In an inspiring article written for his 78th birthday, Parker J. Palmer wrote about his ‘withering into the truth’. This phrase is taken from a poem by William Yeats
Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun,
Now may I wither into the truth.
-William Butler Yeats
Palmer offered six gems of withering into the truth, sharing from his life.
- become ‘contemplative by catastrophe’
- growing into a ‘greening season’
- should be ‘raising hell on behalf of what we care about’
- sharing with and learning from the younger people
- ‘What do I want to let go of, and what do I want to give myself to?’
- ‘I have no idea what, if anything, I will learn from dying. This is all I know for sure: I have no bad memories of wherever I came from when I arrived on this planet, so I have no good reason to fear where I’m going when I depart.’
It is heart warming to be able to age gracefully and be wise. Old age comes for us all. On the other hand, how we age is up to us.
read the whole article here