It was when I was about fourteen. We were at a large family gathering in a hot spring resort in Japan. My grandmother, her sister, my aunt and uncle, my cousins’ families were all there.
In the evening, I was taking a long bath with my female relatives. The outside bath was made of smooth rocks and very pleasant. Adults were chatting and chatting about old memories and recent life affairs. I was the only child, and I sat inside the water mostly quiet, enjoying the cool wind on my face. When it became too hot to stay inside the water, we sat on the edge of the rocky bathtub with only our legs dipping in the water.
They were talking about the topic of aging when my great aunt, who was in her seventies, suddenly opened her mouth.
“I never thought it would happen to me, you know,” she sighed. “When I was little, I looked at my grandparents and other elderlies in the village, and I thought they were different species! They looked so different from me…”
This thought was so out of box and funny that everybody laughed. I also laughed.
Then I thought about the time when I would be in my seventies. I wondered how I would feel about myself at that time. Would I feel like I belonged to different species? It was too far ahead of time that I could not really wrap my head around it.
Well, I thought to myself as I observed my great aunt next to me. One thing that I can tell is that I don’t feel you belong to different species at all!
Then I decided to drop that topic in my head altogether. I thought I had plenty of time to think about aging, and for now, I really enjoyed sitting in the outside bath with my favourite people.