Where I live there are bright blue skies, miles upon miles of scenic hills, mountains and valleys and unlimited peaceful space. 

I welcome each new morning sunrise as it brings us yet another wondrous day here in the high desert.

People around town smile and say hello. There are cute puppy dogs who wag their tails at me longing to be taken for a walk. Their friendship, affection and enthusiasm is contagious and whatever bit of care and attention I give them bounces right back to be.

There are old friends I’ve come to know and care about. They are my special pals. I regularly sit and talk with some of them at lunch at our senior center. There’s the usual chit chat about the weather, local news, who’s doing what and such. There are jokes, laughter and good times we share in our daily gathering place.

It’s a bit similar to communication with my puppy dog friends in that whatever energy, laughter or emotion I share with them echoes back to me greatly amplified.

Dogs, old friends, peace, quiet and sunshine bring happiness into my life these days. 

“Golden years” they call them; these days and months that flow like a stream to meet me. They linger a while then slip softly away with the gentle desert breeze.

Some people scoff at the “golden years” term and run down all their many gripes and  complaints having to do with being elderly. 

Their aches, pains, problems and difficulties seem to outweigh all the positive factors in their lives. What a pity.

Then again I would say it”s how you look at it. I imagine if you gave some people a million dollars they might just complain about all the problems it brings them. “The taxes are going to kill me. All my friends and family are going to be leeching off me from now on”.

Attitude, I would say, is probably the major factor in enhancing the enjoyment of life and savoring one’s continuing existence into a ripe old age.

Retirement, longevity and life as a senior citizen is to me a true miracle. 

I’m here. I’m still alive and well. I’ve beaten the odds, weathered all the storms. I don’t have to rise up early each morning, fight traffic on my commute to work and spend all my days hustling for the mighty dollar. 

Retirement just a hundred years ago was pretty near nonexistent. I hardly ever observed it and I didn’t hear it mentioned when I was a kid. You just slogged away every day and worked till you dropped.

But one good thing about today’s society is that it shows some appreciation for its seniors. It gives them a break finally and lets them enjoy a little comfort and leisure as a reward. After all they’ve done to shape the world into what is, I think they (we) deserve it. 

So here I am today in our modern affluent society. I’ve paid my dues and survived all the ups and downs. I’ve been through it all and managed to emerge on the other end of this lifetime still alive and well. 

And I can tell my story. It’s a story of adventure, battling the elements, surviving the tragedies, savoring the good times and continuing on. 

I really enjoyed my youth which I was sure would last forever. I laughed and danced with the pretty girls. I lived in many different beautiful locations and traveled much of the world.

For me, participating in and living life is something like experiencing and enjoying sweet music.

And the music continues.

Each day is new and special. Each morning brings a new adventure. Each friend brings joy, warmth, and happiness.

Often here in the desert at the end of the day, there’s a glow of unique golden sunlight for a  while. It happens shortly before the sun sets below the horizon and it lights up the hills and the entire environment with what seems like a magical glow.

Some call it “golden hour”. 

I think of it as capturing and briefly holding the essence of the day.

This to me is similar to my present experience. 

The music of this lifetime of mine has reached a crescendo.

I’m enjoying my golden years.

To view some past articles Google danhughoconnor@gmail.com