Youth and Folly


noun fol·ly \ˈfä-lē\
  • the lack of good sense or judgment

  • a foolish act or idea : foolish behavior

  • a very unusual or fancy building that was built in a garden for decoration or amusement in the past

As a bona fide middle-aged lady (I’m 47), lately I find myself musing about my youth a decent amount. Not in a “I must recapture it” sort of way, but in a “hey, I’ve come a long way, baby” kind of way.

Although I can say with some certainty that I’ve always been very bright, I definitely engaged in my fair share of youthful folly (see first and second bullet points above; third, not so much).  Is that such a bad thing?  Without a bit of foolishness, how do we learn, grow, and acquire funny stories to look back on and smirk about?  Without a little bit of foolishness, we would all be perpetually dull, wise, appropriate, and never have tried anything just for the fun/hell of it, yes? Baltasar Gracian (whoever he is) seems to agree…


And that is something I do sometimes miss a bit about my foolish, younger self…the bold girl that rushed through doors, and out into the world, without fear.

Stick with me here, as it may seem I am wandering (but I’m not) … the Starz movie channel has made a television show about a series of books I have read and enjoyed – the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon.  The books were very enjoyable, but the only thing I really enjoyed of the small screen version is the theme song (sigh, and I had high hopes)…I connected with the song instantly, it’s very haunting, and listen to it a lot, while driving home in my car.  I realized one day that song is about a woman looking for her younger, bolder self, and after that I absolutely fell in love with it. I like to reminisce about the “merry of soul” girl I once was, full of youth and folly…they’re good memories, and without them, I would feel less complete, less like I’ve really lived.  Our follies make us who we are as much as our wisdom.

The Skye Boat Song

(Originally a Scottish folk song, altered by Bear McCreary for the show)

Sing me a song of a lass that is gone,
Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.

Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair,
All that was me is gone.

Sing me a song of a lass that is gone,
Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul she sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.


via Daily Prompt: Folly


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