I recently read the blog post, titled The Animal is tired, by renowned author Robin Hobb, and it reminded me just how dire this, condition, we call being alive really is. The animal is aging, and it is tired. At 70, the fatigue is physical; the animal moans about aches in the night. At 30, the fatigue is mental; the mind roars at night about the bleakness of the future painted against the ever-increasing insanity leaking out of the world.
Oh of course I can still drive the animal hard. I can still demand of it huge tolls of physicality. It can still, with some grunts and focus, do a crow's pose and inversions. It can still run and cycle vast(-ish) distances. I can still work hard and play hard. It is willing and always up to the challenge, but the me that lives within, isn't. And when I try to take a step back, try to slow down my rhythm and treat myself kinder and with more grace, it snaps back at me, snarling, telling me that it can in fact work longer or harder or faster, play harder or faster or better. The animal is ready, capable. The me that lives within it isn't.
There are still lots of time left together between us. There are still tall mountains to conquer, great lakes to sail across. There are still treasures to be discovered, great beasts to be slayed. And in time they will come, as inevitable as the rising and setting of Sol. The animal and I will have to work together still. I only hope that when the time comes and the horn is sounded, I can still heed the call.