SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN
Mencho and I climbed another 300 feet and came to another house, the adobe old and cracked, but beautiful in its solitude, overlooking the huge valley. A spidery little woman in her seventies came hurrying out to greet us, Mencho explained that this was his Tia Gregoria.
Gregoria and I took to each other immediately, and in a moment were chatting together like old friends. (Mencho had disappeared for a short while.) The old lady was sharp, curious and alive. Her age became her like snow becomes a mountain….
Why is it, I wonder, that some persons wilt with age while others bloom up to the end? When I look at elderly persons, drooping, regretting “not so much what old age takes, as what it leaves behind”, I am terrified to the point of determining to die before I am over the hill. It seems to me a crime to cling to life when one is no longer willing to embrace it and… then I see an aged person like old Gregoria. Oh, yes, her strength is waning and she suffers from an intermittent pain in the right side of her head. Nor has rheumatism passed her by her husband and half of her children have died before her. But she does not live in things lost. Life for her is still full of surprises and changes and wonders and she welcomes it as a bee welcomes a flower. She lives alone now in the mountains, and welcomes what comes her way. I would not mind growing old like this.