To start this new year, the one in which I will turn 50, I read Dr. Andrew Weil's Healthy Aging. My favorite chapter is called "The Value of Aging." Weil points out that there are, for sure, problems with aging. But if we can resist the youth obsession of our culture, we can see what scripture recognized: that there are some advantages to aging. So here are some of the things that age well and that serve as metaphors for him: Whiskey and wine Cheese Beef Trees Violins Antiques Then he points out (working from these illustrations) that aging can: "-add richness to life -replace the shallowness and greeness of youth with depth and maturity -develop and enhance desirable qualities of personality while lessening undesirable ones -smooth out roughness of character -enhance the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life by the same processes that cause decline of the physical body -confer the advantages and power of survivorship -develop one's voice and authority as a living link to the past." Anyone out there who's a little further down the aging path who can testify to his claim that aging has its advantages (besides coffee for $.35 at McDonald's)?