I am not old (Samantha Reynolds)

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I Am Not Old

I am not old…she said
I am rare.

I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.

I am the retrospective
Of my life as art

I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense

I am the fullness
Of existing.

You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found

I am a treasure.
I am a map.

And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey

Ask me anything.

by Samantha Reynolds
illustrated by Corrie Haffly


“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me…”

These are the opening lines of Jenny Joseph’s poem Warningthe first poem I came across which celebrated aging, and became the inspiration for the Red Hat Society: a community of women aged 50+ devoted to fun (like wearing purple, or spitting on sidewalks, or whatever else takes their fancy.)

I’m not quite ready to apply for the red hat society yet, but as I sit here at my keyboard I see old lady hands poking out the end of my long sleeves: no matter how much I lubricate them, they are wrinkly and my body bears the signs of aging. Today’s poem, like Jenny Josephs’, remind me of the good things that come with age. There is a freedom, a wisdom, a joy that accompanies the marks of aging: imprints of our journey.

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Photo credit: Christa Norman, Mel Draper Photography, and Jonathan Summer