Too Late Smart

By Irene Noble

Admittedly my vision of my granddaughter
is somewhat impaired by my love for her, but for the life of me I fail
to understand how she became so wise so soon. We are
both an only child, both raised by a single parent (a father for her,
and a mother for me). We share a “jack of all trades” DNA. I watch her
now as she, like my younger self, slightly out of focus, tries her
wings. Like a hummingbird sampling nectars looking for the blossom with
the most satisfying sugar, she fearlessly plunges into an array of
interests that defy the time needed to perfect any one of them. I tell
you this by way of introduction hoping to lead you into a greater
subject. There she is at 23 with time to spare and here I am at 85
almost out of time.

I marvel at her wisdom because wisdom came late to me. She seems to
have an “old soul,” with the good sense to dismiss such obstacles as
failure, disappointment, and hurtful opinions or rejections of her
efforts. She recognizes such hurts have weight; they slow her down and
circumvent her goals. I was 65 or more before the serenity of such
wisdom began to alter my behavior. And even then I listened to an inner
voice, “It’s too late, it’s too late.”

Most of my friends are somewhere in time near me. They have filed away
their family photos, their unfilled dreams of what might have been.
Both men and women fall into that hallowed “tender trap”: food on the
table, the kid’s education, a new pair of shoes. There is an unfinished
novel in the trunk, a recipe for cookies more than equal to Mrs.
Fields, a painting that hung in the local library for two weeks. All of
these dreams quietly slipped away while we ignored our own potential in
favor of a route more approved and less hazardous. To be wise enough to
listen to your heart, to be brave enough to face rejection, perhaps
even ridicule, comes to few of us which is probably as it should be.

Followers carry the world on their shoulders. Innovators only lighten their load.

I hope I’m still here when my little hummingbird finds the right
blossom. She will. It’s who she is… As for the rest of us, we are
never out of time to start a dream; it’s just the finish that is

© 2008 Irene Noble. All rights reserved.