We never outgrow our need to grow. Fully alive people are never fully grown-up. They “grow tall in the presence of God, lithe and green, still bearing fruit in old age” (Psalm 92:13, 14).

At age 78 Eugene Peterson, author of The Message Bible, has just published his memoir. Titled The Pastor, it is rooted in Scripture like his 30+ other books, this time to John of Patmos’ Revelation letters to the seven churches.

At 83 Luci Shaw still serves as poetry editor at Radix Magazine and recently published Breath for the Bones–Art, Imagination and Spirit: A Reflection of Creativity and Faith.

These are two among many towering fruit-bearers to whom I look up. This year I’ll be 65, and I’m rejoicing in another growth spurt, feeling my joints flex and spirit rise in yoga prayer. Here’s a poem (or rap?) I wrote around age 60:  Delights of Old Growth

Not weak old but bold, no mold can hold us.       Off the page, out of cages we’re aging beyond rage to sage engagement.   Ranging past pain’s haze we seek sane peace-making ways.       Although we sometimes stumble while fumbling through jumbled papers we won’t grumble but stay humble.   Our new shoots careen away from routines, staying clean and green, growing lean, not mean, learning patience, creating and re-creating.       Being renewed from inside out we sprout fragrant fruitful boughs.       Awake at daybreak we raise praise.   We are neighbors whose labors proclaim Love’s power.       We take needed breaks to maintain our pace; in sweet dream-drenched sleep we release each ache.

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