I looked at my dry skin and growing wrinkles in the mirror last Saturday.
And then the cruel temp on my thermometer, hovering around zero.
I felt old.
I didn’t want to go anywhere.
But my conscience got in the way.
I’d signed up to hear a local author and publisher speak at the local library.
With the nasty weather, I figured few would show up. Yet I was sure the librarian would be happy if any warm bodies would make the drive.
So I put on my winter uniform of mismatched scarves, mittens, and boots for the trek.
When I arrived, I found the talk was being held in the senior center of the library.
And it was packed, in spite of the weather.
Luckily, I found a seat way in back.
Surveying the group, I noticed I looked different than the rest.
Not because most were older, but the members of this crowd were more vibrant than me. All elegantly dressed in smiles, make up, and brightly colored sweaters.
I sank lower in my chair wearing faded jeans and a salt stained black sweatshirt as the crowd members warmly greeted each other.
The first speaker soon stood up to address the crowd: A publisher (and author) who’d retired from a distinguished career with an independent literary press.
At seventy the woman, Emilie Buchwald, started an encore career publishing beautifully illustrated children’s books focusing on the human-animal bond.
And now at age eighty, the woman still reigns as publisher of the press.
The publishing icon then introduced her good friend, a writer she has worked
with closely with over the years.
Her 81 year old friend, Faith Sullivan, has a new book “Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse” that’s been listed as one on the top ten fiction books of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal. And she’s currently working on a few more.
Chatting briefly with the publisher and author afterwards, I was in awe of their wisdom, exuberance, and collective creative minds.
And also their finesse in aging gracefully.
I have so much to learn.
After arriving back home, I loaded up on face cream, and looked again at my wrinkles.
But this time I smiled at what I saw.
I’d been reminded that getting older can be an incredible gift after all.