Looking up the definition of “springtime” in Webster’s Dictionary, I discovered that it is defined as “the the state or time of being a child.” A second definition is “state or time of great activity, thriving or achievement.” As a man in the winter of his life, reminiscing about my “springtime” and wondering where all the years went, it gives me pause.
The list of synonyms from the first definition makes me take notice of those words: infancy, toddlerhood, youth, boyhood, adolescence, immaturity and so on.
Even though I am a senior citizen knocking on the door of 71 this year, I came to the conclusion I still exhibit some of those traits for better or worse. Obviously “immaturity” comes to mind.
When I share with my old and young friends that I am getting on in years, many repeat the old expression, “Age is only a number.” My retort is, “But my number is a high number, and I can’t count that high!” Then there is the quote, “You are only as old as you feel.” That is when “adolescence” kicks in, which is not a good sign.
I have a habit of admitting to people that I voted for Abraham Lincoln once. From the response I get, I think they believe me!
With the winter weather apparently coming to an end, it appears it’s that time of year when flowers blossom, trees leaf out, the grass turns green and a rebirth of sorts take over the landscape. This analogy of the season and age seem to go hand in hand.
Back in my “springtime” as a young man I was full of hope, spunk and thought I knew everything– since I was the smartest guy around in my mind. It is amazing how getting up in years can temper attitudes like that. What was I thinking? (Or not)
Growing up in the baby boomer generation, my contemporaries and I were shocked to learn that the older we got, the smarter our parents became. I realize every generation of young people experience the same revelations as my generation, as we age. Why I thought we were unique is now beyond me – an inkling of wisdom, perhaps?
Now that it is literally springtime as far as the weather is concerned – as temperatures rise and we get closer to Easter – it is a time to put winter clothes away and old mind sets, as well. We begin anew, so to speak. Just as the season changes from winter to spring, so we can create fresh ideas to get us to the next season in our journey of life.
Remembering the second definition, “State or time of great activity, thriving or achievement,” I think I will opt for the second definition since I think I still have some achievement left in my future. At least, I certainly hope so.
Since I am not so gently reminded that 71 is swiftly approaching in my immediate future, I do believe I better make the best of it, as I feel that I have a few more seasons left to experience. But then again that may be my springtime mentality talking!
And as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”
Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.