AGING


Age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars invisible by day.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

***

An older man is walking down the street one afternoon when he hears a voice saying, "psst -- could ya help me out?" He looks around, but thereís nobody there. He starts to walk on, and again he hears, "Psst -- could ya help me out?" Once again he stops and looks around, and again, thereís nobody to be seen. But this time he looks more carefully, and happens to glance down at the sidewalk, where he sees a huge frog. Though heís a little embarrassed to be talking to a frog, he asks, "Did you speak to me?"

Much to the manís surprise, the frog answers: "Yes, indeed. Could ya help me out?"

The man is intrigued and asks, "Well, what do you want?"

The frog replies, "Well, Iím under a curse. If you would kiss me, I would be freed of the curse, and I would turn into a beautiful woman, who would love you and serve you. I would care for you, warm your bed, and make you so happy?"

The man stands there for a moment, reflecting, and then picks up the frog, puts it into his pocket, and walks on. After a few minutes the frog says, "Hey! You forgot to kiss me."

And the man says, "You know, at my age, I think it might be more interesting to have a talking frog."

-- Sikh teaching story

***

In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.

-- Edith Wharton