It is May, the time of flowering plants, so let us make some ancient comparisons that, nevertheless, lie at the core of our difficulties today.

In Spring, plants flower. This is a wonderful but fleeting time of beauty, similar to a woman’s “flowering” around the ages 16-25. Here is a cherry tree in blossom:

Isn’t that lovely?

Later, the blossoms fall, and the cherry tree, though still in the fullness of summertime life and vigor, nevertheless ends this magical time of beauty:

The purpose of the cherry tree’s flowering is, actually: sex, and procreation. In this case, it is done with the help of insects, which does not translate very well to human affairs. But, there is a reason why the cherry tree blossoms (that is, becomes sexually attractive) at the beginning of warm weather. The cherry tree then procreates (makes fruit with seeds), and these seeds then can use the summer to grow before the next winter. In a similar way, animals (including humans) have children early — early in the summer, or early in life — so that the raising of children can take place during the period of maximum vigor and energy. A woman’s prime childbearing years are 16-32. If she has her last child at 32, that child becomes an adult while the woman is in her early fifties, a time when energies are beginning to wane; and also, a time when she may begin to adopt new duties, such as caring for aging parents.

Men have a little different timeline. But even so, a man over the age of fifty or so becomes unattractive, even if he is both fertile and wealthy enough to support a family. One reason is that, if he has a child at age 53, that child will be twenty when he is 73. He will have to raise the child during a time of declining energy, health and productivity, which is a risky proposition. The child may have to begin taking care of his aging parents at exactly the time when he is also struggling to establish a career and family of his own.

Perhaps, one can argue, we should ignore and frustrate this basic biological process, in order to achieve something that we think is of value; perhaps, a law degree. But even if that is so, we are nevertheless acting contrary to basic natural processes, which introduces an element of disorder, contrariness and difficulty to our affairs. The benefits better outweigh the costs and consequences. Some women will attempt to balance the equation by discarding the idea of children altogether; but, it seems that almost no women can do this successfully and without remorse. They are really only postponing the idea of children. And, they can do this only so long as they have some fertility left to squander on intentional infertility.

I say this mostly for the benefit of young women, and girls, who do not have either much experience, talent for rational calculation, or ability to foresee longer-term consequences; and thus, must rely primarily on what they are told to do by others. Use your Springtime period as the cherry trees do: for procreation. If you are going to procreate (have children), do so within the context of a marriage. This means you have to get married first.

Published by proprietor

Happily married, with children.

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