I recently turned 31. Whoohoo! Actually, in truth it’s more like, ‘whoohoo….?’
While I love to celebrate life, I’ve never paid much attention to age……..my own or anybody else’s.
I suppose I just don’t see people that way. The number of years someone has been on this earth matters very little to me. When I look into the eyes of another, I see a soul. As much as I’d like to tell you this is a result of personal discipline and deep understanding on my part, I’m afraid that would be a lie. The truth is, God just made me that way from the get-go- to look directly into people’s eyes rather than at them. Even if I tried (and I have) it’s nearly impossible for me to ignore what I see beyond the physical eye to a much deeper place within them.
Sometimes I really wish I could.
And the thing about souls is that they’re ageless. Once created, a person’s spirit doesn’t get older or frail and die. It’s forever. And that is, for good or for bad, what I see when I look at people….their soul. To be honest, it’s more clear to me than anything else visible about them, which can be overwhelming. Sometimes it fills me with joy, other times a deep sadness I can never express and have learned to carry.
Perhaps it is for this reason I enjoy old folks company so much. They are, so often, such beautiful vibrant, intelligent spirits hidden beneath a body no one can see past. They’re not old, not really. They’re just stuck for a while in something that is getting slower and more painful every day. Such hearts have been hidden from much of the world, yet have so much inside them to offer, if we but stop to see their beauty and charm.
Some people have what I like to call ‘old souls’- hearts that have lived through far more than what their earthly age would suggest, and often wise beyond their years as a result. These are rare souls, often quiet and still in their ways, carrying a sort of grace and acceptance of pain and goodness that is difficult to describe. I see them often among those who carry deep soul wounds, children who know they are dying, and those who have beheld horrific trauma. While by their very nature such individuals would never consider themselves special in any way , they are immensely so. I have been blessed by every one of them I’ve ever had the honor of knowing.
I guess when there are so many more interesting things to notice about a person, age just sort of takes a back seat for me. There are young old people, old young, and lots of in-between. It’s those things about a person that aren’t so countable or quantifiable that make me want to know them, and it’s their soul I want to know, their beautifully ageless soul.