This is one of the best and the brightest books you'll ever read on the elder passage. The author spent 20 years as director of Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center. Using the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Robert Bly, W. B. Yeats, Wendell Berry, Denise Levertov, and William Shakespeare, Raines sets the stage for his discussion of the seven steps of creative aging.

Through loss of soul, the deaths of others, illness, and the declining strength of our bodies, we wake up to our mortality. We embrace sorrow and learn from it. The elder season is also a time when we can savor blessedness, the abundance of gifts and joys in our lives. Work and love assume fresh meaning. We take great pride in our contribution to "the great work of the universe." And as elders, we have the time to nurture intimacy in all of our relationships. The final few tasks of creative aging, according to Raines, are "seeking forgiveness" and "taking on the mystery."

The author masterfully sets anecdotes from his own life alongside poignant illustrative material from contemporary novels, films, and political events. A Time to Live by Robert Raines is highly recommended for elders and anyone headed to become one.