This is a picture of one of my beautiful nieces on my husband's side. She's a junior in college doing a semester abroad, and she's having the time of her life. Doesn't she just have the map of Ireland on her face? And she is, in fact, IN IRELAND, as we speak--the lucky thing! Here she is perched precariously close to the edge on the Cliffs of Moher (which apparently are in the running to become the eighth wonder of the world). I can't decide which is more breathtaking: this lovely blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked lass, or the heartbreakingly beautiful scenery in the background!
In the Pearl clan, there's a magical aura about the Emerald Isle. My mother-in-law's father was an Irish immigrant who left his homeland at 19 and never made it back there. Many members of our large extended Pearl family have made the pilgrimmage to the old sod, and those of us who haven't been to Ireland yet dream about doing so one day.
And speaking of things Irish, I just saw this Irish Proverb in a catalog filled with Irish-themed gifts, and I thought I'd share it:
"DO NOT RESENT GROWING OLD. MANY ARE DENIED THE...PRIVILEGE."
I especially like the dot-dot-dot: the pause that allows the author of this pithy wee bit of Irish wisdom to come up with just the right noun to complete his thought. One might argue whether or not it's a privilege to experience the ravages of time on one's body, but...I'm going to try to remember this proverb whenever I look in the mirror, get bummed out, and wonder, "Who is that saggy-skinned old lady with the crows' feet and varicose veins?" I've got to try to adopt my late father-in-law's outlook (he, too, was a wise Irishman): for each year older that I get, I get one year closer to 70...and free skiing at any ski resort in the U.S.!
I guess growing old gracefully is all about attitude. So let's drink to that. Slainte!