When my husband reached his mid seventies, he informed me that he seemed to cry more easily. He didn’t offer an explanation, not did I ask him for one. Now that I have reached that age, I too, find tears welling up behind my eyes with more and more frequency.
One explanation might be that subconsciously one knows that one is closer to the end of life that the beginning. Another might be that the tear ducks, like the bladder, do not have the elasticity that they once had. Or, it could be that with parenting and career making behind one, the small, everyday pleasures and sorrows of the world take on new meaning.
I’ve seen magnificent sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean and sunsets over the Andes Mountains. But, suddenly, those that I see from the windows of my apartment home reflected in the small river that runs below, make my heart flutter and my eyes moist. In fact, all manner of sights and sounds drifting up to my windows have the power of moving me deeply; the sounds of children laughing in the playground, the high school crew teams zipping down the river after school hours, families picnicking beneath the trees on the week-ends, fund-raising groups of runners or walkers following the river path in support of one good cause or another – all of these things cause me to sigh deeply. All of those things make me feel the tiniest bit like God watching the better actions of human kind.
There are other times, such as when I am reading the morning paper which tells those too human tragedies of war and of rumors of wars that I must put my head down on the table and weep silently while praying for families who have lost members and homes in the name of power, money or religion.
Perhaps by the time one reaches my age, life has sensitized the soul much like an aged piece of silk that is very soft to the touch, which tears easily. It is a fragile state. No matter. This is a time when a new kind of life is available – a rebirth, if you will, a preparation for things to come.