Yesterday, while turning out of Byerly's from an impromptu ice-cream run in the middle of the day, I turned the corner in my devilishly good-looking Buick LeSabre and came face to face with an older Sedan that appeared to be driver-less. It was smoggy and hot outside, and it wasn't until I got to the stop sign that I could more clearly see if someone was actually in the car or not. I thought about the stories I've heard of little kids accidentally getting behind the wheel. The whole thing seemed strange. Looking carefully out my left window, I saw that just an inch or so above the steering wheel, with his nose tipped up and his spectacles pulled down so he could see properly, an elderly gentleman was carefully making his way to the Walgreens' parking lot. He was the tiniest man I had ever seen. In the seat next to him, his equally tiny, elderly wife was peering over the dashboard right along with him.
It wasn't two blocks later before I saw another aged couple, shuffling and wearing pastels, walking haltingly with canes in their outside hands and grasping to each other with their inside hands. They seemed so satisfied, enjoying the shaded greenery over the sidewalk and each others' company.
The rest of the drive back, I thought about what love will be like at that age. Arriving at a stage in life when wisdom abounding and child-like contentedness intersect seems magnificent and scary to me. I know it is not always like this, but even when memories are fading and joints are failing, some of these couples are so tightly bound.
There are so many movies (ex: The Notebook) where the love story ends with the couple old and holding hands or rocking on the porch together in the twilight. It's cute, classic. Maybe a little stale. I think this is such an entirely limited view of what this type of connection is like after so many years.
I was almost back to campus when I started thinking of what listening to the Holy Spirit will be like when I'm in my eighties. And what I will think about the world. I probably won't care about fashion or fads very much. Maybe just my daily routine and Jesus and my grandchildren. (Even as I write this, I know I am generalizing terribly). I wonder if I will understand people in more intricate and different ways than I do now. I know the Lord will be a central vein in my life, but I hope I have a group of people to sit and sew with or go on walks with as I reach the oldest years. Parts of me have always feared growing old, but I know there's something that goes past all the physical and even mental failings. I can't quite articulate it yet, but I plan on talking with my grandma about it. And possibly the older gentleman who sits on the corner of Lincoln and Lydia most days to watch the traffic and the college students walk to class.