By Fred Bermudez
I am encouraged to start a senior’s page for senior citizen and by seniors in this one and only online newspaper and magazine of Butuan City and Caraga region and I feel privileged to do so because at 64 years old, I feel I’m very much around and raring always to kick around like I did many decades ago.
I think at my age now, starting even when I was 55, I am more enthusiastic because I found it the best age ever, having the luck to go easy and live life to the fullest. I maybe old and retired from work but I am not retired from life. For most retirees they get bored and becoming boring because they do not do anything much or have a vision what to do with their life. They resigned from celebrating life.
Not me. I am glad to be out of office and welcome my seniority status with much urgency because I cannot wait to see thing around me grow up and be of use. I am referring to the seedlings now fully grown young trees of all kinds I have planted the first week of my official work retirement. I feel I am a man of the world, free and carefree and like the trees, dancing with the wind.
I am proud to tell you I have planted 25 rambutan trees, 10 durians, 50 lanzones and some others aside from the age-old mango, coconuts and bananas in the farm I acquired when I was 38 years old.
I never thought I end up doing farm work because I thought it was boring but I found out it is so exciting than working in government or private firm the whole day. The farm as an office I realized is more enjoyable and fulfilling. Come heat and rain, having to say hello and nourished young trees like your own children and yes, I talk to the trees and plants I take care of.
Wearing boots, light shirt and a farmer’s native hat I feel I am the master of the world. Layo ra si Superman o ang probinsyanong walay pulos. The land, the trees, hills and the stream embrace me like a true friend. And I am home. Truly home—with myself and the land.
Being a senior is the best chapter of my life. I bet to any one if they look at it this way—to do even more useful things with oneself and find deep meaning than earning material wealth and nothing much else. I am glad I have done that and move on to the next level which is better off.
I am annoyed that many young people look at seniors as unproductive and needed so much help and assistance. Sure most seniors do because of the wrong things that they do in their young lives, but some become much better and stronger in outlook and skill and definitely with wisdom combined with action.
Your lolo or lola maybe be old but they are not completely useless and weak but even more determined and convinced what they want and need, not only for themselves but for the family and friends around them and the planet itself.
Now how many young people has this sense of idealism and firm belief and action?
Photo courtesy of Philippine Landscape