I’ve always loved drinking, so it was hard to give up my scotch on the rocks in the evening. No more beer with dinner. Now, it’s tea with honey and water water water. As the decades go by and death’s become more like a relative than a cartoon character, I’ve come to treasure consciousness more than anything else in the world, even more than a good buzz or a long, luscious nap.
The older we get, the sharper our senses in finding and living in these moments of consciousness. I see my dad living in them almost minute to minute, savoring each bite of dinner, looking at my daughter plugged into her iPhone, blinking less and holding gazes longer, saying things like “Here we are,” with a big silly smile on his face. I’m understanding it more and more each day. That kind of wisdom isn’t in the books. It’s an ancient elixir you’ll only find deep in the mountains, on the other side of the ocean, across a large expanse of desert.
It’s the gift of aging: an ever-deepening and well-earned appreciation for life, the unlocking of an alchemy that allows you to squeeze juice from the smallest of fruits, to rest comfortably and consciously in tiny units of time.
Here we are.