WEATHER »

Epiphany


Time passes. It’s not worse; it’s just different. For so much of my life, I wanted to create a legend, a legacy. I wanted to make a difference, in as big away as possible. Then, as time marched on, and I was living a journey that took me to a supposed destination – well, surprise! The journey was the destination, arrived at each and every moment of my existence. While I was looking for the Holy Grail, it turns out that the moments of searching were the Holy Grail. While I was looking for that grand plan to immortalize my simple little human body – which in truth is not a simple body but billions of cells doing things that make us unique – the answer I needed came to me one day in my seventies. While I was moping that youthful looks, vitality, strength, skiing, tennis, dancing until 3 seemed to be slipping out of the main picture, I began to realize it was not that all was gone, but all was changing.

When I was a child, I played marbles, or rode my scooter, or skates, then when I was a little older, I learned what girls were, and school and education; at 30-40 what I enjoyed was reading a good book, or sitting and watching a sunset, or discussing life with friends, or just fully enjoying the joy of friendship on a much deeper level than children seem to do. It’s not better, just different.

I now like to take hikes, go kayaking, watch a movie. And I realize that doing nothing is doing something, resting, allowing life to come to you. I love holding hands with my partner. I have a greater passion to help others. Not like when I was a young man. Then I wanted to save the world. But now there is satisfaction, while walking down State Street, in giving a homeless person a few dollars, or dog food to a lost dog, or a rain poncho to a worker outside in the rain. I even love making hot chocolate for my gardeners on cold days.

Yes, life is really still wonderful. What we need to appreciate are the differences [in the stages of life]. They can’t be compared. Think back to a polliwog who lives in water and eats veggies until he becomes a frog. Is the frog sad that he is not the youthful polliwog, or does he just continue onto the life journey he is now on? A lovely lady said to me one day, when I had brought her homeless dog some food a few days in a row, “You’re a nice man.” And I said, “To be honest, I do it for me.” And she smiled and said, “We are all cargo of this ship called earth, aren’t we?” “Yes,” I said, “We are just cargo, some more fortunate but nonetheless cargo.”

We can make life much easier is if we just embrace the journey as the destination. Love, Bernie (your cargo mate).

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Bellosguardo Fundraiser Draws Big Donors and Heavy Criticism

The nonprofit foundation, set up to fulfill Huguette Clark's legacy, also faces a legal challenge.

Arts and Honors Scholarship Deadlines Approach

High school seniors can now apply to S.B. Scholarship Foundation for financial awards.

UCSB Suspension for Sexual Assault Overturned

The accused student was “denied a fair hearing.”

Cannabis Watch Santa Barbara

City retail dispute spurs a lawsuit as the county cracks down on illegal grows.

North Hall Takeover: 50 Years Later

Actor Danny Glover keynotes UCSB conference.