Gero-Punk Contemplations: Seventy Cycles of the Sun

By guest Gero-Punk

Simeon Dreyfuss

This essay first appeared on the Gero-Punk Project blog eight years ago.  Its reprint comes about much as the original: Jenny sent me an article about a 70 year old mōlī having another chick—the biologists think between her 30th and her 36th.  It led me to revisit a piece I wrote when this mōlī was only 62, which Jenny was kind enough to publish.  I still find it pleasing.  I hope you do too.

Of course, some things have changed since this piece was first written.  Most obviously, my son Fergus will turn 28 this year, and has not lived with me for some time (to say nothing of Jenny’s daughter Isobel being 25, and my daughter Ahven soon to reach the quarter century as well!).  The difference between 19 and 27 seems much bigger than the corresponding changes in Jenny’s and my ages. My friend Eric’s child is now in high school—the difference between second and tenth grade seems huge!  I no longer live in the home that was new to me then.  And though we were a somewhat new couple when this piece first appeared, even if old friends, Jenny and I are now happily married. 

So far as we know, the mōlī’s life is much the same.  Like all mōlī she spends most of her time flying over the open ocean.  (Mōlī is the indigenous Hawaiian name for the large seabird commonly call a Laysan albatross—scientific name Phoebastria immutabilis.)  She has the same mate, who has been her partner in raising chicks since at least 2010.  Employees of the US National Wildlife refuge at Midway Atoll, where the two mōlī always return to nest, now estimate that the subtropical convergence zone of the Great Pacific garbage patch, just to the north, deposits about 100 pounds of plastic on the beaches of Midway every week, or about 20 tons a year.  That plastic is now the leading cause of death for mōlī chicks on Midway; about a third die every year from eating it.  In addition, a US Geological Survey study predicts that Midway will become uninhabitable for both birds and humans by the mid 21st century due to increased storm surge rolling over it from rising sea levels because of the climate crisis.  I won’t be around to read about that.  But Fergus, Isobel and Ahven could be.  Their children, should they have any, definitely will be.

If all goes well mōlī nest once every two years.  And so, with that preamble, here is the essay as it originally appeared, from the mōlī pair’s perspective, eight years and four chicks ago.


Jenny has this way of listening to people around her, and when they say something she thinks might work in her blog, she invites us to write for it. “That would make a good blog post,” she says.  Her ever-lovely smile makes you want to write it.   This is not the blog post I told Jenny I would write, a reflection on how my relationship with certain literary texts has changed as I have aged.  I may still write that one.

In the meantime, she sent me a podcast about a 62 year old Laysan albatross who this year hatched and raised a chick on Midway atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.  Extraordinary! I thought.  A bird still making babies at 62?  I went looking for more information.

Turns out this particular bird was first banded in my birth year, 1956.  Midway is smack dab in the middle of the Pacific, about halfway between North America and Asia, and 1325 miles west northwest of Honolulu (about the distance from Washington DC to Austin, Texas, or Odessa, Ukraine, to Paris, France).  Midway is a small island—a stretched out 2.4 square miles of land circled around 15 and a half square miles of water.  It’s a classic atoll.  In sixth grade I built a series of four small clay models, that sat for years on the front edge of one of my bookcases, bookcases now in Jenny’s living room, showing in cross section the stages of atoll formation, starting with the eruption of a new seabed volcano, with coral reefs growing up around the volcanic island as its enormous weight causes it to slowly subside beneath the waves.  In the end, there is a narrow ring of coral islands around a central lagoon, miles wide.  That is Midway (threatened, like all coral islands, by ocean acidification due to global warming), which, 28 million years of continental-drift ago, sat above the same hotspot now forming the big island of Hawaii.  It is home to thousands upon thousands of birds, among them the world’s largest colony of Laysan albatross. 

Theodore Roosevelt imagined Midway’s strategic importance, empire builder that he was, and began developing a naval air station there in 1903; at its height from the 1930’s through the 60’s, many thousands of humans were stationed there.  It was bombed, along with Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and six months later was the site of a decisive naval battle, that turned the tide against the Japanese in WW II.  The base was decommissioned in 1993 and turned to a wildlife refuge, though the Navy is still cleaning up environmental contamination.  In 1956 researchers were trying to figure out why so many albatross were striking navy vessels, damaging the ships—and no doubt also birds.  That research miraculously sustains.  Curious, isn’t it, how we humans learn so much over time, though not necessarily about the often self-serving things to which we first pay attention?   (There is so much we don’t know, which can lead to such thoughtless destruction of things we find, too late, we treasure.  So much it has not occurred to us might be worthy of our attention, if we could just figure out the right questions to ask.) 

We like to give the objects of our inquiry names, by the way.  A kind of anthropomorphism, wanting a relationship with the things we study, and relationships often encourage us to pay attention.  This bird is called Wisdom, what we aspire to, so often unsuccessfully, as we age.  And we do not know for sure that Wisdom is 62.  Laysan albatross do not mate and breed until they are seven or eight.  You have to catch a bird to band it.  Albatross are built for flight with their six-foot wingspan, and fly they do, pretty much all the time, except when they are sitting on a nest.  Wisdom may well be older than 62. Her partner has been named Akeakamai, a Hawaiian word that means “desire for wisdom.” The scientists do not know how old he is.

Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai (US Fish and Wildlife Service)

It is pure chance that, 57 year after she was first banded, that we still know about Wisdom. Tracking bands affixed to bird legs have life cycles—such cycles are the theme of this contemplation, about which I’ll say more in a moment—and generally fall off within 20 years.  Wisdom has had six bands, all replaced before the previous fell off.  Because so few Laysan albatross have a history of continuous banding, we don’t know whether Wisdom is an anomaly or represents the norm.  Bearing young at 62 might not be so special, for an albatross.

There is much more that is fascinating about Wisdom and Akeakamai, but I have other goals in this writing.  I encourage you to Google them and learn more for yourself.  Laysan albatross are fascinating birds.  This gero-punk contemplation is about something I have learned from Jenny, not about aging per se, but rather about what Jenny describes as being conscious of where we are in the cycles that everyone, and everything, pass through as we travel through the life course. 

As it happens Jenny told me about Wisdom the morning after my oldest friend, Eric Einspruch, visited me for the first time in my new home.  I have known Eric for almost 40 years, and we have seen a lot of cycles in each other’s lives.  I live with my 19 year old son, Fergus.  Eric’s only child, Luka is in second grade this year—Eric came to parenthood even later than I, and I was 37 when Fergus was born.  Eric is an educational researcher and lives on soft money.  For years, one of the contracts held by the company he worked for was a federal one for gathering data on drug use in high schools in Washington State. 

When Eric came to visit our new home, Fergus finally asked a question he had been puzzling about for years: Why in the world did researchers like Eric think high school students told the truth on those drug use surveys?  He, Fergus, certainly never did.  Good examiner of the human condition that he is, Eric responded to that question with questions of his own: Did Fergus underreport or overreport his drug and alcohol use?  Did he answer with the same patterns about alcohol as he did for other drugs?  Or was he more honest about some things than others?  Did he think his peers all answered in the same way, or did some overreport and others underreport?  Over the years, was his pattern of answering consistent, or did he change the way he responded to the survey from year to year?  He and his peer researchers, Eric said, assume the patterns of how students respond stays consistent over time, not individually, but as an aggregate, the sum results of all answers, and thus the trend lines are valid, even if they suspect an overall pattern of underreporting.  And if the data shows, say, that 40% of high school seniors have been drunk in the last month, or if 10% of all students have considered suicide in the last year, that is enough information to act on, even if the data may not be absolutely accurate.

Later that evening, as we sat over drinks, Eric was reflecting, in the way that grown ups do, on a photograph he had taken though the screen door of my then farmhouse of baby Fergus on all fours, before he had even learned to stand up.  How had it happened that Fergus was now 19, in his second year of college?  And he reflected too about the fact that he, Eric, will be 65 by the time his son, Luka, graduates from high school.

So when Jenny sent me the podcast about Wisdom the albatross hatching a healthy chick at age 62, it got me thinking about the long gestation and slow maturation of humans.  Wisdom will still be 62, or maybe 63, when her hatchling is fledged and on its own.  Within a few years that hatchling will mate and have a chick of its own.

Now, Jenny has written in the Gero-Punk Project about her daughter Isobel, and her mother Susie, and the place she finds herself in her own travels through her life course.   And she has written about the curious way in which our four-footed friends have life courses different in duration than do humans, how odd it is to look in their eyes and see that while they were once younger than us, they are now older, and looking back with their own version of the wisdom of age. 

But thinking about Wisdom the albatross and her hatchling, and Eric and I and our boys, or in my case young man, I was struck by how the path of the life course, the turn of the cycle, may be the same—birth, maturation, bearing and raising young, and perhaps the perspective that comes with age—but the way those cycles lay over each other are different.  I was thinking about how the cycle of rearing young for so many species lays differently over the life course than it does for us humans. 

When we say someone or some thing is 62, what we mean is that they have lived on this planet for 62 cycles of our planet around our sun.  And because of the tilt of our planet’s axis and the different amount of the sun’s warmth that soaks into the surface, that is 62 passages of seasons, hotter and colder, 62 bursts of spring growth, 62 summer blossomings the plants setting fruit, 62 falls as plants move toward dormancy, 62 inner months of contemplation.  But in the mountainous high country here in the Northwest, which Eric and I so like to visit, those cycles are compressed, the entire turn of the wheel—bloom, fertilization, and seed—pushed together between July snow melt and the dusty parched heat of August.  Same cycle, laying differently over the year, as the rearing of an albatross lays differently over a life course from the rearing of a human.  

Everything has its cycle, whether living things, or navy bases, or the decay of a tracking band affixed to a bird’s leg, or even volcanic islands that form and sink back beneath the sea.  Wheels, and wheels over wheels, and the earth spinning around our sun, and the eventual fiery death of the sun itself, as a red giant, planetary nebula, and then white dwarf star, in a universe that must be cycling in its own way—everything else does, though what we understand as meaningful cycles of time is a matter of perspective.

Jenny too is an asker of questions, like my friend Eric.  Questions are good for helping us figure out what is worthy of our notice.  The right questions might lead to wisdom, or at least a life more in tune with the things we value.  These are a few of Jenny’s favorites that readers of this blog will recognize: What is the experience of traveling through the human life course with/in a particularly body?  How do we know we are aging?  Where does age and aging reside within human consciousness, and how is this consciousness experienced in an embodied way?  Perhaps it all comes down to the practice I learned from Jenny, identified near the middle of this post: being conscious of where we are in the cycles that everyone, and everything, passes through as we travel through the life course. 

Here’s to the work of paying the right kind of attention to the things which matter, in those resonant ways from which we might learn.

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Gero-Punk Memorial: 3.11.2011

A decade ago, on March 11, 2011,  Japan experienced the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, followed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.  On the same day, one year ago, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Today, the day I write this, is the first anniversary of the murder of Breonna Taylor.  

To commemorate these significant anniversaries in our shared history on this planet, I’m sharing an essay I wrote in the immediate aftermath of the cataclysmic events in Japan.




All week, I’ve been haunted by a particular line from Stanley Kunitz’s poem “The Layers,” and by my friend Sara, who died in November of 2006. I’ll save my story of Sara for another time.

The line from Kunitz captures the question that seems to be at the center of everything that’s happened this past week: “How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?”[1]

Change and loss.  Every minute, somewhere on this planet, someone is hurting, suffering, letting go, or holding on for dear life, running for the hills looking for safety.

(At the end of one of the many articles in today’s newspaper on the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the potential for tsunami off the Oregon coast, there was the line: “In Bandon (Oregon), for example…45 percent of the people in the hazard zone are older than 65 and ‘telling them to run for the hills might not be fair.’” What does “fair” look like when a tsunami is coming?)

The events of last week—large and small, local and global—hit me particularly hard because I went through the week sober. By which I don’t mean to imply that I usually go through the week drunk. It’s just that right now there is work I need to do, work I want to do—must do—that requires that I have my wits about me, that my edges are sharp and unsoftened by a nice glass of wine (or two) at the end of the day, that my capacities for awareness and lucidity are as expansive as possible.

So, the events of last week.  

One of my students asked for help so she could plan her spring term schedule of courses around her chemotherapy schedule.  Another student wanted to let me know that they may miss a couple of sessions in some of their courses next term because they will be flying home to take care of their partner, who has just been diagnosed with stage-four terminal lung cancer. Another couple of students have missed a lot of work this term because they have older adult parents who have dementia or other serious, life-altering circumstances to manage. I just met a new student who is a single parent of two special needs children. And just last weekend, there was a memorial service—the second one this term—for a student who died an untimely, sad death. My colleagues and I talk about the delicate balance of our adult students’ lives (and our own lives, as well!)—work, family, education, service, self-care—but how do we help them, help each other, create and maintain their delicate life-balance when we are facing the immediate, cataclysmic matter of our or our loved one’s very existence?

You asked the right question, Stanley Kunitz: “How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses”?

This past week, I was reminded at all levels of reality—from the cellular to the geophysical—what I already know but so often forget unless I make it a devotion to remember it: I am a little creature living on an ever-shifting and changing planet in an emerging universe; sometimes the ground I stand on seems solid and stable, and sometimes it shakes and threatens to swallow me whole.

I tell stories of the past, I cast my mind into and plan for a future I may not actually experience, but I can only ever triumph in the present by courageously embracing whatever happens as best I can (which sometimes means being sober and lucid, sometimes means having an extra glass of wine, sometimes means skipping in the park, sometimes means writing until my eyeballs fall out of my head, and sometimes it means taking to my bed for the day.).


This morning the newspaper told me that because of the strong earthquake in Japan, the Earth’s axis may have shifted by about 3.937 inches: “earthquakes can involve shifting hundreds of kilometers of rock by several meters, changing the distribution of mass on the planet. This affects the Earth’s rotation.”[2]

In addition to the axis-shifting, it seems that time shifts as well, as a result of the Earth’s rotation speed increasing in the aftermath of the quake. The newspaper tells me I won’t really notice it, because it is only a difference of 1.6 microseconds. But if you think about all of the major, massive earthquakes that have transpired throughout the Earth’s lifespan, those microseconds add up!

What does all of this mean? We may not notice these changes, whatever “notice” means here, in our conscious minds as we may not have developed (or remembered) the sensitivities required to do so, but how can these changes not affect us and all other living creatures on this planet?

Disasters—whether “natural” or “human caused” (is this a meaningful distinction?)—have  the potential to arrest our attention away from the local and personal and onto the global and transpersonal. [3] Catastrophes on a grand scale, crises on a personal and interpersonal scale, have in common that they can close us down or open us up (sometimes both!). They jar us, shake us up, and remind us of the deeper reality in which we live—which is temporal, provisional,  changeable, impermanent—and invite us to live our lives as fully, richly, and audaciously as we can, committed to all that is most important to us, rejoicing in our great good fortune that at least for the time being the ground beneath our feet is solid, stable.

Disasters and catastrophes that happen to others, that we witness from some distance as onlookers, by-standers, can be opportunities for enlarging our sensitivities, our capacities for empathy and compassion.  I think of Salman Rushdie’s essay, “Step Across this Line,” in which he entreats the reader to examine how the lines that we draw, the boundaries and borders we create and erect to keep some people in and some people out, are delusional inventions: made by humans during particular times, in particular places, in response to particular forces. And, thus—good news!—can be unmade and remade, as well. “Step across this line,” he invites me, he challenges me—disrupt closing down, resist separation and isolation, reconnect across differences, embrace complexity, behold reality face-on, even when reality really sucks.[4]

Catastrophes, tragedies that happen to others can also give us moments of temporary amnesia—the good kind—in which we forget what the fight was about that caused us to not see or talk to each other for a while, and in forgetting, we remember that we are actually all kin, all of us traveling through the life course together on this magnificent planet with its shifting axis and capricious speed.

In addition to wondering how it is that we can withstand so much loss, I also wonder what happens next.  What happens when we have these feelings of kinship, when we forget to separate ourselves from others and in forgetting start remembering really important stuff?  What happens? Do we witness? Do we stand-by? Or do we step across the line and reach out?


Before I went to campus yesterday, after I dropped my daughter Isobel at school, and after I finished writing a report for work that I’d procrastinated on all week, and after waking up to the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the reverberations across the Pacific Ocean, Happy-the-dog and I took a walk around our park.  As we approached the north-east bend of the pond I saw sitting upon the shore a pair of grebes.  Grebes aren’t ducks, so don’t make the mistake I made for years of mixing them up.[5]

Ducks, geese, and swans belong to the same family: Anatidae. But grebes are their own family entirely, the podicipedidae, and there are seven species and four genera of grebes. Nonetheless, it is important to note that ducks, geese, swans and grebes all belong to the same class: Aves, e.g. Birds.[6]  I’ve always found the grebes to be more formal and fancy, all dressed up for their time at the pond—splendid head plumes, solid patches of saturated colors marking their heads, lovely curved necks, and short, delicately pointed bills. I always look for them (and I wonder sometimes if they ever look for me?), because spotting them causes butterflies in my chest, which I enjoy feeling.  So, I stood on the path, Happy at the end of the leash, and watched the grebe-couple for a bit.

(May I take a moment to commend Happy-the-dog, who seems to have grown so accustomed to my habit of stopping to watch the waterfowl that he doesn’t even pull the leash, but waits patiently until I’m finished?)

As I watched the two handsome grebes, male and female, my attention was suddenly pulled away toward a commotion at an upward angle to the grebes, great splashing and squawking and carrying-on in that part of the pond.  It took me a few beats before I realized what was actually happening—five or six male mallard ducks were holding one female mallard duck under the water.  She kept trying to fight her way up for air, but each time she did so, a couple of the male ducks would grab her by the neck with their bills and  push her head back under the water’s surface.  She was fighting so hard, she was ferocious, but she was outnumbered.  

Let me admit that I am no innocent bystander. I don’t—actually can’t—stand by. Since the time I was a little girl, I’ve been unable to just bear witness and stay out of it when there’s what seems to me to be something aggressive, even violent, going on, whether between humans, between humans and other creatures, or between other creatures. This uncontrollable impulse has gotten me into a lot of trouble, but it has also gotten a few others out of a lot of trouble. Anyway, quite possibly the mallards were engaged in some sort of mating ritual, or perhaps a disciplinary procedure of some sort. Maybe what the males were doing to the female was part of some intra-species agreement that evolved over time which my non-Aves consciousness (and untrained ornithologist mind) has no capacity to understand. All I could do was observe and react.  And wonder what the hell to do. I wanted to exercise cross-creature cultural competence, I didn’t want to throw my human weight around, but standing there, watching this thrashing, screeching tornado of ducks, I couldn’t innocently stand-by—I had to step across the line.

First, I tried reasoning with the mallards.  I stood on the shore and yelled, “Hey, you ducks, stop that!” They ignored me.

Then, I tried taking a long stick and poking the ducks when they spun closer to the shore. This was an ill-conceived strategy, as they never got close enough and I didn’t feel quite right about poking them, so I threw the stick in the water and made a big splash. They ignored me.

Then I turned to Happy, and I asked him for help. Literally, I yelled, “Happy, you gotta do something!”  Fortunately, he was already a bit worked up, since I was so worked up, stumbling along the shore of the pond, waving a stick, trying to talk reason with the ducks. So, I let him have as much leash as I could without letting him go, and he ran a bit into the water, barking, which spooked the gang of mallards enough that they disbanded temporarily, and the she-duck was able to escape.  But, alas, she didn’t get far, she experienced but a momentary respite, as the guys followed her, and this confusing drama began anew.

I realized then that I couldn’t actually do anything.  I also wondered if I even should have been trying to do something, if it even made any sense to intervene in the affairs of other creatures, if I even had a right to do so.  There I was, imagining I could do something to help the mallards. But at the time, in the moment, I wasn’t really thinking, I was feeling—feeling for the female, because from my viewpoint she was being victimized, and for the males, because I wanted those guys to behave better![7] My actions were probably very misguided, prideful in the way only we humans can be, but there you go. This is exactly how I felt, exactly what I did.

In the aftermath, as Happy and I left the scene and headed home, I reflected upon the few times in my life when a non-human creature had intervened on my behalf, when I was in danger, real danger or the appearance of danger.  I remembered various family dogs having helped me, Marlowe most of all, and remembering this made me feel better about my decision to try to come to the aid of the she-mallard. Now, as I write this, I also recall the first essay in Kingsolver’s collection, Small wonder, in which she recounts the verified story of a mama bear who took care of a little human toddler who was separated from his family.[8] I also think of a passage from Skolimowski, and am somewhat comforted: “Men can be arrogant creatures, but so can lions.  However, among all creatures it is we, human beings, that can understand fully and completely the meaning of compassion and can act on it; can take the responsibility for all, can defend the rights of species different from our own.”[9] I’m not sure if we humans are the only creatures who can do so, but I do know that we humans are creatures who, indeed, do do so.


Reflecting further on my experience with the ducks, which happened to happen on the morning after the earthquake in Japan, and which took place before my encounter with one of my students who had such monumental and tragic news to share with me about her partner who is dying—and the poignancy of their geographic distance and emotional closeness—I realize that all of these stories I’m telling are pointing to the same few strong ideas: interconnection and creaturely-kinship; deep participation in each other’s lives and in the weird world that we live in; the instability, alterability, and fluxness of everything, and by “everything,” I mean from the micro-cosmic chaotic duck pond, to the macro-cosmic axis-shifting Earth, and everything in between.


In an instant, the ground beneath our feet shakes and shifts, waves swell and crash, buildings sway and topple. Some lives end and some are spared but forever altered.

Citizens of the world watch what happens: earthquake, tsunami, revolution, famine, hurricane, genocide, war, corruption, violence, environmental devastation, pandemic. Many cry and yearn to help, desire to not only bear witness and stand-by, but to step across the lines that separate us from each other, to support their Earth-kin to re-establish a sense of safety and stability on an ever-changing planet, in an ever-emerging universe.

I have a small wonderment: Can we keep these rekindled feelings of kinship with other humans, other creatures, and willingness to boundary-cross as needed at the center of our hearts and the front of our minds once the current catastrophe has passed?


[1] To hear an NPR interview with Stanley Kunitz and see the poem in its entirety, go to:

[2] “Daily Developments,” The Oregonian, March 12, 2011, page A7.

[3] We could have quite a discussion about whether there is any such thing at this point in Earth’s history that is beyond the influence of humans and thus pure, pristine, and “natural.”

[4] “Step Across This Line, from the book Step across this line: Collected nonfiction, 1992-2002 (2002), by Salman Rushdie. 

[5] (I wonder if grebes would mind being mixed up with ducks. If I were a grebe, I think I might not like to be mistaken for a duck! But why, is the question.)

[6] All classification information comes from The Sibley guide to birds, by David Allen Sibley (2000).  By the way—and I know you’ll be extremely impressed—in middle school science I won “most likely to succeed in science” because I could recite from memory scientific taxonomy: “Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.”

[7] I wonder what the ducks would say to me if we spoke a shared language? “Hey, human, what makes you think we want your help? Stay out of our duck business, it has nothing to do with you!” What do you think the ducks might say?

[8] “Small Wonder” by Barbara Kingsolver, from the book Small wonder (2002).

[9] The participatory mind (1994), by Henryk Skolimowski, page 26.

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Gero-Punk Ponderings: What kind of ancestor do you want to become?

What kind of ancestor do you want to become?

To ponder such a question invites us to explore the realm of legacy, Gero-Punk style.




Legacy can transcend the bounds of time-place-space.

Legacy goes in all directions, is deeply, fundamentally relational, and encompasses much more than mere material resources.

By “all directions,” I mean that legacy is trans- and inter-generational and not exclusively about transmission of something important to younger generations from older generations. Legacy can be transmitted in the other direction, as well, and in all directions at once.

By “fundamentally relational,” I mean that the creation of legacy happens in the context of cultivated, on-going relationships (And between both the “living” and the “no-longer-living”; that is, a member of a legacy-creating relationship may no longer be alive but still very present and influential to others, such as the role my Gramma continues to play in my life).

Legacy is an expression of deep, consequential and reverberating connections between humans (and other creatures as well).

A larger-mind view of legacy is that it is about intentionally creating the causes and conditions necessary for a vital present and future life for not only our family members and friends and other closest-in people, but for all living creatures. As such, members of multiple generations traveling through the life course simultaneously join together to pass-around (rather than pass-down) resources. These resources certainly may be material in the traditional sense of legacy – money, property, possessions – but are, importantly and primarily, ethical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional.

Legacy may entail carrying on the traditions and practices of another person who is no longer living (or perhaps whom we never met in person but through the stories told about them), such as by adopting — embodying and enacting – their quintessential characteristics or commitments: a particular habit-of-speech, a jaunty hat they always wore, or their singular role in a larger system. In this way, the special person continues to exist but in a different form, and we are forever changed – and changing — because of our relationship with them.

Lastly, a larger trans-personal view of legacy encompasses non-human creatures, the planet, and our universe, as well as future humans whom we’ll not know because we will no longer be living, but for whom we care nonetheless (and who may someday in the future learn and care about us, their ancestors, as well.).


What kind of ancestor do you want to become?

Why not start practicing now?

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