Earlier this year, my 24 year old son Ian wrote the following beautiful reflection. It is worth sharing, and with his permission, I offer it here.
I was sitting on our porch tonight, drinking tea, enjoying the warm gentle breeze that the end of summer brings, and gazing up at the stars. I’ve always enjoyed the stars when I take time to just look at them and not have to be anywhere else. They make me wonder.
I wonder what I will think when I look at the stars when I am 50. I wonder if I’ll be too busy that year to notice them.
I wonder if I will be proud of the things I’ve done when I’m 60. The way I treated people. How much I believed in others. I wonder if I will be too afraid to take the time to reflect.
I wonder if I’ll be proud of what my life stood for when I am 70. I wonder if I’ll still be making 10-year plans.
I wonder how old I’ll be when I realise there isn’t much use for all those self-doubts and fears of being less than what is needed. I wonder if I will ever see with clarity that all my fears never made an ounce of difference when beauty and love immersed me in a world of colour.
I wonder if I will sit on a western beach at 80, looking with wonderment through watery eyes at the blazing sunset and think to myself how all my understanding of the world never made me feel as close to home as this. I wonder if I will remember that it made me feel just the same all those years ago when I did not know the world at all, just a young eighteen-year-old boy with all the uncertainty of life yet before him. I wonder if my heart will remind me that the magic was just the same all those years ago.
I wonder if I will look into the mischievous eyes of laughter of my great-grandson when I am 90, and be glad that my wrinkles froze my face in a smile instead of an impatient frown or a worried brow.
I wonder if I will blow out the many candles on my birthday cake when I am 100, and think to myself how many of my dear friends’ candles no longer burn. I wonder if I will be glad I told each one of them how treasured they were and feel abundantly lucky to have heard the same in reply.
I wonder, when I breathe my last, what will seem important then? I wonder…