When tomorrow comes


I looked at the pile of work on the table and thought, sod it, it could wait till tomorrow. But then, really, can it? Reading the Yeats poem today it occurred to me that I am twelve years older than my father when he died. I am closer to my grandmother’s final age now than I am to his 42 years. My late partner was the same age as I am today when he passed on.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
― W.B. Yeats

My great grandmother said into her nineties that she still felt 20 in her mind, even if her body would no longer play. I couldn’t understand that at the time, but of course, I can now. There are the inevitable creaks in the joints from years of dancing and walking, yet I feel as young as ever, just more confident in myself, more at ease than say 30 years ago. I kind of like growing older. It has possibilities I would never have imagined.

Vanity, of course, still tells me I’m glad I have kept a reasonable figure, glad that the wrinkles I have are mainly laughter lines and that my hair isn’t going grey yet. Or it wasn’t last time the scarlet dye let me see it. I’d never have dared dye my hair various shades of vivid years ago. And certainly wouldn’t have worn as much bright orange with it!
But inevitably, time is moving forward with that inexorable determination, and I know that my body will respond at some point by slowing down or seizing up. Gravity will one day start to win in places I do not wish to contemplate. Energy levels will fall and in all honesty, I can’t say whether I am around halfway through my life, like my great grandmother or almost done, like my late partner or my grandmother.

And this applies to all of us, no matter what our ages.

Yet the majority of us seem to suffer from inertia. When duty calls, for work or family, we roll our sleeves up and get stuck in. But so often the things we want to do with our lives are put on back burners for a ‘later’ that may not happen. The changes we wish to see in ourselves and in our lives are too often allowed to simply meander along towards ‘one day…’

We may have ten thousand tomorrows, or only one, and few of us know the extent of our mortality. We don’t know when age or illness will affect us, or when our bodies will cease to be able to climb to Macchu Picchu. We cannot foretell if our minds will wander into senility and lose the control so necessary to the things we are hoping to do. Will my hands shake too much to paint that one great picture I may have in me? Or my memory last long enough to pen the magnum opus ? And do I have the time to wait and see?

Age and Time are not the enemies. They are the natural rhythm of life and should be embraced. Age brings a comfort and assurance that the young seldom know. The very finiteness of time as it measures us makes life a precious gift. Inertia, however, is a conscious choice we make and perhaps the greatest enemy of all. If we don’t get round to taking the first step we don’t have a cat in Hades chance of taking the last.

We may not achieve all our dreams, and to be fair, I don’t think we should. What would life be without a star to follow or a will o’ the wisp to chase? Our hopes change and mutate, evolving much as we ourselves do. One thing is certain though, we won’t often find them landing on our lap for no reason.

More importantly tomorrow applies to people too. We cannot, do not, know what might get in the way of that one phone call, that letter or email, that apology or I love you that really matters. That hug someone is waiting for….So why wait?

I would hate to reach the ripe old age of my great grandmother and look back on all the adventures that never happened, simply because a tomorrow never came. One day that tomorrow will be too late. We are never too young to dream, never too old for the adventure of Living. As Charles Shultz said “Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.” And you can take that any way you like…..

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Life, Love and Laughter, Spirituality, The Silent Eye and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to When tomorrow comes

  1. prewitt1970 says:

    So beautifuly stated it brought a tear to my eye in these wi hours of the days night.


  2. atlasivy says:

    Sod it! That means like…screw it, right?

    I’m glad you abandoned the pile of work because this was a great (inspiring) read!


  3. slepsnor says:

    “Age and Time are not the enemies”. Very wise words. I know a lot of people who fight against these things to the point of making themselves look like fools. I’m talking guys my age walking around with their pants in the ‘falling down’ style and trying to talk like modern day rappers. It’s embarrassing.


    • Echo says:

      *chuckles* I know that look…one or two guys of my acquaintance, well into their 50’s still dress like teens.They can’t seem to realise it is not a good look and a little casual elegance with a discrete nod to fashion makes them actually look younger…


  4. janonlife says:

    Wow! I last read those words from Yeats when I was 18. I’m now over 60 and yet they were so familiar and fresh – so loved and, now, so understood.
    Yes, I too recall older relatives telling me they still felt young inside. I squirmed with embarrassment at the thought of my grandma having ‘young’ feelings! And now, of course, I understand.
    Loved reading your post. All so perfectly expressed.
    Thank you.


    • Echo says:

      Thank you jan. I have a feeling that poetry retains its freshness, no matter how much more depth we ourselves can bring to it years later.

      The mental and emotional energy levels don’t seem to fade with the physical ones. Neither does the desire to DO stuff, even if the body doesn’t, as granny put it, want to play.

      Hopefullt there will be a few decades of getting used to that idea and finding ways round it 🙂


  5. SirenaTales says:

    Wise and eloquent, as always. Thank you. xo


  6. written perfectly! Just perfectly! Tonight I dance the tango! =)


  7. JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing says:

    Reblogged this on lost creek publishing.


  8. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This makes so much sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautifully stated, Sue. Love the Keats poem, but then I love a lot of poetry, and not all of it is good.


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