It’s a matter of perspective and asking, what is it that I bring to the community that I couldn’t do earlier? And more importantly, who am I now that I wasn’t when I was younger?
The 3rd Chapter of Life is the time that we can reflect on the hills and valleys of life and offer wisdom that only comes with hands on experience.
Does not Wisdom call, And does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, At the crossroads she takes her stand; Beside the gates in front of town, At the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To you, O People, I call, And my cry is to all that live…”
– Proverbs 8:1-4
In their short but profound book, Claiming Your Place at the Fire, Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro (2004), call our attention to a practice from a number of traditions, claiming the role of an elder … a sage.
“I’m at the end of who I was. But I’m at the beginning of who I might become. That’s exciting to me.”
“In elderhood you’re more a human being than a human doing. Elderhood is just another calling.”
“New elders are people who use the second half of life as an empty canvas, a blank page, a hunk of clay to be crafted on purpose.”
Leider and Shapiro frame their wisdom on the image of a campfire that has 4 flames, each with its own question and which dance together –
Research shows that people’s number one deadly fear is the fear of “having lived a meaningless life”. The Spirit in the Desert programs will help you find meaning and purpose in your 3rd Chapter of Life … including being an Elder.
Copyright 2015 Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center