let every segment of life produce its own yield...

Today I enrolled in Social Security - over the phone - and it was a breeze! To be sure, I had already done the on-line Medicare part last year so that wasn't an issue. And, we're still enrolled in the denominational health plan (for the foreseeable future.) So to be honest, the Medicare was the emotionally complicated boundary for me to cross because it screamed: YES, you are a senior citizen now. Tant pis, mais oui?  And therein lies the challenge: to accept what is real and honor it. Sr. Joan Chittister put it like this:

The secret of life is to let every segment of it produce its own yield at its own pace. Every period has something new to teach us. The harvest of youth is achievement; the harvest of middle-age is perspective; the harvest of age is wisdom; the harvest of life is serenity... There is a built-in danger in old age which, if we give in to it, makes aging one of the most difficult periods of life, rather than one of the most satisfying - which it should be. The danger of old age is that we may start acting old.

So far I've been spared that affliction: my hearing has been diminished, my back hurts from time to time, I can't lose weight like I used to and my energy level falls off after 10 pm. But my heart is still strong and my soul is open to the paradoxical invitation of the Spirit. So, like Fr. Richard Rohr says:

All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. Then, when you can get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, you’ll find that the little place where you really are is ironically more than enough and is all that you need. At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God. Such people can connect with everybody. They don’t feel the need to eliminate anybody...

To say that I am down for this next phase of the adventure would be a gross understatement. We'll never be rich. We may barely be "comfortable" but now is the time for a whole new way of being. Que le festival commence! I play a jazz gig tomorrow night. I bury a saint of the church on Saturday - and then get our Christmas tree! On Sunday I celebrate the humility of St. John the Baptist and the wisdom of the Blessed Virgin Mary and celebrate Eucharist. And on Monday, I head off to join my friends in the L'Arche Ottawa community. By the following weekend it will be Christmas Eve and the whole family will gather for carols, worship, Eucharist, laughter, tears and story telling. Then feasting on Christmas Day with the clan and resting together. Before getting ready for a concert of resistance and solidarity to kick off the New Year. Que le festival commence!

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