Forever 17

When I was a child and I thought about growing up and going out into the world on my own, I was often confused and even frightened by the possibility that I would be leaving the family I knew (well, leaving it physically – I have since learned that we never really leave our family of birth). But somewhere, “deep inside” of me, I had an idea that has never left me. I would grow up to be 17.

Why 17? I don’t have a clue!!! Didn’t then, and don’t now!

But the strangest thing, and something completely clear to me, is that I have always been 17. Take a look at me – I’m still 17!

I love to lead small groups – I volunteer to lead two small groups in the community in Oakland even now – and one time, I was leading a group of women. I asked them the question: “How old are you – inside?” As each women thought about it and then spoke aloud her inner age, heads around the room nodded. We could see it! One woman – a woman to me at the time, very old, although I am older now than she was then, told us that she was 18. She was right!

And so, this 17 year old old has entered her elder years, a retired person now. As my father told me, many years ago when I looked at him in disbelief, a child with her whole life ahead of her, “life sure goes fast.”

It sure does.

Even autumn is beautiful… photo by Mary Elyn Bahlert, 12/3/2014, Oakland

6 thoughts on “Forever 17”

  1. Yes, life sure goes fast. I never, ever, thought that I would live to see my 81st birthday. But, thank God, I have done that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when I was in a small group with you and we all shared our inner ages. I’ve done this with many of my female friends over the years and it always amazes me that we all instantly know our “age.” Nobody ever even has to think about it!

    Yes, you are 17, I saw it all those years ago when you told me your age; and I see it still in the youthful wonder and awe that comes through in your writings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am wondering if we all just stay in high school forever. I hope not. It wasn’t my favorite time of life. I like it much better now.


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