I subscribe to a wonderful newsletter by Debra Eve called Later Bloomer. In it she celebrates people who have done inspiring and amazing things in the later part of their life. Many of them are writers, who took up their pen long after most people would dare and made a real difference to the world as a result.
Today I was enthralled to read a fascinating story about a French woman called Alexandra David-Néel. In 1924, aged 56, just over halfway through her long and adventurous life, she became the first Western woman to look upon the forbidden city of Lhasa, Tibet. She had smuggled herself in disguised as a servant to her own servant, walking for nineteen hours through deep snow in the depths of winter.
She wrote thirty books in the next forty years, decribing her exploits. Forty-five years later, at age 100, she renewed her passport in anticipation of her next trip to Tibet. Alexandra passed away a few months later, just shy of her 101st birthday on October 24, 1969. What a life!
I am already 57. I admit there have been days when I have looked at what I have accomplished so far in my life and felt it was not enough… If I am blessed to live to 100, I could have an astonishing 43 more productive years in front of me! Time to write all the books I have buzzing around in my head. Time to paint all the paintings I want to paint. Time to travel the world. And maybe to inspire the world in ways that I cannot even imagine today.
Hmmm. That is worth thinking about on a sunny morning in Crete…