" Are you okay?" I asked again
" I'll be okay. It's just a part of growing older." I guess he could see the fear in my eyes and hear the concern in my voice. " The older you get, the frailer your body grows, I suppose. Besides, at ninety-one years old, I'm well into the winter leg of my journey. My nights outweigh my days, and I hear the sand running faster through my hourglass."
" What do you mean?"
" Well, let's take the seasons, for example. Couldn't spring be compared to your early years, from birth to adolescence, when you're developing your personality and becoming comfortable with your body? When every experience and everything is fresh and new?"
" I've never looked at it that way before, but it makes sense."
" Good, 'cause just like the trees bud and bloom, flowers come to life and everything feels fresh and new, so do we. And isn't summer comparable to a young adult coming into his own, ready to take life head on, similar to how the buds of a tree become vibrant leaves? Usually, when you're between your twenties and forties like yourself, the grass is firm, green and growing, and the plants have fully blossomed and matured. And your days and nights are equally as long.
" But autumn brings about another season of change. The leaves begin to change color and lose their strength, just like your hair begins to change color and
you begin to lose strength. Likewise, your vitality gradually fades. During this period of transition, from your fifties and on through your sixties, most folks begin to appreciate each day and the joy it brings.
" Winter could be compared to reaching the backside of your sixties on into- God willing- your seventies and beyond. It's a time for reflection on your journey, where you're still seeking joy and hoping to be a joy to others. Like winter, it's when your days become shorter and the nights grow longer and colder, where leaves dry up and fall from the tree. Our bodies grow weaker. Our senses fade. Before long, our bodies can no longer sustain us. Our bodies are mortal suits of flesh and bone that our immortal souls wear. Immortality wearing mortality, so to speak."