Another confession! Last week I turned seventy – I became a septuagenarian! It feels strange to say I’m seventy. Most of the time I don’t feel seventy – but there again what is seventy supposed to feel like? As I look out at the world through these old eyes – the sense of self hasn’t changed in 40 years. Oh, the understanding of self may have gone through some iterations, but not how I imagine myself. Until I look in the mirror that is. Let’s not go there.
My daughter, who lives in England, sent me a two disc set of Simon and Garfunkel. I always enjoyed their music. I put on the first CD and it was a live recording version of “Old Friends”. A lovely piece with wonderful imagery and the thoughts of two young men watching some older men sitting on a park bench – probably in New York.
Do you know the words. I almost spilt my tea when they sang “…how terribly strange to be seventy”. Susan and I burst out laughing. How appropriate that first song was. And how appropriate the words. It does seem terribly strange to be seventy. Then I listened to the thoughts of these young men and I realised how much times have changed since this song was written. Seventy just isn’t what it used to be.
We have a number of friends who are well into their seventies and I can’t imagine any of them sitting out their days on a park bench, lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun. Most of our friends are very active with sometimes too much vitality.
For my seventieth birthday Susan gave me a handsome new bicycle – a Devinci- I’ve named him Lenny. Some people prefer female names for vehicles and vessels – but Leonardo wouldn’t stand for it, so Lenny it is.
Now I have to confess (yes again, it’s in my genes) the new bike was needed as the arthritis in my neck couldn’t tolerate the angle I had to hold my head on my old mountain bike. You really don’t need a mountain bike on the prairies anyway.
My new bike allows me to sit upright and enjoy the view. Maybe not quite the speedster I might have been on my mountain bike – but I’m retired now, so what’s the rush.
So, Simon and Garfunkel – eat my dust, nothing settling on my shoulders as I wait passively for the sunset.
But, It’s still a favourite tune of mine, hope you enjoy this version