The title of this entry may startle you a bit, especially if you speak Latin fluently. “Fecundity” is about being fruitful and multiplying—a Scriptural way of describing abundant fertility among plants, animals and people. Acts of continuing, growing creation. Hardly the kind of thing that applies to being old, right? Nevertheless, there may be something here that could be helpful and hopeful.
Fecundity also works as a metaphor for areas of human capabilities other than those connected with reproductive biology. For example, an idea can be fertile, able to spread its meaning or usefulness throughout a group of individuals or a single mind. A generous donation can be fruitful as it inspires others to give liberally of themselves. An entire congregation might become abundantly productive as it engenders hope or courage in its members or community.
In each of these examples you can see the possibility that bountiful creativity can also involve people who are older—maybe even those who are biologically frail! Think appreciatively about your own ability to generate exciting ideas, foster positive emotions, seed new ventures or invest in something or someone—your grandkids?—that grows and grows. Remember those times when you—your story, your example, your advice—were the spark that set in motion a swarm of actions that would not have happened otherwise.
In those moments, you were fecund! In those relationships, you started something that multiplied. In these later years, you have continued to be productive! Surprisingly, importantly, perhaps wonderfully!
What to do about these possibilities? Be grateful, hopeful, and purposefully expectant. Because God is not finished with you yet, it is very likely that at some surprising moment in the near-term, people will look at your life and say, “My, oh my, what a fecund person!”
Especially if they speak Latin….