When I was young(er), I used to think that there would be this “point” where I’d feel “together”, “concluded”, “more sure”. I definitely did not foresee the opposite happening, but it has. My list of things I know dwindles and dwindles. Most of growing old(er) seems a series of “aha moments” that have convinced me that I require a lot more God, grace, humility, forgiveness, personal development, faith, trust, intuition…(frankly, more of everything). Basically I need more because of what I don’t know. (anyone relate?) But, the flip side is knowing some things deeper than before. Time gives the ground space to get water to the roots, deep, deep down in places known, but unseen. There’s always more to the tree’s story.
It’s as if when we were young we were looking through binoculars. (Who gave them to us? I don’t know), We were looking at a specific point on the mountain top. Because of the binoculars we could see clearly and surely every little detail. But as we age the scope widens until the binoculars are gone and we find we’re looking with bare eyes at the vastness. There’s a stripping away of all this is not “us” until the whole panoramic view is seen and takes our breath away. Indescribable. Unbelievable, surprising even ourselves. Yes, there’s always more to the story.
So, aging brings us face to face with a gift: not what we know, but the gift of knowing what we don’t know. Without grace for that epiphany, we can feel so frustrated that we only saw the binocular view. But, it was a view. However it was handed to us, it happened. It had beauty and meaning. Yes, it had a shelf life, but it was part and parcel to who we have become.
The binocular view is close-up, detail-oriented, vivid, personal, spirited, riveting. There was something sure about it. In our aging, we must have grace for that zeal; grace for the time we thought we knew something so specific, and then grace for when we don’t. I have a feeling the panoramic view is just a beginning place as well. There are other dimensions and perspectives ahead. There’s always more to the story.
Wisdom says we need all of them, the close-up, the panoramic perspectives and all that is between and after. It’s all part of traversing in this place; a journey deeper and deeper into unknown; a journey deeper and deeper into peace. Whatever view, we gain and lose. Whatever view, we see differently. than another. Whatever view, observations and experiences reveal. In each and every view, wisdom speaks. Wisdom carries grace indiscriminately because no matter the view, there is always more to the story.