Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Glowing Up

I heard the term shared, as my sons talked.

"Glowing up," they said, and so I asked what it meant.  It is, apparently, in the parlance of the younglings these days, the way you describe the transition from the clumsiness of early adolescence into the full flower of young adulthood.  Baby fat falls away.  Braces come off.  Bodies mature.  And you "glow up."  Both of my sons have, certainly.

I remember that transition myself, as I went from a gangly, bony, pasty-fleshed stick of a child to being a gangly, bony, pasty-fleshed stick of a man.

Um...right.  I'm not the best example.  But the principle remains.  Ugly duckling becomes swan.

Glowing up happens.

There's a funny thing, about glowing up.  It doesn't have to stop.

Oh, the "growing" part stops.  And then things sag, and wrinkle, and ache in the morning.  The light of youth wanes.

But the brightness that matters never has to stop building.  The glow never needs to wane.

It can, of course.  We can become hardened and jaded.  We can become angry and bitter, as the mass of old wounds and resentments becomes an armor of scars around our souls.

We can lose our creativity, our joy, our delight in each day, trudging through life in a joyless slog.

Or we can come out of the fiery crucibles of life stronger.  We can embrace the wisdom that has been hard won over decades, deepening our understanding of ourselves and our compassion for others.  We can find deeper contentment in each day, in the simple pleasure of encountering life anew.

Our light can become all the brighter.

Because though youth may have its charms, nothing glows brighter than a well-aged soul.