Life has its seasons. Sure, we all know about the broad ones where we move from childhood into youth. Then, when school no longer serves as a safe platform, we figure out how to make a living and are forced to do something about that in a pro-active way. Big changes, such as marriage and babies affect our lives in radical ways but, sooner or later, we land on some predictable conveyor belt and usually ride smoothly through maturity into old age.
That is, if we escape the exigencies of economic downturns or health crisis along the way. At least, the common stereotype still paints the picture of a settled retiree, surrounded by an accumulation of a lifetime; finally resting on their laurels and collecting on same through regular social security checks; enjoying a quiet life with cats, dogs and grandchildren playing happily around the kneecaps.
However, with the coming of the Boomer generation, Hummel figurines might be sold off in favor of RVs, motorcycles, and possibly even yachts. More and more, mobility itself becomes the passion of the aging adult….and I’m not talking about medical devices here. The call of the open road is being heard, loud and clear, by more and more senior citizens.
I count myself as a sort of a pied piper of this generation! They set the tone for me in the 1960’s by running around the world with backpacks, uncovering lush lagoons in Balinese island chains, when I was heavy with my first child and couldn’t consider such happy freedom. But, something of their example stuck and decades later, while those former hippies were running large corporations, I found myself free to emulate their early example.
“Whee!” said I, “This is easy!” and my cache was proving that it could be done on social security alone. Now, here I go again, at the stunning age of 74, to try my hand at hoisting my 85-liter backpack once more and setting out for more than a year, searching for those lost lagoons.
I’ve never owned a Hummel in my life but I’m shucking a lot of stuff that has accumulated in my personal space over the eight years I have lived in one place, since my last great move. In truth, I will cling to some things; mostly clothes and books and writing equipment and I will have a house to come home to; though no cars. So, looking about with only two weeks till fly day, I can appreciate all over again the wonderful reasons why a human being must be willing to let go of the objects of life and trade them for a wonderful freedom to roam around the planet, if that’s what you really want to do.
Time can’t be messed around with. You snooze, you lose! So, you have to let that brass ring go instead of hanging onto it. Just launch and see where your momentum takes you! “Whee! This is easy! I can do this!” Again and again and again.
After all, it’s only practice for the final Leap that we all must eventually make into the Great Unknown. Let go and launch!