At 40 I recognise that a slow change has taken place in me over the last decade. No, it's not the greying hair or the tendency to pull muscles when attempting my infamous Michael Jackson impression. No, it's not a physical change at all, at least I don't think it is.
It's a growing tendency to appreciate the world around me in a way I hadn't before. It must be different for everyone, but I notice myself appreciating things I would describe as 'poetic'. I say 'poetic' simply because I have no other words to describe it. At an early age I would occasionally experience the sensation of ' my soul being massaged, warmly' in reading certain poems but rarely then did I ever experience it with art or nature.
Now, however, I 'feel' this sensation looking at a a whole host of things. It's certainly a visual thing, in my case, and to a lesser extent the smelling and tasting of things.
In fact, this has been my motivation for seeking out nature more and more because it is in nature that I feel these sensations more than anywhere and it doesn't have to be picture postcard view. A gnarled tree or a leaning moss covered wooden signpost will give me as much of a feeling of awe and wonder as the classic golden sunset. Probably more.
It's interesting to reflect on how in my 20s and 30s that I missed all these things. Clearly they were there, but somehow I didn't notice them or perhaps I wasn't ready to notice them.
My list of 'good reasons to be 40' is not very long, but this definitely at number 1.