"May you live to be a hundred! A hundred years and more!" 

Ah! The common birthday wish, warbled out without much thought, at the end of Happy Birthday. But, what does it actually take to live  to be a hundred? What does it take to age gracefully and successfully? What is the secret to longevity and the secrets of super agers?

Floral art, floral flatlay photo, maple seeds, grape hyacinth, lilac florets, enthusiasm, ripples, mandala, floral mandala, collage, natural, nature art

Recently, Clara Pinto, a respected elder from our community, after living a long and fruitful life, passed away at the ripe old age of 102. A year previously, when asked what keeps her going, without batting an eyelid, her response was "being interested in others." And then, with a sparkle in her eye, she recited her favorite poem, the words of which she lived by- A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

As Wayne W. Dwyer, in his book, Wisdom of the Ages, explains in his dissection of this poem, "this poem is tribute to one word. And that word is enthusiasm. The original Greek meaning of this word is "a God within." Longfellow's 'Psalm of Life' encourages you and me to take a thoughtful look at the brief span of time given to us, which is our life, and to adopt an enthusiastic and grateful attitude for all that we are and all that we experience."

And there, it would seem, might lie the secret to a long and well-lived life. 

For anyone who has ever contemplated the purpose of life, this poem is worth displaying in a prominent place and reading every day.


A Psalm of Life

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

"Life is but an empty dream!"

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;

But to act, that each tomorrow

Finds us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our heart, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums, are beating

Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!

Let the dead Past bury its dead!

Act,--act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another, 

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing

Learn to labour and to wait.


Like a stone thrown into a pond creates ripples that spread to far off shores, enthusiasm creates equally infectious ripples that touch others in ways unbeknownst to us.

Floral art, floral flatlay photo, maple seeds, grape hyacinth, lilac florets, enthusiasm, ripples, mandala, floral mandala, collage, natural, nature art
Created with various maple windborne seeds, lilac and grape hyacinth florets.

Watch Dr. Wayne W. Dwyer's video on "How Do You Know Your Life Purpose."

Click on 'Captures' below to see my other nature inspired photographs.

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