I read this morning an article in Spirituality & Health, Growing Elder by Joy Hosey. Hosey met an indiginous elder in Kakadu, a national park in Australia, home to Australia’s indigenous people. The elder’s name was Bill and she was struck by the way he looked at her, “as if time stopped. He wasn’t so much looking at me but into me, through me,” she wrote, “and I felt a vastness in that looking. In his seeing, I caught a glimpse of Reality beyond my limited understanding.”
Later she writes her sense of how eldership emerges no matter where we live or the culture in which we live. “As I become more invisible in our youth-oriented culture, I also recognize my inherent value to those who seek me for guidance. I wonder where I will be living and who will be caring for me…My hope now is to accept my limitations, receive graciously, and fully express what I came here to express…The most powerful elders I’ve known have a dignity of deep respect for all life-and for their place in it. Liberated from proving themselves, they are aligned with playing the part, no more and no less. They are keepers of the past in service to the future.”
I share this with my brother, Ron, in mind. I have watched his Facebook posts and recognize the strange combination of frustration at the unwillingness of society to learn from its mistakes and peace that there are many in the younger generation that are beginning to do their part.
As elders, we’ve not finished doing our part, but our part is definitely changing. For me and for Ron, using means like blogging and Facebook to speak our truth is one way to keep contributing. I am glad that I no longer worry whether anyone is listening. Those whom God ordains to hear the message will hear.