Eldering

February 1, 2015

A few months back, I began my day with an amazing meditation on Eldering from the Center for Action and Contemplation by Richard Rohr.1  He reminded me that we live in a society with elderly people but unfortunately very few elders.  He emphasized that “it’s not because they (the elderly) are bad people but there haven’t been guides from the first half to the second half of life, so most of us stay innocently in the first half.”2  I have been fortunate because for my entire life, I have had elders (whether familial like my great-grandmother Ella and her sister, my Aunt Tina or my maternal grandmother, Ida and her sister, my Aunt Maude, or the members of the Sisters of Charity of New York like Sr. Margaret McEntee, Sr. Andrea Dixon, and Sr. Anne-Denise Brennan to name a few) who have accompanied me and guided my path when I have stopped to listen.  So for those who do make it to that second half transformation, what a blessing they are to us if we only we reach out, listen and learn from them.

In my short time here at Trinity, I have discovered that we are blessed with many elders.  At this time of renewal, I wonder what we could learn as a community from the elders still among us – those people who as Rohr describes, “no longer need to be mirrored themselves but can grant their attention and awareness to other people.  Those people who listen and see us at a deeper level.” I invite you to join me in partnering with our Trinity Home Board and the Trinity Buddy System to spend some time with the elders in our community as we continue to search for, understand and know God.   Our elders like Old Turtle4 have much to share.  Ask the young men from the Boys Choir who caroled at Elim Park a few weeks ago.

Rowena+
1. Center for Action and Contemplation.  www.cac.org  Thursday, November 6, 2014.
2.  Ibid.
3.  Ibid.
4. Old Turtle: A Story by Douglas Wood with Watercolors by Cheng-Khee Chee.  Scholastic Press, 1992.