Sage Advice

Today at lunch I went to sit on a bench by the river to read my book. It turned out not to be very engaging, so I was happy to be distracted when the woman pulled up on an old men’s 10-speed bicycle and plopped herself next to me.

She shook her wild tangle of white hair and smiled at me. “What a perfect day!” she pronounced with a slight British accent.

She was slim and lively. Her face was beautifully lined; her dark brown eyes sparkled. She wore a plaid short-sleeved shirt, bicycle shorts and (quirkily) shiny bronze-coloured slippers and a small diamond pierced into one nostril. Her tanned legs were strong, smooth and firm; at odds with her face.

We chatted a bit. We found out we have the same birthday. She’s going to be 78 on hers. She’s never had a major illness, takes no medication, eats sparingly and spends as much time as possible outdoors.

She advised me to retire as soon as I possibly could. “The longer and harder and the more you work, the  more money you think you need.” She said, before jumping back on her bike.

I thought about that for the few seconds it took me to packed my book away.  But when I turned around to answer her, she was gone.