Not quite ready for serenity

I am 84, I have lived through a couple of valleys of death. There are aches and fragilities and coughs and creaks and increasing physical ineptitude of all kinds. But in what always is important – love of what the brain can do and fascination with what it can never know, eagerness to learn, delight in new revelations of nature’s variety and man’s achievements, desire to be around forever to see what happens – I feel as I have always felt. It does not change.

Cicero in his great essay on old age tries to console us when he writes: “It cannot be supposed that nature, after having wisely distributed to all previous periods of life their peculiar and proper enjoyments, should have neglected the last act of the….