This morning, as i do almost every morning, i get out of bed and throw on my gardening clothes. "Throw on" doesn't sound very mindful, but today i was deeply appreciating my 22-year old shorts. In 1988, short-shorts were in fashion, and i still prefer short-shorts, even though my body, as well as these shabby black shorts, are 22 years older.
Shantideva suggests wearing old clothes until they are rags to remind ourselves that the body itself becomes raggedy and patched together as it ages. Today's "patches" are pretty nifty and almost seamless--hip and knee replacements for instance. Yet the deeper lesson remains: the Earth element of the body--the bones and teeth, for example, are aging and sometimes becoming painful.
Meanwhile i wear my faded old shorts and body out to the garden happily.