Right. Forty-one years on Earth, who knows how many more in the cosmos. In that time I’ve become, counter to popular saying, less set in my ways. Age isn’t a burden, I’ve found, it’s a release. No more confusion about who I am, and more time to wonder about the world and the people around me. I’ve hit mid-life, no mistaking it, but it’s not a crisis, it’s an renewal. Of optimism, of spirit, of thirst for experience and life. I don’t know how the forties sit for most people, whether it’s a cringing reminder that the twenties are more than a decade away, or that the half-century mark is looming like a henge. For me forty is clear, vaporous, nothing more than a number. Age is a mask worn by the insecure, the vain, the self-conscious. I’m as myself at forty-one as I was myself at thirteen, which is amazing considering the span of knowledge and experience that separates the greyed current-me with the gawky then-me.
Right, then. What does the next forty years hold? If youth is wasted on the young then age is savored by the mature. And I do plan to savor–life, love, food, drink, music, art, it’s there for the taking. A thousand trails lead around the bend, all unexplored and enticing. That bend is what pulls me forward, the crest of the hill, the unexpected view, the reward of the curious. Life is a trail that never ends. Each bend of the trail, dip into shadow, has earned me another grey hair, another wrinkle, of which I’m not ashamed but proud. I can’t wait to earn more.