100 Years

Today my grandmother, Carrie,  is 100 years old. This past weekend I went back to my hometown to be with her and celebrate her life. This milestone has certainly made me think about all the growth, life and changes that my grandmother has experienced. 100 years. What a difference that can make. My grandmother has lived a rather cloistered life in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. And yet the  world she knew in her teens or early adulthood has shifted so greatly, spiraling around her nest, a sky of changing colors around her very defined world. I think about what life was like for her when she was my age. And then I think what life could be like when I am her age (yes, I think we should all plan to live as long as my grandmother).  How much the world changed in this time–both the hard world and the world of thought and action. Is there any way to prepare for “the world or tomorrow?” I think about my grandmother and the 10 children she gave birth to, the many concerns and personal trials she must have faced–yet she moved on. There is a grace and carefulness about her that I seldom see in my day-to-day life. Pehaps this comes with age. At the same time I see a playfulness and confidence that few twenty-somethings display within this little woman. I look at this picture of Carrie, my grandmother, on her wedding day (she was 15 years old) and I see in her all the power, fear and hope that rests in all of  us. We don’t know what the next 100 years will hold. Really, we don’t know what the next 5 years will hold. What we can know is how we will approach it. Head on. With the eyes and fearlessness of a strong, gentle woman like Carrie.