One of the gifts of eldership is that you’ve experienced the truth of impermanence over and over and over again so that it transforms from abstraction to lived reality.

You’re no longer waiting for, hoping for, working toward a state of permanence in any aspect of life — not in your art, not in your relationships, work, social status, finances, health, success or failures.

You embrace relative stability as the gift of grace and profound privilege that it is, but you aren’t expecting it to last forever, or even into tomorrow. And you’re fine with that because you also have long experience riding the sine waves of history.

You know that change is the only constant; you also know that you’ve navigated its tides for many decades, more skillfully at certain times than at others. Your body and psyche hold the knowledge of that navigation.

You aren’t buying into the self-referential illusions of legacy; you’re simply here to do the work that’s yours to do right now, and to celebrate the feast of life laid out in front of you, whether it comes from a Michelin starred restaurant, or from your local food bank.

Your desires become simpler: to nourish what’s real and help it grow into its potential. To care for and protect the vulnerable; to nurture the diverse forms in which the Sacred is revealed.

To cherish life, from the microbial to the galactic. To love what and whom you love, without surrendering either sovereignty or discernment. To play your part in the ecology of being, knowing your efforts will be imperfect and iterative, and essential to the evolution of the whole.

There is such peace in accepting what is, while continuing to work for what you trust will be, on behalf of all beings. You do this work not because it will bring you status or fame or fortune, but because love impels you to give what you are, in gratitude for all you’ve been given.

Thing is, no matter what age you are right now, you have the pattern of eldership etched within you. You can cultivate those qualities, make them central to the way you live your life, and offer your artistry to your world, moment by moment. You don’t have to wait until you’re old to embrace the gifts of eldership.