“To be happy in this world, especially when youth is past, it is necessary to feel oneself not merely an isolated individual whose day will soon be over, but part of the stream of life flowing on from the first germ to the remote and unknown future.” 

~ Bertrand Russell 

When ancient eyes of wisdom
land on innocence unfolding,
when elders hold the compass,
for journeys just begun,
when guidance is unwittingly asked for,
love is all that matters.

When grace defines the art of aging,
when “letting go” is a daily,
at times moment to moment discipline
of embracing now
with gratitude all the same,
love is all that matters.

When beauty transcends form,
revealing layers of restraint,
the tree rings of life,
invisible to undiscerning neophytes
reaching for the sun,
love is all that matters.

When silence conveys meaning
beyond the scope of words,
heart waves felt
by a gentle touch,
 a smile that warms the soul,
love is all that matters.

When you gaze into your mirror,
and understand,
the mirror was never there,
when the winding road behind you,
is so much longer than the road ahead,
love is all that matters. 

Copyright © Henri Ferguson 2013

Author Notes
This is a quintessential “Oma Canada” moment with Marleen from Deventer, Holland. She beams this beautiful child love from her inner spirit (Oma Canada,ik houd van u), her face a picture of that and reflected back by Anna Ferguson my mother. She, the matriarch of our family and the quintessential role model for aging with grace. This spectacular photo was captured by Aman Rai, my cousin’s wife at his sister’s wedding a few years back.
In the past year while she battled cancer I have had the most insightful, heartfelt and lucid conversations with my mom, which included the concept of dying and what if anything lies beyond. I am continually moved by the wisdom oozing from her loving words and how this kind of “knowing” has absolutely nothing to do with education or book knowledge. She is my greatest teacher and humbles me when I understand just how much I have yet to learn.
I dedicate this to you Mom, I love you so very much, thank you for being who you are.
Smiling softly in the heart,