I am amazed at the ability of humans to persist in the face of obstacles. We face challenges ranging from crippling disease to inordinate ease. (To my way of thinking, both are challenges indeed!) I was recently reminded of the resilience of the human spirit when I was returning home from an errand. Passing a corner lot, I saw an elderly gentleman rototilling his garden plot. I remembered this garden as being a productive one; I used to pass it often on my early morning walks in summers gone by. But what struck me today was that the man seemed to be using the rototiller almost as a walker, leaning on it for support as much as relying on it to prepare the soil for the seeds he would plant and nurture.
I marveled at the old man’s perseverance, motivation, and effort. And cringed a bit to think that I—an able-bodied woman (albeit one with two black thumbs!)—would not be preparing a garden plot this year as he was, although it would be a much easier task for me to accomplish.
I witnessed another example of persistence and zest for life in a handicapped woman who lives in the same care center as my mom. We were sitting in the “town square” visiting, when this woman rolled by in her wheelchair, Fred Flintstone style. (Remember how he powered his prehistoric stone vehicle with his feet?) She passed by at a brisk clip, the radio in her lap broadcasting a Twins baseball game, and a smile on her face.
That’s how I want to be when I’m old. I want to find joy in whatever I can still accomplish and experience, take pleasure in the simple things in life, and make other people smile. And well, since practice makes perfect, I guess I better get crackin’!