We worked as a team yesterday, planting flowers, edging lawn, sweeping up the parking lot. We were at one of the buildings owned by the Calgary Homeless Foundation where I work. A contractor had donated a lot of end of the cycle plants and they needed planting. We decided to pitch in and beautify the building, and strengthen our team spirit.
Not only did we ‘get up close and personal with each other’, we also got up close and personal with the earth. And what can be better than that?
There is something to be said for a team activity that takes you out of the norm of office routine into working together outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and the camaraderie. As we dug and tilled and planted and watered, we laughed and shared stories or simply enjoyed getting the job done.
At one point, the 97-year-old woman from across the street came over to see if the flat of bedding flowers we’d sent over with her daughter really was free. She commented on the good work we were doing, how pretty the landscaping was coming and how, while she’d had concerns about the goings on at the building, she was happy to report it was getting better. Definitely more quiet.
“If the others on the street don’t like it, they can plug their ears,” she said with a laugh as she covered her ears with her tiny hands.
Petite and feisty. At 97 she lives alone, gardens, cooks, and watches out for what’s happening on the street.
This morning, I read my friend Joyce Wycoff’s blog, 102? You must be kidding! In her blog, Joyce shares a link to a site that can predict your longevity based on a series of questions they ask about your diet, exercise and mental well-being. Joyce is destined to live to 102. I’m destined to enjoy my life to 98.
Joyce also shares some really interesting observations about aging and asks,
Are we “human doers” or “human beings?” I think it is important to be in the present, to be grateful for everything in our lives, to be loving and kind toward all … however, I think this earth passage is a time for doing. We’re in a physical incarnation that allows us to turn the soil in order to create food and flowers, build bridges that connect one land to another, write words that open minds and touch hearts, generate ideas that transform problems into solutions, raise children so full of confidence and love that they can march boldly into the world asking, “What do you need for me to do?”
With almost 40 possible years still to be experienced, it is an interesting question to think about — Hey Universe? What do you need for me to do?
As Joyce suggests, having 30 or 40 years potentially to be experienced, it’s kind of a long time to just drift through my days doing little anyone other than myself. 40 years is time enough to learn a new language, to play an instrument, to write a book or two or three, to start a whole new career, to create a legacy.
There’s so much knowledge, wisdom, experience we can share. So much possibility to be explored on what can be when I let go of thinking, “I’m too old for that”.
With so much life to live, there’s no sense in dimming the lights in my ‘twilight years’. The world needs my light, and yours to get brighter no matter our age. It needs each of us to shine brilliantly so that we can create a whole new way of being alive and well in the 21st Century.
Thank you Margaret from across the street. Your spirit and your light shone brightly yesterday reminding me that we’re never too old to get out and be friendly, to be neighbourly, to be engaged.
And as Joyce reminds me in her blog, I want to keep living my life on purpose. I want to “wake up with something juicy pulling me into action.”