In the spring we gaze in awe at the flush of new growth we see all around us. The reviving trees paint the whole countryside with a coat of vibrant, light green. How to describe this astounding colour? Is it lime green? Not quite. Emerald green; closer but not as dark. Sea green may be closer still. Perhaps bottle green? Whatever the technical term might be, we love how the Creator decorates the hillsides with a thousand subtle shades of spring green. So fresh. So alive.
It reminds us of the vibrancy of young life. The wonder we feel at the birth of a new baby. The energy and excitement of a child. The awesome potential of a young person with his or her whole life ahead. It’s wonderful to celebrate along with youth the hope and dreams they feel.
Many of us older folks remain vibrant and hopeful but sometimes our aches and pains and sorrows make us somewhat jaded and world-weary. Admittedly, there are children who are obnoxious and young people who have a dark and hopeless view of life. But too often we find unnecessary fault with the antics of a child, the perceived carelessness of a teenager, or the brash self-confidence of a twenty-something. Could our irritation be rooted in envy? Or perhaps nostalgia?
Older and younger, we need each other to achieve balance in life. Sadly, the modern breakup of families has left many of us without any positive experience of the warmth of an extended family; children, parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins. We segregate everyone into age brackets: Gen X, Baby Boomers, Millennials, and so on. It may help marketers but it’s not healthy.
Every year has a spring, summer, fall and winter and every human needs connection with people of every age and experience. Personally, I don’t find living in a senior’s ghetto attractive at all. (To some it may be just what they need.) But most of us seniors need to rub shoulders with children and young people—and they need us older folks. Perhaps some of their joie de vivre will rub off on us and some of our wisdom on them. Perhaps we’ll become more tolerant, better adjusted, less jaded and gloomy. Didn’t Jesus rebuke the disciples for hindering children from coming to him?