Growing and Aging are not Mutually Exclusive.
Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than forty years, I know the majesty of a towering redwood, the tallest tree on the planet. They can span more than 400 feet, which is taller than a 37-story skyscraper. A typical redwood lives for 500 to 700 years, although some have been documented at more than 2,000 years old, meaning that some of the coast redwoods living today were alive during the Roman Empire.
Not only that, but coast redwoods have been on the planet for more than 240 million years. That means they've been around since the time of dinosaurs.
When it comes to nature, we marvel at the grace and majesty of the old. We see palm trees shed their worn leaves like a skirt around their narrow trunk. We seek solace and wisdom from these trees that stretch to the heavens, amazed at how they’re still growing and enraptured with their beauty and “old growth.”
Now, what if we applied that same thinking to older humans? What if we looked at them (and ourselves) and saw their growing (or shrinking) grace and beauty? And like the rings that mark the time span of a tree, we can then measure and admire not just in years, but in the internal growth of heart, spirit, and soul that an older person begins to accelerate in midlife and beyond?
Growth and aging are not mutually exclusive, in redwoods nor in humans.