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Old Age

EXCERPT

By LEWIS RICHMOND

 

Gratitude is a welcome antidote to aging’s inevitable losses, and recently—on the occasion of my sixty-sixth birthday—I decided to put the gratitude walk into practice. I chose a hiking path that bordered a marshland creek, which due to recent construction continued on a wooden walkway built over wetlands at the edge of San Francisco Bay. Starting out, I saw a blue jay burying some treasure, storing supplies for the coming winter. Blue jays can remember thousands of such hiding places; they have the best memories of any birds. I thought, “treasure,” and then I remembered: my social security payments would be starting next month. I was happy about that. I had worked a whole lifetime for my benefits and had weathered some serious illnesses along the way: gratitude!


A Zen Buddhist priest, Lewis Richmond is the author of
Aging as a Spiritual practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser.

 


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