Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

We shall come back, no doubt, to walk down the Row and watch young people on the tennis courts by the clump of mimosas and walk down the beach by the bay, where the diving floats gently in the sun, and out to the pine grove, where the needles thick on the ground will deaden the footfall so that we shall move among the trees as soundlessly as smoke. But that will be a long time from now, and soon now we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, and out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time.
--Robert Penn Warren, 'All the King's Men'

My first post as a 22 year old, so I think the quote appropriate. I've had two people tell me know how bland 22 is, and though I only into my 22nd year by 2 days, I respectfully disagree. People who say life is dull or say that they are bored are missing out. There is so much to know, so much to learn, so much to experience in this finite lifetime and 22 is exactly the kind of year that is going to prove fantastic, if not also hard and trying. Every year is a new kind of adventure: when I was 10, I entered the double-digits and my responsibilities began to double. I was the oldest of 5 kids by the time I turned 10. Over the next 8 years, I would become a second mother to my little siblings. That also didn't mean life stopped for me: it meant more people to take along for the ride.

The three little kids particularly still talk about the summer between junior and senior year, the summer of Queen and Bob Dylan sing-alongs and trips to the parks and aquarium. That was also the summer after a difficult school year. My junior year, my mother had a herniated disk and was bed-ridden, so I had to buy the groceries and pack the lunches, hold hands, give kisses, and trust that everything would be okay; it was also the year my lacrosse team won our division; the year I took AP US from Mr. Elliott (the first teacher to push me to think critically-- the reason I am an American Studies major); it was the year I began to seriously run long-distance; the year found out who my true friends in high school were. Yet that was my 17th year, the year everyone said would be boring because it was the year after I got my license but before I became legal. That certainly wasn't a boring year for me.

My sister and I were talking about that on my birthday, what it means to be old. She called me up and teased me about how that day was a special day, that March 12th; she just couldn't put her finger on why. What is old? An age or a mindset? There is, of course, the old one sees in grandparents, a growing frailty of body. Then there is the old of mind, a sage wisdom one acquires with study and experience. There is, of course, maturity and there is cultivated taste, but I think the old most people recognize is age, that tangible mark where one's years on earth are counted and celebrated. Age is a ticking of a clock (biological or otherwise), and an awful responsibility, joy and hope time brings with it. Every year older in one year closer to Christ, and one year closer to the Resurrection. It's our job now to be worthy of such an honor.

Speaking of time, back to typing furiously.

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