, I can only imagine……..**
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
YouTube Video: I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me **
YouTube Video: More Than Enough by Chris Tomlin *