“Aging does not need to be hidden or denied, but can be understood, affirmed and experienced as a process of growth by which the mystery of life is slowly revealed to us”. I love that Nouwen uses symbols for aging that elicit visual images. The wooden wagon wheel “slowly” revealing the mystery of life to us. This makes it easier for me to assimilate that it is a process and not an event. Aging is a one day at a time, step by step process that begins at the moment of birth and ends at our last breath. Some experience the end in a flash, others get to contemplate it and predict it within seconds. It is also very ironic that Nouwen reminds us that without the presence of the elderly, we might forget that we are aging. I shared in an earlier blog the phenomenon of being reminded that I “know” that ageless spirit within me and I am only reminded of my physical age by a mirror image or a recent photograph. I love philosophers such as Nouwen because his writings are all about “hope” in the process and he writes: “When aging can be experienced as a growing by giving, not only of mind and heart, but of life itself then it can become a movement to the (final) hour…” More later.