Tightly Packed Worlds
Throughout our life’s journey, we each live in a succession of tightly packed worlds. We experience these worlds one at a time, entering, staying a while, and departing to the next one.
Kids live in a tightly packed world. School, a bicycle, woods to explore, and a park to play in with a handful of adventurous friends could be the full scope of that world. High school is another tightly packed world – classes, plays, chess, sports, and a slow initiation into dating are all a part of it.
Then we go to college, or directly to the workforce depending on one’s path. Those years can be fun-filled with the joy of young adulthood in all its experimental, experiential glory. In each of these worlds, the people and events seem larger than life – because they are our life, all of it, at least for that time.
Then, perhaps reluctantly, we move to a new world of weighty responsibilities, such as starting a family, caring for elderly loved ones, and trying to make a contribution to society. That can be a tough awakening, as we discover that sometimes it is a dog-eat-dog world, with success going to the fittest… or the luckiest.
Finally, we retreat to the last tightly packed world of being old. It’s been said that aging is not for the faint heart. If we have prepared well for it, the ride can be peaceful and serene. If we have not, it’s a grinding and gnashing of teeth until death do we all part into final oblivion.
Patrick J. Wood
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”