Monday, May 09, 2016

An Orchard of a Certain Age

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here — seems like time is running at a break neck pace these days. And, honestly, I was (am maybe still am) having a bit of blog burnout tossed with a heavy dose of the winter blues. That being said…I think I am back…at least for the day!

Spring is always a much anticipated thing in this part of the world. Winters in the Pacific Northwest can be very rainy, very dreary and very long. So I am always happy to see the first signs of a change of seasons. Last week while out running my usual errands, driving along one of my regular routes, I was gifted with this wonderful orchard in blossom. Believe me, I do drive with my eyes open; but, I have never really “looked” closely enough when passing by to take note of what might be on these trees when they are bearing nuts or fruit. For some reason, last week, the beauty of these blossoms caught me. Inspired, I turned off the two-lane road, traversed a small water ditch (thanks Jeep) and continued on a dirt path passing by two “No Trespassing” signs and one “Kids Playing” sign. Based on the "Kids Playing" sign and the fact that I had my camera and tripod in tow, I figured the chances of me being shot for trespassing were slim. (Over the years I've learned that a camera and tripod can open many doors! Funny how that happens.)

Luckily I captured some wonderful images of the orchard that is clearly old yet full of life. The beauty of the new blossoms in contrast to the rugged nature of the trunks and limbs pushed me into thinking about life in general. How age, in so many things, is admired and respected; and at times, in other things, seems to be dismissed, ignored or ridiculed. In fact, I don't recall ever hearing an orchard referred to as an orchard "of a certain age." 

I’ll admit this thinking all has to do with where I am in life at the moment — sixty-seven! No, there is no typo there. The odd thing is that I am somehow entangled in a youth-obsessed society where the word "granny" is used negatively to describe certain very normal behaviors -- like going to bed before midnight and staying home on a Saturday night. I know my keen awareness and sensitivity to age perception has to do with the fact that I spend a lot of time in the world of social media doing my best to promote my jewelry brand and keep up with the kids; but, not to sound maudlin or defeated, as each day passes I begin to question the ability of my business of fifty years to survive in the current culture. 

That day, standing in the middle of a thriving orchard, the question became quite clear. Have I become the old barn that no one needs or cares about with the passing of time; or, worse yet, have I become an old orchard that has served its purpose and needs to be moved out to make way for new things? 

I want to think that I am resilient enough to embrace change, all the while staying strong and relevant. And, in return for that, receive recognition that isn't tagged as "granny" or, worse yet, being "of a certain age." However, I'm not going to lie, it is a bit of a challenge. I guess the only way for me to know is to move forward, right? I want to trust that I have the stamina and the strength to advance through the seasons, continuing to be creative, productive and relevant along the way.