My report of Dr. Laura Christensen’s “perennial” insights from the May ’18 AARP Bulletin had hardly bedded down in my mind before I began living out the life about which she had written.
It started when, over the last week end, I felt very tired. Unknown to me my temperature was working its way up to and then past 102 degrees as an infection was building that attacked my blood, my heart and other inner parts of my body. The first I realized something bad was going on was when I found myself lying on the floor (how’d I get here?) being questioned by two burly but kindly EMTs (how’d they get here?) at 2AM. Did I know where I was? (I think so.) Did I know the year? (1980?) Did I know our president? (Reagan, of course.)
One out of three – not bad. With that the adventure really swung into full force.
I don’t share what follows seeking sympathy. My hope is to share with my peers some newer “perennial” insights – like that we who are actual “perennials” react to physical events in life very differently at 89 than we would have at 29. At 29 a 102+ degree temperature and an accompanying infection is a different and more easily controlled critter than that which dropped me to the floor, confused my thinking and threatened to spread a serious infection to my blood, my heart and other parts of me.
And so it was that at 2 AM Thursday last I was wheeled into the emergency entrance of St. Alexian hospital and involuntarily enrolled in an unscheduled extension course focused on everyday “perennial” world happenings.
The faculty? Younger, skilled and hardworking medical specialists of all kinds who are on duty, 24/7, rolling electronic devices from room to room while drawing blood, quantifying pressures and tracking nerve responses. In terms of gender, race, creed or color the small army that I came to know are a microcosm of our wide, wide world.
Why do I write?
I’m amazed at how out of touch with reality so many of us are. Age denial on a personal level is rampant in our world. Worse yet age is seen as a problem rather than a rising part of our perennial life itself. Facing our today while preparing for tomorrow is seen by all too few as Longfellow’s “…opportunity itself though in another dress…” and fewer yet as his, “stars invisible by day.” Stars! Shmars! Close the drapes. Maybe it will all go away.
Go away? Why? It’s all part of God’s plan. I don’t want to miss a thing. What I need is all the help I can get for interpreting His present while working at foretelling His future, God’s great gifts – for me and you.
There’s so much more to see and say about the perennial life. Would I like to be 16 again? What did I do so wrong that I would have to live that age all over again and miss out on the wondrous perennial world that surrounds me today?
More of the perennial world to come!