Pensioners are People

I am a Pensioner.

That is not all I have been. That is not all I hope to be. That is not all I am.

I have been, and am, and will be, a child, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a cousin, a grandmother, a friend.

I have a name, I am an individual, I am not anonymous.

Above all - I am a lover. I love my family which is wide flung and embraces the family of man. I love Australia and its ill-used dark people. I love the sea and its moods - from storm to calm.

I love cities and their many-coloured crowds, I love the country in golden light.

I love the cool majesty of mountains and the scented nights of summer. I love the open doors of the world.

I love the lovely young - our hope for tomorrow. I love the patient old and their memories of yesterday.

I love words - turned, tuned, shaped and reshaped - gathered together and strung apart, spoken and set down. I love sounds - voices and harps and violins and saxophones.

I love the balm of courtesy and kindness.

I reject hate, because hating is double-edged and the harder it thrusts outward, the deeper it cuts back. I reject the phrase, "in your day". Today is my day - with the baby born this moment, and with the one whose hundredth birthday it is - I share this day. It is ours while we breathe.

I reject the blanket term pensioner when it is used as a category for a grey band of faceless people. Yes, I am a pensioner but I am, as we all are, many other things as well.

Norah Boehme