Are you “older?” So let me be more specific. Are you in your seventies? If you are then I think you will find this bookish weapon useful. If not then you still may find some wisdom in it. In Parker Palmer’s book, “On The Brink of Everything,” I encountered a way of looking at nature and mountains as sources of hope as well as viewing life as a gift.
I write this on my seventy-fourth birthday so I am well on my way to being considered “old.” However, Palmer writes this book at the age of eighty. So I consider him my senior.
Support for Climbing Mountains
Throughout the book he writes some gems that should be mentioned like this one: “One advantage of age is the chance it gives us to learn and relearn until we know.” What is something I have learned and relearned? You need to keep moving forward!
He says when he is with elders with some mobility problem whose world has shrunk to the size of their TV room it is “as if I’m with the walking dead.” So get outdoors and climb mountains while you can.
Palmer says, “Spend time in the natural world, as much time as you can. Nature constantly reminds me that everything has a place, nothing need be excluded. That “mess” on the forest floor – like the messes in my own life – has an amazing integrity and harmony to it.” He goes on to say that paying attention to how wilderness overcomes devastation “has helped me see how suffering can serve as a seedbed for renewal.” There is just so much to learn on the mountains!
On The Brink of Everything
That is such a perfect title to describe life after death in my opinion. I don’t know if that is what Palmer meant by it, but I see it as a way to remind us that the closer we get to death, the closer we are to the brink. After the brink is “everything.”
Palmer says, “Nothing makes me more grateful for life – even in hard times – than remembering it’s a pure gift I didn’t earn and won’t have forever. Nothing motivates me more strongly to pay it forward than knowing that the time to share a gift is when I have it in hand.”
As I age I am more thankful for this life and those that made it possible.