It was Jan Friday the 13th, and I was in a deep and wrestles quandary. It had nothing to do with the superstition of Friday the 13th being a bad day, it was much more simple, the next day I would be 40. I was insecure about entering a new decade of my life and feared that my best years were now behind me.
I was a parish minister in those days. I lived a very busy life of visiting, conducting funerals, visiting hospitals and all the things that make up the days of a busy parish minister.
In my parish there lived a man named Roddy. Roddy was in his 60s and he went out running two or three times a week, not great distances, but he ran. I remember asking him one day, "What was the best time of your life?"
Without hesitation, Roddy replied, "Well, Ralph, this is my philosophical answer to your philosophical question:
"When I was a child and everything was taken care of for me and I was nurtured by my parents, that was the best time of my life.
"When I was going to school and learning the things I know today, that was the best time of my life.
"When I got my first job and had responsibilities and got paid for my efforts, that was the best time of my life.
"When I met my wife and fell in love, that was the best time of my life.
"When I was a young father, watching my children grow up, that was the best time of my life.
When I was made Boys Brigade captain and I had to prepare the weekly events for the boys in the company that was the best time of my life.
"And now, Ralph, I am sixty-five years old. I have my health, I feel good and I am in love with my wife just as I was when we first met. This is the best time of my life."
And now here I am, older than Roddy was the day we spoke. Amazingly, like him I am out running, longer miles than he was and more often. I have my garden plot. And I have put some pictures of it in its present state, mainly because Jerry keeps asking. I am painting, and on my other blog is my latest, and even as we speak one of my paintings has just sold and is heading off to Germany. So in many ways this is the best time of my life.
This blog is linked to my other. the making of an abstract