Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"The You" Inside

I had a 75 year old neighbour some years ago.
When we lived in my much-loved previous home - where I wasn't perched like an eagle on a rock
Where neighbours knew each other and spontaneous gatherings in the street to discuss arb things would just spring up.

This particular neighbour and I used often to chat over the low garden wall that divided our properties.
You know those chats?
The kind that starts out with "Hi, lovely day, isn't it?" and ends up an hour later having gone in unexpectedly interesting directions?

She was a vibrant, funny, energetic woman. I loved her and I loved talking to her.
She was an enthusiastic Christ-follower, as was I.  She and her husband had been loyal members of a particular church  in the valley for a long time.
What we would call a traditional church.
But they used to visit our lively church meetings from time to time. Probably on the QT.

One of my vivid memories of her was this conversation: as close as I can get to verbatim:
"Ag Alison, we love your church.
We love the singing and the interaction and all that. I'd actually love to move there but you know, Alison (and here she leaned closer to me over the wall, and lowered her voice confidentially) I have been fetching the old ducks for years now, giving them a lift to our meetings.
I can't let them down."

"The old ducks"
And she was 75.
I was so amused but managed to contain myself until I was by myself
It was funny to me then
But now (ok I'm not 75) I know what she meant.
I know exactly how she could say that and it not be odd to her.

There is "the you" inside your body that is timeless
And timelessly youthful - you know that, although you could not guess at an actual age.
So there is a disconnect between the face and body that reflects back at you in a mirror that is almost a shock.
Its not denial in the way people think: its just that "the you" inside is not that person.

I love that God validates this in the bible as:
"God has set eternity in the hearts of men . . " Eccl 3:11
I love that we can sense the eternal life that fizzes inside us - maybe even more as we get older.
We shall see :-)


melB said...

I love this post. A friend and I were having cofs this morn and were both talking about just this thing!

Have shared on fb as many of my mates will relate!

Trix's Mix said...

Your writing is just getting better and better Allie! And you dear Allie will be 'forever young'

Ness at Drovers Run said...

I had a neighbor like that, when we lived on your side of the mountain - I really missed her when she emigrated, when my first child was just a baby, she'd call over the fence that the kettle was on, and I'd attach the baby monitor to my hip (the houses were small - and I wasn't more than 30m from my baby's bedroom) and head next door for a much needed cup of tea.

cat said...

Oh Allie, this is beautiful. And I love that the picture with it just says it all.

Shayne said...

Such a divine post! I know exactly what you mean. Whilst i'm not close to 75, i am fast approaching FORTY! Yes i still feel so young inside - forty is supposed to be OLD (well it seemed old to me when I was a child).

I have that card - was given it last year for my birthday!!!

thank you xx

Lynette said...

Wonderful post...and I so relate to this. I feel so young that it is still a shock when the boys "harde baard" friends call me "tannie". Age is just a number.