Aging Gracefully

On Aging

Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?
Why does every beautiful face grow in old age
Wrinkled like the back of a Libyan lizard?
Why does a full head of hair get bald?
Why is the tall, straight figure
That divided the ranks like a spear
Now bent almost double?
Why is it that the
Lion strength weakens to nothing?
The wrestler who could hold anyone down
Is led out with two people supporting him,
Their shoulders under his arms?
God answers,
“They put on borrowed robes
And pretended they were theirs.
I take the beautiful clothes back,
So that you will learn the robe
Of appearance is only a loan.”
Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.

Rumi, 1207-1273